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Dissertation Introduction: How to Write It?

Every dissertation has its beginning. The first chapter of a dissertation or thesis is the introduction. It shows up next to the table of contents and has one simple goal. With the intro, you should draw your potential readers in the research as strong as possible. In this part, it is critical to write about a purpose, direction, and focus of your research.


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According to the experience of professional dissertation writers, crucial elements of any intro are:

  • Context and Topic. What is required for readers to know if they want to understand the paper?
  • Scope and Focus. What is the specific topic aspect addressed in the paper?
  • Importance, and Relevance. How does your research suit the existing knowledge and work on its theme?
  • Objectives and Questions. What is the goal of the research, and how will the paper come to it?
  • Structure Overview. What is the contribution of every chapter in terms of the main goal?

How to Write an Introduction Beginning

Even though the introduction serves as the starting point of the paper, it is not a priority element. In other words, you don't have to write it first. Most frequently, a dissertation introduction is the last part of the paper to write.

Writing a rough introduction draft after you start the research activity is an excellent idea. Later on, it will become an element of your guideline. If you had the experience of proposal writing, it would be useful as it has numerous features identical to those in a dissertation intro. Still, revising the introduction as the writing goes in is an adequate thing. The content of the paper may dictate some necessary introduction changes.

If you want to make your introduction effective, it would be perfect to include the following aspects into it.

Dissertation Context and Topic to Write

Introduce the theme and provide readers with any background data they might need. The critical thing is to mark the appropriate context and involve potential readers. Using a current news theme, debate, or practical scientific problem is the right solution here.

Write Scope and Focus in the Intro

After you provide readers with a short introduction of the overall interest idea, streamline the concentration and mark the focus field of the research. For instance, answer the question correlating with the topic:

  • What is the geographical region of your investigation?
  • What is the period covered in the paper?
  • Which communities does the research focus on?
  • What are the features of the theme which your dissertation should reveal?

Dissertation Importance Reflection

Your motives and reasons for coming up with precisely that research should be shown in the introduction. Additionally, it is excellent to reveal its relation to all the existing knowledge on the same topic. And then to set frames for new concepts and insights you are going to contribute.

In an introduction, you have to provide readers with a short and straightforward overview of the current research status on the topic. Try to cite the most respected literature and other relevant data sources. Then, you may indicate the way your paper is going to fill in the field gap or address the scientific problem. Leave the conduction of a more in-depth source survey for the part with the dissertation literature review.

Regarding the specific field of the paper, the research importance can probably focus on the practical use or theoretical data. In many disciplines, doctoral dissertations involve both theoretical and practical aspects.

In an introduction, you should write how the dissertation:

  • Assists in solving particular problems in theory and/or practice;
  • Fills in the literature gaps;
  • Fulfills existing research and knowledge;
  • Sets frames and propositions for scientists to check the new viewpoint on the topic.

Objectives and Questions to Write

If the most critical part of the dissertation introduction exists, here it is. In this point, you set up the reader's expectations about the whole text written below it. The format of objectives and questions severely depends on the discipline, focus, and topic you work on. Nevertheless, stating the primary goal of the research clearly is a must in any case.

Try to write about your methods briefly. Still, avoid going too deep into details if there is a methodology chapter required for the dissertation.


Write paper introduction


In case the goal of the research is to examine specific hypotheses, formulate them in this part of an introduction. In other instances, hypotheses appear a bit later in the paper, after the literature review is done.

Write Dissertation Structure Overview

To assist readers in going through the whole dissertation, finish your intro with a compact structure overview. Summarize chapters to show their contribution to primary goals. Keeping the overview concise is the most suitable option. It is usually enough to describe the point of every chapter with not more than two sentences.

In case the research has an unconventional structure or a more complex origin, extending descriptions of each part up to the size of a paragraph might be required. For instance, a dissertation in humanities might not divide the whole research into standard sections of methods, results, and discussion. Instead, it can develop an argument topically. When a not-standard structure is the only solution, the point is to make every intro element fit together perfectly.

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