Your Introduction

The introduction should start with what you do in this paper, the major contribution. Don’t just state your conclusion: 

“My results show that the pecking-order theory is rejected.” 

Give the facts behind that result. 

“In a regression of x on y, controlling for z, the coefficient is q.” 

The first sentence is the hardest. 

“Two easily measured variables, size and book-to-market equity, combine to capture the cross-sectional variation in average stock returns associated with market B, size, leverage, book-to-market equity, and earnings-price ratios.” 

Do not start with philosophy: “Financial economists have long wondered if markets are efficient.”
Do not start with “The finance literature has long been interested in x.” 

Start with your central contribution:

“Two easily measured variables, size and book-to-market equity, combine to capture the cross-sectional variation in average stock returns associated with market B, size, leverage, book-to-market equity, and earnings-price ratios.” 

Three pages is a good upper limit for the introduction. Remember:

  • Abstract - no literature review
  • Introduction - first sentence
  • Start with contribution

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PILOT - Technical writing by Marion Kelt, GCU, Vince Ricci, CIEE, Joe SChall, PennState University and Glynis Perkin, Loughborough University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International LicenseDetails on our credits page.