Blog #7 | 2023

Writing the Introduction: Setting the Stage for Your JAWRA Paper

Introduction: The Gateway to Your Research Journey

As authors and research scientists in the water resources community, we understand the critical importance of the introduction in a research paper. The introduction is more than a mere formality; it serves as the gateway to your study, providing readers with a roadmap to navigate the intricate landscape of your research. In this blog, we'll delve into the pivotal role of the introduction and explore effective strategies for crafting a compelling opening for your Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) paper.

The Role of the Introduction

The introduction sets the tone for your entire paper, offering readers a glimpse into the significance and relevance of your research. Its primary objectives include:
Context Establishment:
  • Introduce the broader context of your study.
  • Define the key concepts and terms essential for understanding your work.
  • Establish the relevance of your research within the larger field of water resources.
Rationale and Purpose:
  • Clearly state the problem or gap in existing knowledge that your study addresses.
  • Justify the significance of your research by explaining its potential contributions.
  • Outline the specific objectives and goals of your study.
Engagement and Interest:
  • Capture the reader's attention with a compelling narrative or a thought-provoking question.
  • Provide a concise overview of your methodology and anticipated findings.
  • Convey enthusiasm for your research without revealing all the details upfront.

Crafting a Compelling Introduction: Tips and Strategies

Now that we've established the importance of the introduction, let's explore some tips to help you craft a compelling opening:
Clarity is Key:
  • Use clear and concise language to convey your ideas.
  • Avoid jargon or overly complex terms that might alienate readers.
Create a Logical Workflow:
  • Organize your introduction in a logical sequence, moving from the general to the specific.
  • Clearly articulate the research question or hypothesis that guides your study.
Highlight the Gap:
  • Clearly identify the gap or problem in existing literature that your research addresses.
  • Demonstrate why filling this gap is crucial for advancing the field of water resources.
Establish Relevance:
  • Connect your study to real-world applications and implications.
  • Highlight the potential impact of your findings on policy, practice, or future research.

Examples of Well-Written Introductions from JAWRA

To further illustrate these principles, let's examine excerpts from well-written introductions in past JAWRA papers:
Example 1:
"In the face of climate change and increasing population pressure, sustainable water resource management has become a paramount concern. While several studies have explored the impact of climate change on water availability, there remains a significant gap in understanding the interactions between changing precipitation patterns and groundwater recharge in arid regions."
Example 2:
"The degradation of water quality in urban areas poses a serious threat to both human health and ecosystem integrity. Despite numerous efforts to mitigate pollution, the complex interplay of urban infrastructure and natural water systems demands a more nuanced understanding. This study seeks to unravel the intricate dynamics influencing water quality in urban environments."

In these examples, the authors effectively establish the context, identify the gap, and articulate the relevance of their research, setting the stage for an engaging and informative paper.


In conclusion, the introduction is a vital component of your JAWRA paper, acting as a guide that leads readers into the heart of your research. By adhering to these tips and drawing inspiration from well-crafted introductions, you can captivate your audience from the outset and pave the way for a compelling exploration of water resources issues.


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