The topic defines the research subject area, for readers who want to know if the paper is in their area of interest. Even if the title gives it, state the topic again early. Never assume, as authors familiar with their topic often do, that the topic is obvious. It is never so obvious that you don’t need to state it.

Choose one topic and use the same words to refer to it throughout the publication, e. g. technology acceptance, technology diffusion and technology evaluation are different topics with different target audiences. Don’t use different terms to refer to the same thing in an interchangeable way just for “variety”. Academics dislike this because a topic can “morph” into something else as the paper processes, e. g. I once reviewed a thesis that began with the topic of technology evaluation (of existing products) in the literature review, but then gathered technology market research (of potential products) data in the method. To avoid such problems, refer to your topic in terms that are consistent throughout.

Background history. Review the topic history to “warm-up” readers by giving unarguable facts that “set the stage”. Give a background that explains how the current situation arose in a way that everyone accepts. Don’t argue any point of view here, just record the past as a good historian might. Good papers always “tell a story” so give some history to connect the present to the past and show that you are aware of the history. Give a brief background history to introduce the research.

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