Anatomy of a Scientific Research Paper (Part 4): Background

We are now starting to enter the heart of the paper. Like any project, your work is going to be partially built on existing components. In fact, it may be entirely built on existing components. Your contribution may be a new combination of the existing components that has not been tried before.

Now, some of these components will be necessary to understand your work. These components are what you should describe in your background section. That’s what we’re going to discuss today.

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Anatomy of a Scientific Research Paper (Part 3): What’s YOUR Problem?

It’s the first question every reviewer will ask when reading your paper: what problem are you solving?

If you do not answer it, your paper will be rejected.  If you answer it in a way that is too complicated, your paper will be rejected.  And if you can not answer it, your advisor will probably not let you submit the paper in the first place.  In fact, I would say this is probably the number one reason that papers are rejected.  Papers usually start talking about the solution before talking about the problem.

The good news is that you can make it easy for reviewers to find out what problem you address.  You do this with a section titled The Problem.  This is the section we’ll look at today.

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