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When we write a research paper, most of the times we need to describe in the introduction what is the merit of the present work (unless is a survey of sorts).

Many professors, tell me that is enough to write it within the sentences with some context. And is the way I see it in most papers.

Other professors, however, I've seen they especifically list the merits and innovations of the papers in the introduction, for example:

  • The present work presents cherries using A, which has never been done before.
  • We implemented the mix of berries and bananas, which has never been tried.

While I find the approach intuitive and way more explicit than the usual approach, It seems a bit condescending.

What is your suggestion, should I write a list of merits or not?

1 Answer 1

It is fine in most formats to finish your introduction by stating your goals. I tend not to over-emphasize the list of innovations in the paper right in the introduction, usually because it is already made clear in two places: abstract and conclusion.

Also: if by “specifically list the merits” you mean use a bullet-point list, I'd suggest to avoid it. It's not the same as an oral presentation, where you might want to focus on nice simple messages for an audience whose attention is never to be take for granted. When someone has read your introduction ’til the end, they are interested in your work, you don’t need to resort to oversimplifying your message.