Writing the Introduction - From Mixed-Methods Research to a Journal Article - Conference Proposals and Article Types

Writing for Publication: Transitions and Tools that Support Scholars’ Success - Mary Renck Jalongo, Olivia N. Saracho 2016

Writing the Introduction
From Mixed-Methods Research to a Journal Article
Conference Proposals and Article Types

The introduction in a mixed methods research report begins with the importance of the study and the use of mixed methods. It can begin with some of the participants, the scene (i.e., where the research took place), and the plot (i.e., the main research question). Next it provides review of the literature and the problem statement, goals of the study, research objectives, rationale for use of the mixed methods, the research purpose(s), and the research questions (Leech, 2012).

Flecha’s (2014) study of the Roma people (commonly referred to as Gypsies) illustrates beginning the study with a case drawn from the qualitative part of her study. The Roma are one of the most persecuted social groups in the world, and the historical background (quantitative) provides the context:

The Roma are the most important nonmigrant ethnic minority in Europe. They have historically been object of multiple discriminations that have damned them at the margins of society: slavery, expulsions, persecutions, Nazi genocide, and criminalization, among others. The European Union has already alerted that the Roma are one of the groups with highest risk of suffering poverty in Europe. (pp. 245—246)

Because Flecha (2014) has used qualitative approaches as well, she also describes the individual in considerable detail and narrows the gap between researcher and researched as is customary in qualitative research (Habermas 1984):

On December 6, 2011, Rafael, a Roma father of three, did not go to the school to coach the boys on his basketball team. Instead he was a speaker at the INCLUD-ED 1 Final Conference at the European Parliament. Rafael’s life has changed profoundly in the last 5 years: he has left prison, overcome his drug addiction, and worked as a volunteer at the La Paz school. He is now a worker member of the recently created cooperative in the La Milagrosa neighborhood in Albacete, Spain. Speaking to an audience of policy makers, professionals, NGO representatives, researchers, and members of the Parliament, Rafael described how his involvement in the research project was the catalyst for all these changes. (p. 245)