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Postgraduate Education Corner: MEDICAL WRITING TIPS |

How to Make a Good First Impression*: A Proper Introduction

MaryAnn Foote, PhD
Author and Funding Information

*From Scientific Communications, Abraxis BioScience, Inc, Los Angeles, CA.

Correspondence to: MaryAnn Foote, PhD, Vice President, Scientific Communications, Abraxis BioScience, Inc, 11777 San Vicente Blvd, Suite 550, Los Angeles, CA 90049; e-mail: mfoote@abraxisbio.com



Chest. 2006;130(6):1935-1937. doi:10.1378/chest.130.6.1935
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Extract

The old adage “You have one chance to make a good first impression” applies to job applicants, cocktail party attendees, and authors of clinical articles. The introduction is not a data dump or an exercise in mental throat clearing. A proper introduction has a definite format and sets the tone for the remainder of the article.

A previous article provided some insight on writing a clear and concise 250-word structured abstract for a clinical article.1 Using the same fictional example, I hope to show how to write a good introduction, the first part of the full article in the IMRaD style (ie, introduction, materials and methods, results, and discussion). Again, I caution, I am offering suggestions and food for thought, not a template, for manuscripts based on clinical hypothesis-testing trials.

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