N°5 : Writing the introduction

Article Article

Particular attention needs to be paid to tense usage in the Introduction section.
Une attention toute particulière doit être portée à l’utilisation des temps dans la partie Introduction.

- The Introduction section, also called Aims, Objective(s) or Background gives background information, and states the reasons for the study. Here, the simple present is used to describe the state of current knowledge in the form of established facts and current hypotheses (in this case, modal forms are frequently used).

- La partie Introduction, parfois appelée Objectifs ou Contexte donne des informations sur les sources et présente les raisons d’être de l’étude. Le simple present est utilisé pour décrire l’état présent des connaissances en tant que faits établis et hypothèses actuelles (dans ce cas, les formes modales sont fréquemment utilisées).

Ex. Simple present: Silent myocardial infarction (SMI) is quite frequent in patients with stable or unstable coronary artery disease (CAD), and has about the same serious prognostic value as symptomatic ischemia. (established facts)

Ex. Modal form in the simple present: In apparently healthy and relatively young individuals with limited cardiovascular risk, exercise testing may reveal SMI, though the false-positive rate is high. (current hypothesis)

The use of the present perfect highlights the dynamic nature of the field of research and the gap that needs to be filled.
L’utilisation du present perfect met en valeur la nature dynamique du domaine de recherche et les lacunes à combler.

Ex. Present perfect: It has been suggested that 24-hour Holter monitoring could be used to detect SMI in certain groups of individuals with a low to moderate risk of CAD. (dynamic nature)

Ex. Present perfect: The value of Holter monitoring to identify SMI and its prognostic significance in apparently healthy subjects has not yet been investigated. (information gap)

This section also presents the aim of the study. Here, the simple past is used.
Cette partie présente également les objectifs de l’étude. Dans ce cas, le simple past est de rigueur.

Ex. Simple past: The aim of this study therefore was to determine the prevalence and prognostic value of SMI as detected during 24-hour Holter monitoring in middle-aged and elderly individuals with no apparent or previous heart disease. (aim of the study)

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