the usage of " starts off"

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New Member
Urdu Pakistan
Can "Start off" be used formally in academic writing as in:

This chapter starts off by providing a discussion of ...

Can you suggest another alternative term for "Starts off"
  • Aud Duck

    Senior Member
    English--United States
    I don't suppose it would be wrong, exactly, but "start off" strikes me as an informal phrase. I would say "The chapter begins with a discussion of...," or simply "The chapter starts with a discussion of...." The first example is probably preferable. The words "by providing" are unnecessary.


    Senior Member

    The chapter opens with...........................

    The chapter opens with the main character complaining about her Geometry exam.



    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Those possibilities, my favourite would be "This chapter begins ..."

    I come across this quite often, and I have not yet found an example that loses anything when I delete the sentence completely. Why do you feel the reader needs to be told what this chapter begins with?

    Start it, please, then I'll know what it starts with:)

    If it seems necessary to explain what's coming next, what about, "This chapter sets out the ...", "... describes how ...", "... analyses the ...".
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