Dissertation Introduction Chapter

The introduction is the first chapter of every dissertation. This is the chapter where the writer gives an overview of all the materials and ideas they will present in the subsequent chapters. A dissertation introduction chapter is a factual piece of writing so please do not mistake it with an assignment where you can use creativity. The information in this chapter needs to be properly substantiated. It should contain plenty of transitional sentences and words to make the text flow smoothly from one point or idea to those that follow. This gives readers an idea of what the entire paper will contain and helps them follow the thinking of the writer. Also, the writer needs a combination of hard (academic) and soft (planning and completion) skills to produce an effective dissertation introduction chapter.

 

Writing a Dissertation Introduction 

The introduction chapter for a dissertation or thesis is the first section of such a paper and it is positioned immediately after the paper’s table of contents. It is very important to begin on a strong note to get readers’ attention. This is the right place to set the scene for the rest of your paper because it is your chance to provide a clear direction, focus, and purpose for your research. A good dissertation introduction chapter should:

  • Introduce the topic and give your research context: What information do readers need to see in the introduction for a dissertation to properly understand that paper?
  • The paper’s focus and overall scope: Will you attempt to address any specific facets of your chosen topic?
  • Structural overview: Are there any specific contributions that each of the dissertation’s chapters will make to the paper’s overall objectives?
  • Importance and relevance: Explain how your research fits into the current state of work and/or what is already known about the chosen topic?
  • Research question(s) and its objectives: What do you intend your research to discover and how will this be achieved?

While the introduction for a dissertation appears at the start of the paper, this need not be the first part you think about writing. Indeed, very often, this part is written last (as also happens with the paper’s abstract).

The introduction for a dissertation needs to be self-explanatory and simple. Because of this, you should explain to readers what each subsequent chapter will cover to eliminate the need for having to search for further information. Furthermore, when writing a dissertation introduction, you should stress how relevant your research work is to the field it belongs to and demonstrate that further study is needed in this field. You should also state the aims or objectives of the study you are undertaking. Readers should understand why you felt compelled to carry out research or undertake an investigation of the described problem. Your paper’s objectives should be relevant to the topic and clearly-stated. Additionally, it is a good idea to develop a solid outline to ensure the introductory chapter is concise, informative, and logical.

Where appropriate, a dissertation’s introduction should have subsections, with suitable headings and subheadings. It should also draw attention to any important references you intend to use in your study. This also demonstrates the benefits of writing the introduction at the end. There are no set rules about the length of an introduction since much depends on how long the overall paper is. However, generally speaking, when writing a dissertation introduction, you should aim to make this chapter around 5% to 7% of the paper’s total length.

In typical terms, the introduction should provide background information on the topic, describe its relevance to the overall research, say what the project’s focus and objectives are, and the reason(s) why it is valuable. Providing background information is a way of easing readers into the specifics of the topic. It is necessary to provide a brief overview of all the key publications related to the study here while, simultaneously, avoiding too many citations. A general rule of thumb for writing a dissertation introduction is to provide sufficient information to make it useful but not so much that the chapter feels overloaded.

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