My supervisor told me that I should write paragraph in which I introduce the problem that will be addressed by this chapter (research methodology).

What are some of the key aspects I should focus on? I understand that it cannot be a too detailed description, as my supervisor recommends only a single paragraph but I also do not want to write too little.

  • 3
    Shouldn't you ask your supervisor this question?
    – Sverre
    May 31, 2014 at 14:27
  • I have, but I am also interested in the communities' opinion on this.
    – Morne
    May 31, 2014 at 14:32
  • 1
    Introduce the methodology problem and then give the reader a roadmap/outline.
    – SEL
    May 31, 2014 at 14:35
  • 5
    How would you describe your problem to a colleague in your field if you met them in an elevator? Write that.
    – JeffE
    May 31, 2014 at 20:47

2 Answers 2


I don't know if it's possible to describe in any detail which aspects you should focus on without knowing something about what you're writing in the chapter, since as Sverre said, it's ultimately just the answer to one question.

An introduction is ultimately just a concise summary of the contents of a piece of writing, specifically a chapter; in this case, the points to focus on would be the basic components of a description of research methodology:

  1. Reminder: We are researching...
  2. The usual methodologies used in this field are...
  3. X, Y and Z were considered for use.
  4. X, while [pros], [cons], whereas Y [pros], but [cons], and Z [pros], but [cons].
  5. Due to the importance of... ...in this study, we chose to use Y.

Then you can explain your full reasoning in the remainder of the chapter.


Answer this question in less than one minute, assuming that I have the basic knowledge of your area:
What is your research about?

Than add these in less than two minutes:
Why did you do your research in that specific topic? What is your innovation?

How did you do it?

Now, write your answers on a paper. And that would be the intro.
Edit: Commentors are right. Only the last part would be an intro for methodology.

  • As I understood the OP, (s)he's wondering what the first paragraph in the chapter on research methodology should say. I don't think the suggestion here fits very well with that.
    – Sverre
    Jun 1, 2014 at 18:34
  • That's what I worte about. It won't take more than one paragraph
    – padawan
    Jun 1, 2014 at 21:24
  • @cagirici I have upvoted your answer as it is still usefull, but Sverre is correct, the introduction should cover my methodology only and not the total research topic. So basically, it should be an introduction to the 'How' section you mentioned.
    – Morne
    Jun 3, 2014 at 13:35

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