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Rhetorical functions in academic writing: Introducing

The purpose of the introduction is to show your reader what you are doing in your writing. It is also helpful to explain why you are doing it and how you are doing it.

In many parts of your writing - but especially in introductions - you may need to provide background information and introduce new concepts or ideas and provide a description of how you are going to proceed in the rest of your writing.

In the following text, after giving some background information to justify the research, sentence 10 introduces the rest of the report:

Use Of A Writing Web-Site By Pre-Masters Students On An English for Academic Purposes Course.

A. J. Gillett, University of Hertfordshire


1During the past 10 years, the availability of computers in educational institutions has increased dramatically (James, 1999). 2Progress in computer development has been made to the point that powerful, inexpensive computers with large capacities are available in many classrooms and libraries for student use. 3Many students also have purchased and are purchasing computers for their own use at home. 4Most studies seem to agree that the microcomputer will continue to hold an important role in education in the future. 5For example, James (1999) and Smith (2000) suggest large increases in the numbers of computers both in educational institutions and the home in the near future. 6As far as education is concerned, Shaw (2001) identified three main uses of computers: the object of a course, an administrative tool, and a means of providing instruction. 7Fish and Cheam (2002) cite four uses of computers as a means of providing instruction: exercise, tutorial, simulation and problem solving. 8A wide range of computer programmes are now therefore available in all these areas for individual and classroom use.

9However, even though many studies have reported an increased use of computers in education, there has been very little research reported on the effectiveness of such use. 10The purpose of the present study is therefore to ascertain the effectiveness of using computer-assisted instruction as compared to traditional classroom instruction in an EAP writing class.


Useful phrases are.


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