Carnegie Mellon University

Making the Case for Your Research: Four Novelty Moves

Download PDF Handout: Establish Novelty with Four Rhetorical Moves

Download PDF Handout: Starter Phrases for Novelty Moves

Watch Video: Novelty Moves

Watch Video: Novelty Moves for Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE)

At many points in your academic career, you will need to frame your work as a necessary contribution to the field. These resources teach four rhetorical moves that will help you prove that your research is novel and significant. You can apply this strategy in proposals, research papers, posters, and oral presentations -- really, almost anywhere!

From these resources, you will learn the four novelty moves:

  1. Explain Significance
  2. Describe the Status Quo
  3. Identify a “Gap”
  4. Fill the Gap with your current research

The resources also include annotated example paragraphs broken down into each of the novelty moves, suggestions and signal words to use when applying the novelty moves in your own writing, and adaptations for different fields and disciplines.