It is important when writing a research proposal, a conference paper or a journal article to establish the warrant for your research. This is the rationale for why you are doing the research. Establishing the warrant is usually done through writing what John Swales (1) calls CARS, Create a Research Space. Here’s my adaptation of how CARS goes.
Move 1 Establish a Territory in which to Locate your Work
Step 1 Claim the centrality of the problem in a current policy or professional issue and/or
Step 2 Make the topic generalisations about the problem which will be generally accepted and/or
Step 3 Review relevant items of previous research about the problem… in order to
Move 2, Establish a Niche for Your Research
Step 1 Counter-claim a position in relation to policy, practice or the extant literatures or
Step 2 Indicate a gap in policy, practice or the extant literatures (but do not over claim by saying nothing exists as this is rarely the case. It just means you havent read it yet) or
Step 3 Raise questions about policy, practice or the extant literatures or
Step 4 State that you are continuing and contributing to a tradition of existing research
Move 3. Fill the Niche you have Constructed
Step 1 Outline the purposes of your research or stating the scope and nature of your present research
Step 2 Indicate the key/ principal findings you have or expect to make
Step 3 Signpost the structure of the document to come
Read more about CARS:
(1) Swales, J. (1990). Genre Analysis: English in Academic and Research Settings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.