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How to Start Your Articles for Publication: Write a Great First Sentence Every Time

Jul 19, 2022

One of the hardest parts of starting a research article is the first sentence. I use to sit and stare at a blank document willing myself to write my first sentence. Unfortunately, many of my early papers had horrible first sentences. So in this tutorial, I will quickly walk you through how to start every paper to hook your reader and get started writing your articles! If you want even more guidance on writing your research articles, download my free Scientific Research Paper Checklist today!

Importance

The goal of your first sentence is to show the importance and significance of what you will be discussing. When your reader starts your paper, they need to be given a reason to continue reading. For the advanced person in your field, they are likely not going to even read your introduction. However, the novice in your field will read your first sentence and they might not know why what you are writing about is worth reading.

Therefore, it is our job as the writer to inform them about the importance of our topic. Luckily, I have a couple of formulas that you can follow to create your first sentence. 

Formula #1: The List

I use formula #1 most often and think that it is one of the easiest formulas to get started with. The purpose of this formula is simply to list what your topic is important for.

Formula

[Your Topic] is [important/ essential/ necessary] for [item 1], [item 2], and [item 3].

Examples

Steroid analysis is essential for medical diagnosis, environmental testing, and sports performance enhancement testing.

Collision Cross Section calibration is important for analyte identification and molecular modeling in the field of ion mobility spectrometry.

Formula #2: Cause and Impact

 The second formula I use is to share what my topic causes and the impact that it has. This type of structure tends to work best when discussing medical or public health concerns, but can be used in any field. 

Formula:

[Your topic] effects [statistic] and causes [potential outcomes from your topic].

Or

[Your topic] [increases risk, causes] [potential outcome] and effects [statistic].

Examples:

Obesity affects 33% of the U.S. population and increases the risk of reproductive dysfunction, metabolic dysfunction, and cardiovascular disease.

Endocrine disrupting compounds are widespread contaminates and cause birth defects, increased cancer risk, and decreased fertility.

Tip: if you are researching at the interface of two fields, include both in your introductory sentence. For example, the Obesity example above was used when I was discussing how Obesity relates to reproductive dysfunction.

Bonus!

One last thought is that if you use these formulas it allows for a nice transition into explaining what your topic is.

Want to Dive Deeper?

Check out the video below with more steps on how to write your research article introduction!

 If you want more help just like this throughout your research article, Write Your Research Article is my comprehensive course on how to write your research article from start to finish! You can learn more here!

 

 

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