Peer Review of Introduction to a Lab Report by nvw54192
the Introduction to a lab report or scientific article
Think of the introduction to the protocol as similar to the introduction to a lab report (remember them?) but instead of outlining what you have done, you are detailing what you are going to do. Firstly, you need to outline the content area, with relevant references. In essence you are providing a short literature review. The structure of this first section of the introduction needs to flow well. Different aspects of the project need to be coherently linked and not appear as separate paragraphs with no obvious relation. At the end of the first part of the introduction, your readers need to be convinced that your research project: 1) is necessary - and that it is timely; 2) that it should be done in the way that you propose to do it. You should aim to finish this section with a statement which is a logical summary of the state of play research-wise at the moment and which makes a solid case for your research project to be carried out. For example, 'As has been argued, although concepts of control and attributional style have been measured in people with Parkinson's disease, the impact of these on psychological outcome is still unclear. The small number of studies relating control to psychological outcome all report different conclusions and are all hampered by methodological problems such as underpowering, diverse inclusion criteria and the use of unvalidated outcome measures. Clearly the need to investigate comprehensively control and attributional style remains an important research objective.' Or something similar. The next part of the introduction should set out how you aim to rectify these methodological anomalies. For example, 'Consequently, this study will aim to look at the issues of control and attributional style in people with PD but will address previous methodological inadequacies. For example, it is proposed that a sample of 150 is used to address adequately issues of statistical power. In addition, all assessments will use well-validated outcome measures, the inclusion criteria are explicit and diagnoses of idiopathic Parkinson's disease will be confirmed by a neurology consultant.' Next to come will be your aims and hypotheses/research questions. You need a formal specification of your hypothesis/es. Hypotheses should be backed up by the preceding literature review. It is no point hypothesising gender differences on x, when no justification or lead-up to this has been included earlier. And don't specify the null hypothesis - that's not appropriate at this level. Don't go overboard on the number of hypotheses you are making - more than four would be generally some cause for concern. For the thesis, then think one global hypothesis rather than several smaller ones. If your work is qualitative then again, one research question will probably be enough.