First (or Last?) step to success: Writing Your Dissertation Introduction

The introduction is the first section of your dissertation, so you might think that you should write it first, but this is not the case. You will be far better off writing this section after you have written all other components of your dissertation. Yes, you read that right! 

Since your introduction and conclusion should corroborate, writing both these sections at the end will help you tie up your ideas neatly. This is time-saving too. While writing a dissertation, you will evolve your ideas. You have to go back to your introduction section to edit and rewrite it if you have already written it before writing other parts. 

As a thumb rule, your introduction section should include the following points:

  • Precursory background information

  • A clear focus of your study

  • The importance of your research

  • Your research aims and objectives

Background section

Background information should be the first part of your introduction section. However, the structure of rest constituents lies upon you. Background section is vital to add in the introduction section so that readers can decipher about previous research outcomes and a gap that needs to be addressed. Background section also helps readers to understand the importance of your research. 

You can start it by writing down a list of five to seven most influential citations as demonstrated in your literature review. Write briefly how those citations are relevant to your overall topic. Be wary that your background segment should neither be written too little nor too much. 

Research focus

Your research focus intends to clarify the area of your research and also explain why you have done this research. Do remember that your research focus should support the background information. 

A research focus explains the aims and objectives of your research. You might get stuck to take your readers from background information to your research directions. You have to ease your readers to sustain the flow, thus you can write “My research focus is…”

Your research value

Many scholars fail to include this component in an introduction section, but this is paramount to unequivocally explain to your readers the worth of your research work. You can define it by indicating the limitations of previous studies. You will suggest those areas that lack critical investigation, or you might describe a different perspective toward a problem that can contribute to existing knowledge with the help of your studies. Have a glance at the following excerpt. 

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Research aims and objectives

Bear these four things while writing aims and objectives in your dissertation introduction section: appropriateness, distinctness, clarity and attainability. See the following snippet.

Think for yourself: you only introduce a person to your society, once you know him/her yourself. And your introduction does matter for people in forming the first impression of that person. Similarly, the introduction to your dissertation embarks the reader to a whole new avenue of thought. It must, therefore, be comprehensively written in a well-informed manner. 

Category : Dissertation
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