Structure

In a summary or short report, you are not required to write a full introduction; in fact there is not enough room to do so. It is also unnecessary to include the title 'Introduction'. All you need to write is a brief description of the purpose of the study. One to three lines is normally enough. Typically, your short introduction will provide information ordered in the following stages:

Click on the stage links to see an example of each stage for an experiment on the effect of artificial sweeteners on insulin secretion.

Stages of an Introduction section

general

1. background information on why you are undertaking the experiment.

specific

2. Statement of the aim of the experiment


Decide which of the following student introductions contains the appropriate stages for a successful introduction for the experiment 'Varying the Dietary Intake of Cholesterol May Cause Changes in Plasma Cholesterol Concentration in Middle-Aged Subjects'.

Click either the yes or no button. When you have made your choice for all introductions click the submit button for your feedback.

1.

This study aimed to demonstrate that increasing the intake of high cholesterol foods led to an increase in concentration of cholesterol in blood plasma.

yes | no

There is no background information given about the reason for carrying out the experiment. Also the study aimed to monitor the effect of a low cholesterol diet as well as a high cholesterol diet.

2.

Previous studies have implied that a high concentration of cholesterol in blood leads to a range of cardio-vascular diseases. This experiment aims to demonstrate consumption of high and low cholesterol and plasma cholesterol concentration.

yes | no

Although both stages are present in this introduction, the link between diet and cholesterol levels is not clear. The introduction could be rewritten as follows : Previous studies have implied that a high concentration of cholesterol in blood leads to a range of cardio-vascular diseases. This experiment aims to demonstrate how consumption of high and low cholesterol diets affects plasma cholesterol concentration.

3.

The assay used detects both free cholesterol and cholestery esters. Cholesteryl esters are converted to free cholesterol using cholesterol esterase. Cholesterol oxidase is responsible for the conversion of free cholesterol to cholestenone with the concommitant formation of peroxide (H2O2). Peroxide in the presence of peroxidase, then oxidises a colorless dye (aminoankipynine, AAP) causing it turn red. This study aimed to demonstrate that consumption of a high cholesterol diet results in an increase in blood cholesterol concentration.

yes | no

The background information given is inappropriate for an introduction for a short report and even in a full report, information about the theory behind the methodology would not be given unless the methodology is complex or novel.

4.

Since cholesterol levels are a risk factor in heart disease for middle-aged subjects, this study aimed to determine whether low- or high-cholesterol diets could affect cholesterol levels in the blood.

yes | no

 

5.

The build up of cholesterol in cells and along the walls of arteries will lead to heart attacks and possibly death, if not treated. It is possible that diet could influence our blood cholesterol concentration.

yes | no

Only background information is given and there is no statement of the aim of the experiment. The second sentence needs to be rewritten as an aim : This experiment aimed to discover whether or not diet could influence blood cholesterol concentration.

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