Notes for week 10

No matter what your draft paper is about it will have an introduction of some sort. Introductions matter. If they are unimaginative and by the numbers, you convey to your reader what is ahead, i.e. this is more of a chore than an interesting read.

I have gathered a set of papers, loosely themed on your area of interest. I'm sure you can identify which is yours. You don't need to use these if you don't want to. Feel free to choose one or two of your favourite papers. It is only the introductions of each paper that is of interest. I've chosen the papers as things to work with not as a necessary contribution to your collection of ideas for your agenda.

Naepi, S., Stein, S., Ahenakew, C., & de Oliveira Andreotti, V. (2017). A Cartography of Higher Education: Attempts at Inclusion and Insights from Pasifika Scholarship in Aotearoa New Zealand. In C. Reid & J. Major (Eds.), Global Teaching: Southern Perspectives on Teachers Working with Diversity (pp. 81-99). New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan US.

van Oostveen, C. J., Goedhart, N., Francke, A. L., & Vermeulen, H. (2017). Combining clinical practice and academic work in nursing: a qualitative study about perceived importance, facilitators, and barriers regarding clinical academic careers for nurses in university hospitals. Journal of Clinical Nursing. doi:10.1111/jocn.13996

Down, B., Smyth, J., & Robinson, J. (2017). Problematising vocational education and training in schools: using student narratives to interrupt neoliberal ideology. Critical Studies in Education, 1-19. doi:10.1080/17508487.2017.1289474

Kelly, L. (2017). Reconceptualising professional knowledge: the changing role of knowledge and evidence in social work practice. Social Work Education, 36(3), 245-256. doi:10.1080/02615479.2016.1217986

Hunter, P. (2012). Using vignettes as self-reflexivity in narrative research of problematised history pedagogy. Policy Futures in Education, 10(1), 90-102. doi:10.2304/pfie.2012.10.1.90

and this one might be generally of interest:

Murphy, N. A., & Wibberley, C. (2017). Development of an academic identity through PhD supervision-an issue for debate. Nurse education in practice, 22, 63-65. doi:10.1016/j.nepr.2016.12.002

Let me know on Slack if you have any trouble locating any of the papers

So. Just read the introduction of your paper. Pay attention to the first paragraph. Look at what it does to set the scene for what follows. Would you have opened the paper that way? Is the paper trying to establish the importance, significance of the issue or problem initially? Did it grab your attention or was it ho hum?

Now look to see how whether and how the introduction covers the general argument of the paper.

What else does the introduction do?

Make some notes about the structure of the introduction you have read. Would that work for what you want to write. Remember that the introduction to your proposal will be longer than the introduction of most papers that you come across.

Here are a few more papers whose introductions do interesting work:

Nespor, J. (2012). The Afterlife of “Teachers’ Beliefs”: Qualitative Methodology and the Textline. Qualitative Inquiry, 18(5), 449-460. doi:10.1177/1077800412439530

The introduction is quite short but engaging. Jan Nespor is one of my favourite writers/thinkers.
Akrich, M. (2010). From Communities of Practice to Epistemic Communities: Health Mobilizations on the Internet. Sociological Research Online, 15(2), 10. Retrieved from

This introduction is long but it maps in some detail what the paper does.

If you come across an introduction you think is worth considering then please pop it on here.

Most well written papers will have good ideas in terms of how you might structure your introduction. Some of you have used a telling quote in your first task. Quotes, good ones, always work well in setting the scene for the reader. So too do good, short stories that point to or help illustrate the problem you want to communicate to your readers.

If you were further interested in some interesting ideas about academic writing, you might find Helen Sword's book1 worth a look.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License