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The CARS Model: A Guide to Structuring Your Research Paper Introduction

The Power of the CARS Model

The CARS (Create a Research Space) model is a highly effective tool for crafting the introduction section of a research paper. Universally applicable across disciplines, it provides a convincing rationale for your research while ensuring easy readability. The CARS model comprises three logical moves that help you create a compelling narrative about the significance of your study.

Move 1: Establishing a Research Territory

The first move involves setting the background of your research by introducing the general field or topic. While Move 1a, which highlights the importance of the topic, is optional, Move 1b is obligatory. In Move 1b, you introduce and review previous research in the area, demonstrating that you are building on existing knowledge.

Move 2: Establishing a Niche

The second move requires you to identify a gap or limitation in the current body of knowledge. By pointing out a missing piece in the literature or an area in need of improvement, you signal the need for your research. Depending on your field, you may present this gap directly or indirectly, emphasizing the importance of addressing the issue.

Move 3: Occupying the Niche

In the third move, you outline the purpose and objectives of your research by showing how it addresses the gap identified in Move 2. You can either present this information purposively, stating your goals explicitly, or descriptively, explaining what your study aims to do. Some fields may also benefit from additional optional sub-moves, such as announcing principal findings, highlighting the contribution of the research, or outlining the paper’s structure.

Using the CARS Model Effectively

By structuring your introduction using the CARS model, you guide your readers through a clear, logical narrative that highlights the significance of your research. By identifying a research territory, establishing a niche, and occupying that niche, you provide a convincing rationale for your study and make it easier for readers to follow and understand your work.

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