Q: How to avoid repetition in the introduction section of a traditional review article?

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We have to write the background of the study/topic of article and aim of the study in the introduction section, but when I write the background of the study, I see that most of the what should be included are already there in the body of text/literature review; in other words, the same content(certain parts) is repeated in the introduction and in the literature review part. How to avoid this? For eg, if I am writing a review article on hypertension, I would have written "what is hypertension" in the main body text and explained the same in the Introduction part of the review article as well. Is it right?

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Answer:

There can be some overlap between the background or introduction section and the main section of the article, but not too much. The background or introduction should provide the context for the review, by answering questions such as why are you doing this review, what is the gap in literature you felt, and what kind of literature has been developed so far. The main section should cover the details of your review, such as the key points or themes you came across in different literature, interesting insights, and critical analyses of the literature.

 

To consider your example, in the background, rather than beginning with “What is hypertension,” perhaps you could begin with why you felt a study of hypertension and of the literature on it was important, prevalence of hypertension in your target population, need for addressing the disorder, and so on (note that these are only examples; you would have a better idea of what to write about). In the main section, you could talk about the key findings, results, discussions, and discussions for future research on hypertension based on the literature you reviewed.

 

Finally, do note that while research is all about science, writing research papers is an art that takes time to develop. You could build this craft by reading quality papers, seeking feedback from seniors and supervisors, and keeping on writing. Below are some resources to help you on your research paper writing journey: