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In an academic project report, what phrasing should I use to introduce and explain related work? I have to explain several previous projects; I would like to be clear but also avoid repetition.

I came up with the following two examples:

Previous research in this area has focused on the following: ...

In this section we discuss related work...

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What question are you asking? I'm not getting this. (Also, you may want to define "best".) – Neil Fein Apr 30 '12 at 16:51
I believe that he's asking the best way to segue between his words and when he's about to start talking about someone else's words that were seen in another academic paper. – Nathan C. Tresch Apr 30 '12 at 17:04
I think I understand the question; I've edited appropriately. Noah, hope this is good :) – Standback Apr 30 '12 at 17:07
@standback - that makes more sense. – Neil Fein Apr 30 '12 at 17:08
@noah - Are you using APA or MLA? Or another style guide altogether? – Neil Fein Apr 30 '12 at 17:08

"Previous research in this area has focused on..." sounds perfectly fine as an intro to a "related research" section. You may want to make it clear whether it's your previous work or other research in the area that you're building on.

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