- How to Write a Powerful Dissertation Introduction
- What Is a Dissertation Introduction and Its Purpose?
- What to Write in a Dissertation Introduction?
- 1.Topic Introduction and Scope
- 2.Conceptual Framework and Scientific Background
- 3.Objective and Problem Statement
- 4.Purpose and Research Questions
- 5.Methodology and Key Terms
- 6.Practical and Theoretical Relevance of Your Research
- 8.Outline or Research Structure
- Strong Dissertation Introduction Examples
- Start with Your Research Proposal
- Common Dissertation Introduction Mistakes
- Effective Introduction Tips
- 1. How long is a dissertation introduction?
- 2. What is the difference between introduction and abstract?
- 3. What is the difference between introduction and literature review?
- 4. How to write an introduction for a PhD dissertation?
When writing dissertations, remember that the opening chapter is vital because it’s the first part readers see. A dissertation introduction should be clear, concise, logical, and informative. It should provide a brief overview of your entire work, set its tone, explain purpose, and leave a positive general impression.
A bad start can ruin the most perfect piece of writing. If the content of your introduction does not correspond to the paper itself, you will have to rewrite it. That's why it makes sence to give all the job to academic experts who will write essay for you.
Read on to learn what are the components of the powerful dissertation introduction, what to include in them, and see great introduction examples for better understanding.
What Is a Dissertation Introduction and Its Purpose?
An introduction is the opening chapter or a starting point of a dissertation or a thesis. In it, you should explain the topic of your research, provide a short summary of your work, and get the reader interested in your paper.
The main purpose of writing a dissertation introduction is to achieve these basic goals:
- Introduce your topic and purpose of your study.
- Provide background information and scientific context.
- Convince readers of its practical and scientific relevance.
- Give the reader the scope of your study.
What to Write in a Dissertation Introduction?
An introductory part is important, as it sets the scene of the whole work. Its purpose is to introduce the dissertation. And it should be done in a way that would catch the readers’ attention. An introductory part should give brief answers to the questions Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? A dissertation introduction has specific parts to answer each of these questions. They include:
- Scope and topic introduction
- Conceptual framework and current scientific situation.
- Objective and problem statement.
- Purpose and research questions.
- Methodology and key words.
- Practical and theoretical significance of the research.
- Limitations of the study.
- Outline and structure.
Most commonly, this chapter has 7-8 basic parts, which are mentioned above. Include them to your dissertation introduction to make it complete. However, there is no unique rule or requirement regarding the dissertation introduction parts. They may differ based on the instructions given to you. Thus, Make sure to specify the guidelines with your professor before you start writing.
Now, let’s discuss in detail what to add to each part of a dissertation introduction to make it strong and engaging.
1.Topic Introduction and Scope
The first part of the introduction should include a scope of your dissertation to inform the reader about its content. Define the topic of your dissertation, introduce it, and provide background information like you would do in research paper. Specify the audience who might be interested in reading this paper.
Also, identify the particular aspect of the topic you are going to investigate and the time frame if possible.
2.Conceptual Framework and Scientific Background
In this part of your dissertation introduction (also referred to as a literature review), present the theoretical background of the study. Provide the context of your work. Also, specify the existing relevant articles and other scientific sources. Identify the theories and ideas that serve as a background of your work.
You may also describe the history of development or investigation of the topic. In general, you should inform the reader about the existing knowledge related to your topic and set the context for your work.
3.Objective and Problem Statement
Clearly state the issue you are investigating in this part. To do this, identify the knowledge gap and introduce the problem. Determine the issue you will address and state your main objective, which is the result you want to achieve.
To answer your problem statement, use research questions or hypotheses. If you can’t formulate any strong hypotheses for different reasons, conduct your literature review before developing a conceptual framework.
4.Purpose and Research Questions
Clarify the purpose of your research and specify what you are going to investigate. Mention the specific research questions you will answer. These are the queries answering which will help you meet your objectives. There are three types of research questions: descriptive, comparative, and causal.
Their type depends on the purpose of your research. These questions should be very clear and specific. Usually, at least three questions are listed, but there is no generally accepted number. Also, a good practice will be to mention how and why you came up with these questions. You may also include your hypothesis in this part.
5.Methodology and Key Terms
Briefly outline the methodology of your dissertation. It means you should specify the methods you are going to use to reach the research objectives. You may also include a list of relevant key terms you will use in your dissertation.
6.Practical and Theoretical Relevance of Your Research
Use strong arguments and your knowledge to state the scientific relevance of your research. For this purpose, first, identify the knowledge gap in terms of the investigated article. Specify the questions that haven’t been studied before.
Explain how your investigation will help you fill that gap, solve the issue, or how it will add to the existing knowledge. You may also give a fresh view on the already existing issue. Do not forget to specify what practical benefits your dissertation will bring.
Every study has its limitations. The researcher cannot control them. This is a compulsory part of every research. On the one hand, mentioning the limitations will be helpful for further investigations. On the other hand, you will demonstrate that you have done the research and understand the aspects that limit your study.
If your study misses the limitations part, it might be a sign that you either do not understand the topic under investigation or have done superficial research. Limitations can be related to any part of your paper. For example, it might be peculiarities of the investigated topic, research methods, or lack of time and evidence.
8.Outline or Research Structure
In this part of the introduction, you briefly describe the structure of your dissertation. Give a general outline of your work to inform the reader how your work is structured. Do not provide too many details. A couple of sentences for each chapter will be enough. You may present it in the form of a bulleted list.
Strong Dissertation Introduction Examples
We have prepared a sample of powerful dissertation introduction for you to see how it looks like. Check it for better understanding.
Start with Your Research Proposal
A research proposal is a piece of writing in which you outline your work. Your professor might ask to submit it either before you start working on your dissertation or as a part of your dissertation or thesis. Your action plan or research proposal can be a great start for writing your excellent dissertation introduction.
If the professor asks you to submit it separately, it’s a great chance to receive comments on your weak sides and improve them. Most commonly, in the proposal you:
- Mention the title
- Introduce the topic
- Outline theoretical framework and literature review
- Specify methodology
- Mention limitations
- Give a list of references to be used.
Common Dissertation Introduction Mistakes
They say Good beginning makes good ending. An introduction is an essential part of a dissertation as it introduces your work. Thus, strive to make it perfect. Check the list of the most common mistakes students make in the introduction chapter. Eliminate them if you have identified any to improve your paper.
- Too detailed. Do not try to fit as much information into your introduction as possible. Make it succinct and informative.
- Too long. Always check the instructions attentively or consult with your professor regarding the dissertation length. This factor determines how long your introduction should be. Make sure to meet the length or word requirement.
- Does not correspond to the paper content. Make sure that you meet the objective and answer the questions mentioned in the introduction. Otherwise, you will either have to delete that information from the intro or add answers to the body of the dissertation.
- Uses vague and ambiguous vocabulary. Pay attention to your word choice. Avoid using ambiguous terms as well as those you do not understand.
- Lacks problems statement. Your introduction should always contain the problem statement to give the reader an idea of the dissertation objective.
- Misses research questions. The introduction will be incomplete without research questions. These are the specific queries you are answering in your dissertation.
- Has no limitations. There are no perfect works, and each has its limitations. If you fail to specify them, it means you have not done comprehensive research. Always include this part in your introduction.
Effective Introduction Tips
One of the purposes of writing a dissertation introduction is to catch the readers’ attention and get them interested. Another one is to introduce your work. How to achieve these goals? Make sure to introduce all the structural components and provide some fresh ideas. Include the following information in your introduction chapter:
- Identify a specific research field by showing your targeted audience that it’s significant, problematic, and interesting.
- Specify and evaluate previous research in the same area.
- Mention the value of previous studies.
- Clarify your objective to fill the gaps in previous studies or extend the past knowledge in any possible way.
- Provide the hypotheses and research questions.
- Identify your purpose and objectives.
- Specify the structure of your academic project.
As you might have already understood, an introduction is a vital and an inevitable part of a dissertation. Strive to make it succinct, catchy, and of optimal length. Do not try to include every single detail in the very first part. There are corresponding parts for each piece of information.
If writing is difficult for you and not your cup of tea, try professional assistance. After all, the goal is getting a comprehensive introduction chapter.
1. How long is a dissertation introduction?
There are no strict requirements or set rules when it comes to the correct length of your dissertation introduction. Usually, it depends on the length of the whole dissertation. Most commonly, it takes 5-7% of your dissertation length. Some are reckoned that an introduction chapter shouldn’t take more than one page. The most right answer to this question is: check the instructions or clarify the question with your professor.
2. What is the difference between introduction and abstract?
The difference between these parts is their content and length. An abstract is a short general summary of the whole paper. It usually comes before the introductory part and is rather short. For example, according to the APA guidelines, an abstract shouldn’t be longer than 250 words. By contrast, the introduction is much longer and detailed. It might take a page or, in some cases, 5-7% of the study and gives more details. It mentions the focus of the study, methods, objectives, research questions, and relevance of the dissertation.
3. What is the difference between introduction and literature review?
These are two different chapters of a dissertation. Introduction gives a general idea of the paper, specifies its purpose, methods, and structure. Literature review part provides the existing knowledge on the chosen topic, gives a theoretical framework, and helps identify the knowledge gap, which you are going to fill in your dissertation.
4. How to write an introduction for a PhD dissertation?
Most commonly, PhD dissertation introduction has 7 major components. They include the scope of your work, literature review or theoretical framework, problem statement, research questions, significance of the research, limitations, and paper outline. These are the common dissertation introduction components. Always check the requirements to your paper. If they are not clear, do not hesitate to ask your supervisor questions.