Learn How to Create a Powerful Introduction for Your Dissertation
The introduction to a dissertation may not be the first part of your dissertation a reader encounters, but it’s still one of the essential parts of the work. An introduction sets the tone of your work, allowing the reader to get a better idea about the kind of things they will get out of the dissertation. That is why a sloppily written dissertation introduction can spoil the success of even the most brilliant piece of writing.
A strong dissertation introduction needs to be concise and clear. Even more importantly, it should completely match the topic of your work, so that the readers get a logical picture while reading your dissertation chapter by chapter.
What Is a Dissertation Introduction?
If you’ve come to the point where you need to write a dissertation, it means you’ve created a fair share of other written assignments and are already familiar with the concept of an introduction as a piece of writing. The introduction of the dissertation is the opening chapter of the work that describes the subject of the dissertation, introduces a thesis statement, and gives the readers an idea of what they will find in work.
The Purpose of the Introduction in a Dissertation
Any dissertation introduction has several clear objectives:
- To demonstrate the value of your dissertation and the practical relevance of the work;
- To get the readers acquainted with the fascinating topic of your dissertation;
- To explore the idea behind the subject with relevant examples.
The Content of a Dissertation Introduction
So what exactly should the introduction of your dissertation contain? The answer to that question largely depends on the specifics of your work, but there are also certain elements that should be present in every dissertation introduction, regardless of the subject:
- The indication of the problem;
- The scope of the work;
- The relevance of the research in the theoretical and practical field;
- The objective of the research;
- The current state of the problem;
- A description of the research design;
Now let’s take a closer look at each of those elements.
Indication of the Problem
In this part of the introduction you need to explain what caused you to research this particular topic. The topic should stem from your own interests to be equally fascinating to your readers.
Using the indication of the problem, define the subject of your dissertation and how it is represented in scientific sources. Don’t include too much research in this part – analyze the literature to find a new angle to look at the problem.
Use this part of your dissertation introduction to explain how your work will have both theoretical and practical value. You can use the discussion parts of scientific sources to better formulate the relevance of your research for the scientific community.
Current State of the Problem
Using relevant scientific literature, let the readers know whether the subject of your dissertation is widely discussed in the scientific field or there has been very little research on the subject.
Formulate a brief and concise research objective and the problem statement of your work, which are two separate parts of the introduction. Designing research questions and hypothesis will help you create a more convincing problem statement. If you’re struggling at this stage, consider reviewing the literature first and then returning to the problem statement.
The description of the research design is essential for a successful dissertation introduction, but don’t make it too detailed, as you’ll describe the research design later in the paper. Just state the primary conditions of the research.
Introduce briefly the structure of your dissertation here. Use one sentence to describe each chapter. Make sure you word your outline description in an academic and engaging manner.
Writing a Research Proposal
A dissertation introduction may be one of the first instances where the reader is acquainted with your work, but you are not required to write every chapter of the dissertation in the same order. Writing a research proposal before the introduction will give you more ideas on what to include in your introduction. Plus, as your work progresses, you can always come back to the introduction and improve it.
It’s an unwritten rule of scientific work that when describing your research plans, intentions, and actions, it’s better to use the present simple tense. Indicating previous research or background information calls for the past simple or present perfect tense.
There are no rules on how long the introduction of your dissertation should be; the length of this chapter of the dissertation should be dictated by common sense and the nature of your work. Trying to fit the introduction into a single page may result in omitting some important information, but you also shouldn’t use the introduction to describe your work to the smallest detail – there will be plenty of opportunities to do it throughout the dissertation.
Editing and Proofreading
One of the reasons why you should spare enough time for writing a dissertation introduction and shouldn’t leave it to the last minute is that you should be able to revise it before submitting the work. Editing and proofreading your work helps you not only eliminate possible spelling and grammar mistakes but can also give you some ideas on how to make your introduction even better.
How to Write a Strong Dissertation Introduction
Here are some universal tips on how to make the introduction for your dissertation stronger:
- Try not to make any claims that you will not be able to substantiate later;
- Use straightforward academic language to write your introduction;
- Avoid cramming too much information in the limited space of the introduction – you’ll get a chance to describe everything in details later;
- Pay special attention to the first sentence of the introduction – use it to grab attention of the readers.
Most students face some problems while writing the introduction for their dissertation, and here are three most common ones:
- The introduction is too long;
- The student tries to get into details, making the reader less interested in continuing reading;
- The introduction was written according to some formula without any consideration for the specifics of the particular work.
Steps to Writing an Effective Introduction
Since the job of the dissertation introduction is to attract the attention of the reader, you need to focus on making the introduction engaging and effective, and these are the steps you need to take:
- Let the readers know about previous researches done in this area;
- Introduce the topic to the readers in a way that instantly convinces them of its worthiness;
- Find gaps in previous researches or new aspects of the problem to locate your own niche in the study.
To occupy the niche, you’ve found during the research, you’ll need to establish the importance of the work you’re doing and describe the value of your dissertation.
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