The first paragraph should use sentences that are broad enough to tell the story, but narrow enough for the audience to know what exactly your story is going to be about (banking? information? public debt markets? volatility?). It should have the following structure
- Here is the main question.
- Here is what the literature says about it.
- Here is the gap in the literature.
- Here is why the question or the gap is important, interesting, or — ideally — both. (Hopefully you don’t need to state this explicitly.)
The second paragraph should start off with a sentence to the effect of, “Here is what I do to address this gap in the literature.” Describe concisely your identification strategy and data, but save knitty gritty details for later.