The Background Discussion

  
The Role of the Background Discussion

     Your Background Discussion expands upon the key points described in your project's purpose and abstract. A well written background ties things together while providing the reader with additional information that could be useful in creating a greater understanding of your topic.  On the flip side, the background information helps your reader determine if you have a basic understanding of the research problem being investigated and promotes confidence in the overall quality of your project and your findings.

     Incorporating background information into the Introduction is intended to provide the reader with critical information about the topic being studied, such as highlighting or expanding other research studies conducted in the past, important historical events that inform why and in what ways the research problem exists, or defining key components of your study [concepts, people, places, things].  For example, if your project is focusing on the influence of acid rain on freshwater ecosystems you should include an explanation on what exactly acid rain is, how it is created, what geographic regions have the greatest concentration, its economic impact on farming/fishing and examples of its destruction on the habitats of native species. There may have been other studies conducted in the past whose data supports your own hypothesis or conclusion.   The list goes on.  
 

Remember:

*      Your background MUST include a powerful, well thought out introduction.  Its okay to repeat the problem or question that is at the heart of your project.  Your opening sentence(s) will set the stage for the rest of the background discussion and will make a difference in whether or not you have succeeded in generating interest and enthusiasm for your project, or put the reader to sleep.

*        Your background discussion MUST be one page in length, typed, single spaced with no larger than 14-16 size font.  Let's face it, writing this particular section of your project is going to require some effort so trying to disguise a weak background through excessive font size, squeezed margins etc. wont score many points with the judges or your teacher.

*        The quality of your background will be determined by the quality of your research.  Be as factual as possible and always give credit where credit is due.  For example, its okay to use someone else's ideas or discoveries but be sure to mention them in your paper.  Footnotes or better yet, parenthetical notations are great (Houghton/Mifflin, Vol II, 2019).

*       Don't cut and paste. Period.  It's pretty obvious when a 7th grade middle school student with average writing skills begins to write like someone preparing for their post doctoral thesis or competing for the Nobel Peace Prize in Interstellar Navigation.  Besides, its called "plagiarism" and its illegal.

*       Your Background/Discussion should be located on the right hand panel of your display board BEFORE your conclusion.
 
 

 

 


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