How to Write a Dissertation Introduction: Tips for Successful Writing
If you start working on your dissertation, make sure you clarify for yourself how to write a dissertation introduction. The introductory section of a thesis paper or a dissertation project is really important for attracting the attention of your readers and maintaining their concentration on the main idea of your paper. Regardless of whether you start your dissertation with an introduction or whether you write the introduction at the end, be sure you know how to write a dissertation introduction. When you are working on your dissertation, never undermine the importance of the introductory chapter.
It is recommended to provide a draft of the introductory paragraph at the point when you are writing your research proposal. It will help you outline the main ideas of your writing as well as to pinpoint the significance of the topic and the research on the whole. Providing the introduction at the point of writing the research proposal does not mean that you will not have a chance or right to adjust it. Surely, you may update the introduction as you change the vector of the research.
The core role of the dissertation introduction is that it highlights the rationale for the main idea of the research, pinpoints to its significance, as well as outlines the main research questions you aim to address. The central aspect of the dissertation introduction is the thesis statement, which should convey the main message of the paper. Apart from these constituents, the introductory section should briefly introduce what literature will be reviewed for the development of your topic. It will help your readers get to know what research is already available on your topic and what information you intend to explore. With the help of the literature review, you will be able to delve into the theoretical framework of your topic and make it properly discussed.
Overall, much responsibility is placed on the role of the introductory paragraph. That is why many students consider the scariest part of writing. Moreover, the introduction should make a lasting impression on the reader. If you are stuck with how to write a dissertation introduction, be sure that the best recommendation will be to consult a professional writer who will help you with that. Apart from custom writing help, many writing agencies also provide guidelines on how to cope with the dissertation introduction successfully.
You need to make sure that you will compose an introduction in an individual manner depending on the topic and the field of research. Read on to know the constituents of a perfect introduction:
- The introduction should highlight how your dissertation project will contribute to the field of research and how the study you have conducted will add up to the theoretical understanding of the assigned topic.
- The introductory section should set the setting for further research that may be conducted as well as broadly convey the ideas concerning the research arguments. Particularly, you need to provide clear ideas about why a specific topic was chosen, how your research will contribute to the general understanding of the topic, what contribution the previously conducted research has provided to the subject area, what aspects of the topic still need to be researched, etc.
- The introduction should not have many citations, quotations or other referrals to the literature. Just provide a summary of the topic, highlight its importance, etc. Please enlist the questions you intend to address. If you are tempted to provide some citations from the literature, be sure that you will have the chance to do so in the literature review section.
- In the introduction, make it clear what you intend to study or investigate. Also, mention the scope of your previous research.
- Hold the intrigue and do not specify in the introduction what outcomes the research will have. Do not let in on many details since the paper will not be interesting to read.
Ideas for Writing a Strong Introduction
- Come up with an interesting and attention-grabbing opening sentence that will draw the attention of your readers.
- Do not try to fit all the information into the introduction. Outline just the main aspects of the paper. Make sure to put forward the central argument.
- Do not mention the information that will not be discussed later.
- Make the language clear and straightforward. The information you include in the introduction should be comprehensible by the readers.
- The vocabulary you choose and the sentence structures you use should be clear for any person who wants to read your paper. As such, the content should be clear even for people who do not specialize in your subject area.
The introduction is the very first dissertation section that comes after the table of contents, so make sure it sets the background for the research as well as highlight the focal idea, the purpose of the research, as well as set the direction. Provide the following elements in the introduction:
- Introduce the topic of the research and provide concise information on the paper context. Include the information that the reader should know when reading your dissertation. Give the necessary background information so that the reader understands the importance of your research and can draw some logical connections between different aspects of the topic.
- Clearly draw the focus of the research as well as its scope. If you address a specific aspect of the topic, clearly state it. Justify your area of interest, make sure you narrow down the focus of the paper and clearly identify the scope of your study. If relevant to the topic, outline the specific time period you cover, specific topics or areas of research you investigate, and specific demographics you have used for the empirical research or experiment.
- Mention how the topic is relevant within a larger scope of research. Does it bear any importance for the research field? Moreover, outline your motivation for conducting this research, etc.
- Outline the research questions and pinpoint the main research objectives.
- Provide an overview of the dissertation structure. Particularly, focus on what information each chapter conveys. Provide citations of the important literature findings. There must have surely been some gaps in the research, so make sure you indicate how your study will contribute to filling the gaps.
Provide an explanation of the following:
- how your research will provide a solution to a specific theoretical or practical problem;
- how your dissertation will fill the existing gap in the research field;
- how your dissertation builds upon the existing subject area;
- put forward a brand-new understanding of the subject area.
The research questions and dissertation objectives are probably the most critical parts of the introductory section. You will outline the core expectations beyond the studies. Actually, the way you formulate the objectives depends on the subject area and the very topic. Still, regardless of the paper focus, you need to be clear when formulating the objectives.
You can also mention the methodology that you apply when answering the research questions. In some cases, you need to provide a separate methodology chapter.
Please formulate the research hypotheses you aim to test. As such, formulate them and also introduce different variables to pinpoint to the connections between them.
Moreover, you need to provide a brief and concise overview of the body chapters. Just one or two sentences will suffice. If the research is really complex and challenging, sometimes the whole paragraph may be needed to provide an overview of each of the following body chapters. Normally, such a dissertation overview is provided at the end of the introductory section.
To draft a successful introduction, you need to do the following:
- Identify your target readers. Before you start writing the opening sentence, make sure you know who your readership is. It is important when it comes to vocabulary choice, sentence structure, as well as the terms you use. Still, please consider that the main reader is your professor, so make sure you impress him/ her to get the diploma.
- Grab the attention of your target readers and maintain their interest. The opening sentence of the paper is essential. Just think how many readers stop reading the whole paper when the opening sentence is weak. Therefore, start with a sentence that will appeal to the audience.
- Provide relevant background information. Make sure the readers understand the central focus of the paper and the thesis statement. Background information will help the readers understand what your paper deals with. The length of the background paragraph will depend on the topic and how well the target audience is knowledgeable about it.
- Provide your target readers with some general knowledge on the topic. If you have a specific topic, make sure you inform the readers about the setting of the research and the reasons for conducting a specific study. As such, state precisely why you are motivated to research the topic and what the scope of the research is. It is equally important to indicate what practical implications the research will have.
- Provide an overview of the key aspects of the research and logically lead to the formulation of the thesis statement. You need to succinctly state the main idea of the dissertation and outline the main points.