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How to Write a Dissertation Introduction

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Dissertations are a very important part of the lives of youngsters or future researchers pursuing higher education. So, if you’re pursuing higher education, it is an inevitable evil you have to deal with. It’s also pretty beneficial as whatever you have studied throughout your semester, you have to implement all that knowledge in this project. 

The most distressing part of a research project and any thesis or dissertation is the introduction part. As a young scholar, you already know your topic and how you’re going to proceed. But have you figured out how you’re going to start your paper? Well, of course, you haven’t; that’s why you’re here. 

Well, let’s crack that code together. Writing an introduction is not a big deal also, only if you know the right way to craft it. Today, you’ll learn all about it. Let’s start by learning what it is all about. 

What is Dissertation Introduction?

The introduction part is like the opening act of your dissertation. The reason is that this is where you lay the foundation of your entire dissertation. It’s more like setting the stage before getting into the main act. Here, you tell the readers.

  • what your research is about, 
  • why it’s important, and 
  • what they can expect as they dive into your work.

It’s like you’re giving your readers a proper roadmap of the journey they’re going to set on.

The main aim of the introduction of any research project is to provide a clear idea of the topic you are working on. It aims to attract the attention of the reader and give them a solid reason to keep reading. 

Why is the Thesis Introduction Important?

Well, as you can understand pretty well, the introduction part of any dissertation is as important as the entire dissertation. Let’s dig a tad bitter deeper to understand how –

Establishes the Research Context

The dissertation introduction chapter gives the reader enough background so that they can understand where your work better. The readers get an idea of why you chose that particular topic and how it is relevant to the field you’re pursuing. 

Clarifies the Research Problem

Now comes the part where we’ll talk about the research questions. The introduction is the part where you will give a brief overview of the central theme to your readers. This will provide your readers with the direction of your work before you jump into the main part.

Justifies the Research

Now comes the part where you’ve to justify your research. The intro part lets you explain to your readers the significance of your research objectives and what your research aims to contribute to the field of study. Convincing the reader of your research’s value is crucial for keeping them engaged.

Sets the Scope and Boundaries

The introduction also defines what your research will and won’t cover. By setting these boundaries, you help manage the reader’s expectations and keep your study focused.

Provides an Overview of the Structure

Usually, the introduction wraps up with a quick rundown of what’s coming next. You have to briefly give a sneak peek of the structure of your research dissertation before moving ahead with the detailed explanation part. 

So you can understand by now that this introduction part is like the first chapter of a book—it needs to grab the reader’s attention and set up the story. Nail this part while you write a dissertation, and you’re off to a great start with your dissertation.

How to Start A Dissertation Introduction?

Now, let’s jump to the main part. It’s not about just putting words randomly here and there and calling it a piece. You have to take the existing research and sort it to put the hooks in the opening and rest for the later part. It sounds a bit taxing, but trust me it’s just about putting your fingers in the right rhythm. Let’s see how to do that –

  1. Hook Their Attention:

Start your intro with something that makes people go, “Whoa, I need to read more of this!” If you want to use a very intriguing question for that or an interesting fact – whatever works for you!

  1. Give the Big Picture:

Paint a quick picture of what’s going on in the world that makes your research important. This is paramount because, through this, you will make people understand how relevant your work is. 

  1. Simplicity is Paramount:

Don’t try to sound like a super fancy. Be very clear and just say what you mean in very simple language so everyone can understand what you’re talking about.

  1. Be on Point:

Nobody has time for a long-winded intro. So don’t beat around the bush and get to the good stuff right away and get to the main point straightaway. 

  1. Explain Why It Matters:

Tell people why your research is a big deal. How does it help solve a problem or answer an important question? Make them see why they should care about what you’re doing.

  1. Think Beyond the Books:

Don’t just talk about your research in academic terms. Explain how it could actually make a difference in the real world – like helping businesses grow or improving people’s lives.

  1. Show What’s Missing:

Now find out that ‘X’ factor that’s not present already and can turn your good introduction into the best one. This is your chance to say, “Hey, nobody’s looked at this part yet – that’s where I come in!”

  1. Lay Out Your Goals:

Say what you’re trying to accomplish with your research. Keep it simple and straightforward – just tell people what you hope to achieve.

  1. Set Some Boundaries:

Your research objective is not to be Batman and solve the world’s problems. So let people know about your focus and be within your boundaries. 

  1. Make It Flow Like a Story:

Your intro should feel like a smooth ride from start to finish. Don’t jump around between ideas – keep things organized and easy to follow.

  1. Give a Sneak Peek:

You can show your introduction as a trailer of a movie. It should be more like a sneak peek into the main meaty part of the story with all the juice and herbs. So, the intro part should make the readers eagerly wait for the main thesis or dissertation.

  1. A Third Eye View:

Well, sometimes, what a third person’s perspective can do, even the brightest mind cannot. And who can give you some quirky ideas other than your friends? So, before drafting your final intro, make your peers read the initial one and share their ideas.

  1. Polishing Makes Perfect:

No matter how big of a wordsmith you are, you, too, are bound to make mistakes. So, make sure to proofread and edit your work properly. 

  1. Make People Curious:

Leave them wanting more! Use intriguing facts or questions to pique their curiosity and make them eager to dive into your research.

  1. Keep It Professional:

Even though you are making it very interesting and intriguing, you have to make sure that you are keeping your professionalism intact. You cannot use any slang words and only use formal ways of writing. 

  1. Explain Any Tricky Words:

Well, before using any difficult word, think whether your readers will understand it or not. As much as we love to use sophisticated phrases or words to make everything sound very intriguing, we have to remember that not all of our readers are language experts. 

  1. Think Like Your Reader:

Now that you are thinking about your reader’s perspective go a few steps ahead and think about how they might perceive your information. This will help you to make your work even more relatable for your readers. 

  1. It’s Showtime:

Sometimes, just reading paragraphs can be very tiring and monotonous. So why don’t you add some spice to it by backing your claims with some graphics? This way, the readers will understand more and believe more. 

  1. Address Potential Counterarguments:

No matter what topic you choose, you can pick any of the cool fashion dissertation topics or history ones; counterarguments are inevitable. So before they can question you, why don’t you address them in your introduction? The best part of doing this is your readers will get the impression that you have considered all the sides before stepping into the battle.

  1. Tell Them What To Do

Your readers know that they are reading the introduction part, and next, they have to read the main part. But are you sure they are going to do it even if you have laid a slippery path to make them glide better? No right? So make sure to clearly tell them what to do. Of course, don’t write, “Read the main dissertation”; be creative there and covey your call to action. 

So, these points are some tried and tested methods that can actually help you craft a perfect thesis introduction. Although we strongly advise you not to blindly follow the steps, you must add your customization to make your work as unique as you are. 

Dissertation Introduction and Requirements

So you know what to do and what to put where. But what are the important elements you must not miss while writing a thesis introduction? Let’s see what’s there in the perfect dissertation layout of a perfect dissertation introduction chapter. 

  1. Context and Background

Setting the Scene – To kick off your dissertation, start by painting a broad picture of the topic you’re diving into. Think of this as setting the stage for your research. Explain the general field you’re working in and why it matters right now. 

Historical and Theoretical Background – Next, give a quick rundown of how this topic has evolved over time. Mention some key theories or ideas that have shaped current understanding. This helps show that you know your stuff and where your research fits in.

  1. Research Problem and Questions

Identifying the Research Gap – Here’s where you pinpoint the gap in existing research that your study aims to fill. Why is this gap important? Explain why it’s worth investigating and how your research can help bridge this gap.

Research QuestionsWell, this is a very important part that you just cannot miss. List out the central question of your research – the answers your research aims to find. 

  1. Objectives and Aims

Main Objectives – Do not forget to lay out the big goals of your research. These are the broad outcomes you hope to achieve by the end of your study.

Specific Aims – Break those big goals down into specific, actionable steps. These are the smaller, detailed tasks that will help you reach your main objectives.

  1. Significance of the Study

Academic Contributions – Talk about how your research will contribute to academic knowledge. What new insights or understanding will it bring to your field?

Practical Implications – Logic is very important behind every theory, so no matter what, don’t miss the practical part. You must explain the practical applications or relevance of the claims you’re making. 

  1. Methodological Approach

Overview of Methodology – You obviously won’t be able to provide the entire research methodology in the thesis introduction part. So, what you can do here is add a snapshot of the same, which will include the overall design and the specific techniques you’ll use to gather and analyze data.

Justification for Methodology – Now, explain why you chose these methods. How do they suit your research objectives? Why are they the best fit for your study?

  1. Structure of the Dissertation

Chapter Breakdown – Provide a brief outline of your dissertation’s structure. Summarize what each chapter will cover so readers know what to expect.

Logical Flow – Make sure this outline shows a clear and logical progression from one chapter to the next. This helps guide your readers through your research journey smoothly.

  1. Limitations and Scope

Scope of the Study – Define the boundaries of your research. What specific areas are you focusing on, and what are you leaving out? This helps set clear expectations for what your study will cover.

Acknowledging Limitations – Be upfront about any limitations your study might have. Acknowledging these shows you’re aware of the constraints and helps frame your findings within these limits.

  1. Wrap Up

Summary of Introduction – You must be thinking what’s the point of adding a conclusion part in a thesis introduction? Well, you must because, without it, your entire work will be incomplete. Provide a quick recap of the key points you’ve covered. Reinforce the importance of your research and its potential impact.

Transition to the Next Chapter – Now, end with a smooth transition to the next chapter; mind it: your aim is to make your readers read the entire thesis or dissertation. So, mention briefly what’s coming next, like a review of the existing literature or methodology discussion, to keep your readers hooked.

  1. Literature Review Summary

Key Studies and Findings – Now it’s time to connect your own work with the previous research work of other people. What your research aim is after studying those works? Highlight the key pieces that have helped you to give your thesis writing the perfect shape. 

Identifying Gaps and Contributions – While you’re building your research objectives and conclusion chapter on those key studies, it is important to find the gaps. Discuss how your research will build on these key studies. If there’s no weakness in the previous thesis or dissertation, then what’s the point of you working on the same topic? 

  1. Personal Motivation and Relevance

Personal Interest –  Now it’s time to explain your personal choice. You must have found various online dissertation topics then what intrigued you to choose that particular one? This is the best way to make your readers relate to you. 

Broader Impact – Every topic you are working on, or no matter what your research question is, should have some impact on society. You have to find that out and convey that to your readers. 

So, these are the key elements of a perfect thesis introduction. However, it is not exactly the flow of information. You can experiment with that and add a pinch or handful of your creativity, but that also should have some relevance to your work. 

Example of Comprehensive Dissertation Introduction

Just like you must provide enough examples to your readers to understand what you want to say, we also practice what we preach. So here’s an example of how your research intro should look like – 

Topic: Increasing Mental Health Issues Amongst Working Women

Chapter 1: Introduction

  1. Background
  • Start with providing a brief summary of the mental health issues in the modern workplace. 
  • Next, talk about the general trends in mental health, particularly focusing on the rise in mental health concerns globally and the specific impact on women. 
  • While stating these facts, make sure to add relevant statistics and reports.

Problem Statement

  • Now, talk about the specific problem: the increasing prevalence of mental health issues among working women
  • Next, write about the scope of the problem by specifying how it affects this demographic and why it is a significant issue that warrants scholarly attention.

Purpose of the Study

  • Next up, it’s time to talk about the main objectives of your research. 
  • Now, outline what you aim to prove through your study. 
  • Here, you can talk about your primary aims and goals.

Central Questions

Now, the most important part, make sure to list out the central questions, which are the guidaing stars of your study. You just can’t ask some questions randomly. These questions must be very specific and directly related to the theme. For example:

  • What are the main factors contributing to mental health issues among working women?
  • How do these issues impact their professional and personal lives?
  • What strategies or interventions can mitigate these mental health challenges?

Significance of the Study

  • Here, you can discuss the importance of your research. 
  • Make sure to give a clear idea of how it will contribute to the existing body of knowledge. 
  • Also, you can highlight the benefits that various individuals can get from your study.

Theoretical Framework

  • There will be various theoretical models that underpin your research; introduce them here. 
  • Introduction only won’t help, so explain how it can help you find your answers.
  • Some of these theories are –
    • feminist theory, 
    • occupational health psychology, or 
    • stress-coping models.

Scope and Delimitations

  • As mentioned before, you are not here to solve all the problems related to women’s psychology, so explain your boundaries. 
  • Be very specific about what aspects of the problem will be covered here and what will not be addressed. 

Definitions of Key Terms

  • You will use various key terms and concepts throughout your dissertation; you need to explain them, too. 
  • Make sure you explain them so clearly that your reader has a consistent understanding of these terms as they read through your work.

Organization of the Dissertation

  • Here, you will provide a sketch of the structure summarizing what each chapter will cover. 
  • Make sure to be very brief and accurate so that your readers understand the flow of your work.


  • Conclude your intro with a brief summarization of what you just wrote.
  • Give something to your readers to look forward to.
  • Provide a call to action as well.

Dissertation Introduction Checklist

Academic Writing can be a tad bit confusing, especially if you are dealing with something like a dissertation. You can pick any topic, from trending Political Science research topics to common Psychology topics; writing a dissertation, especially the introduction part, is always the trickiest one. 

That is the very reason most youngsters or newbies end up attempting a few very common mistakes. So, if you want to make your paper stand out of the crowd, you must keep your seventh sense on and avoid the following pitfalls. 

  1. Being Vague and Unfocused

One of the biggest slip-ups most of the newbies like you make is not clearly saying what your research is all about. You must be to the point while crafting your introduction. If your intro doesn’t spell out the problem you’re tackling, then it will be difficult for your readers to understand the aim of your work. Don’t be vague or write random things; otherwise, your readers will be left clueless and eventually lose interest.

  1. Not Enough Background Info

Without proper context, your readers will not understand how your work is relevant. So make sure you don’t skimp on the background section. But again, don’t go overboard with it, as you will have to talk about it in detail in your literature review section.

  1. Overloading with Details

One of the major reasons most students tend to lose their focus is adding too many details to their work. Adding a lot of information won’t make your work attractive or informative; it will just confuse your readers. For the introduction part, brief explanations are good to go.

  1. Missing a Clear Thesis Statement

As mentioned multiple times before that, your thesis statement is among the most important part of your work. But often, youngsters either completely skip mentioning it in the intro, or the way they put it makes it very difficult for the readers to understand. 

  1. Skipping the Research Gap

Most students often fail to mention the research gap present in the existing literature. Skipping this part makes the entire study pointless. 

  1. Weak Justification for Your Study

Saying your research is important isn’t enough. You need to convincingly explain why it matters. What impact could your findings have? Whether it’s advancing theory, improving practice, or influencing policy, make sure you spell out the significance.

  1. Unclear Hypotheses

Your hypotheses should be front and center. They guide your study and help readers understand what you’re exploring. If they’re unclear or poorly defined, it’s hard for readers to get a grasp on your research direction.

  1. Not Defining Scope and Limitations

You should clearly define what your research will and won’t cover. Setting these boundaries helps manage expectations and gives a realistic view of your study’s scope. Don’t ignore this part, or readers might expect more than you can deliver.

  1. Messy Structure and Flow

Your introduction should flow logically from one point to the next. Avoid jumping around or presenting disjointed ideas. A well-structured introduction keeps readers engaged and makes your argument easier to follow.

  1. Forgetting Your Audience

Remember who you’re writing for. Tailor your introduction to your audience’s knowledge level. If it’s too technical or too basic, you’ll lose their interest. Aim for a balance that’s accessible yet informative.

  1. Disjointed Narrative

Your introduction should tell a cohesive story. If it’s full of unrelated ideas and abrupt transitions, readers will struggle to follow. Make sure all parts of your introduction connect smoothly.

  1. Boring Opening

You want to hook your readers from the start. Don’t begin with something dry or overly technical. Try opening with an interesting fact, a relevant story, or a thought-provoking question to draw readers in.

  1. Inconsistent with the Rest of the Dissertation

Your introduction should align with the rest of your dissertation. Make sure the objectives, research questions, and scope you outline match what you cover in the later chapters. Inconsistencies can confuse readers and weaken your overall argument.

If you can avoid these mistakes, no one can stop you from crafting the perfect introduction for your dissertation paper and score impressively with it. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you start an introduction for a dissertation?

Alright, when you’re kicking off your thesis introduction, why don’t you think of it like starting a conversation with a friend? It makes things pretty easy. However, of course, you cannot use all the slang and social media lingo. 

  1. Just like you start your conversation with a question or a cool story, you can use that way here as well. 
  2. Followed by some details to make them understand what is backed with proper explanation. 
  3. Here, you are explaining things to your readers, not your friends, so you have to maintain that balance, of course. 
  4. After that, tell them more about your main problem and whose solution you’re seeking through this research.
  5. Finally, end your intro with a sneak peek of the rest part. 

Unlike any other chapter, you have to fill in a lot of things in a small space, so be very particular or what to keep and what not to. 

How Long Should A Dissertation Introduction Be?

Not everything comes with a rule book. Well, yeah, the thesis of dissertations does come with a rule book, but the introduction part is where you can enjoy your freedom. Here you can feel free to think quality over quantity. But of course, there are some limits too. You’re setting a stage for your readers doesn’t me you want to bore them, right? So, you can aim for around 5% to 10% of the total word count of your dissertation. In anyway you’re going to write your intro in the last, so you’ll know how much it should be. So if your dissertation is, say, 10,000 words long, your intro should be around 500 to 1000 words. But hey, every dissertation is different, so just make sure it covers all the important stuff without dragging on too much.

What Is The First Paragraph Of A Dissertation?

Have you ever watched a blockbuster movie? Or have you ever thought about why certain reels have so many views? The magic is in the first 5 seconds. It is the time when you get to grab the attention of your audience or reader, in your case. So, you have to make the first paragraph the most attractive one. Start with a bang if you must. It has to be something that will make them sit up and take notice. Go for a shocking fact or a thought-provoking question. Whatever serves the purpose. But it has to be brief and, of course, hooking. 

How Many Pages Is A Dissertation Introduction?

Well the page count entirely depends upon the word count of your intro. So, if your thesis introduction is roughly around 5% to 10% of the total length of your paper, then the page count will also follow the same ratio. Although it kind of becomes very stressful to balance the word count and page count. So, to avoid that, keep your fonts small. Not too small also, your aim is to make your readers stay till main conclusions without stressing their eyes. 

How Do You Start A Dissertation Example?

Alright, let’s dive into an example of how to kick off your dissertation in style. Imagine you’re starting with a bang, like the opening scene of a blockbuster movie. Start with something that will grab your reader’s attention – maybe a surprising fact or a gripping story. Then, pump up the background section well enough that your readers know what you’re upto. Next up, hit them with the main point: what’s the problem you’re tackling with your research? Finally, wrap it up by giving them a taste of what’s coming next in your dissertation.

How Do I Start My Introduction?

Alright, when it comes to starting your introduction, think of it like starting a conversation with a friend. You wanna kick things off with something that grabs their attention – maybe a cool fact or an interesting question. Then, give them a bit of background info to fill them in on what you’re talking about. After that, dive into the main point: what’s the problem you’re trying to solve or the question you’re trying to answer? Wrap it up by giving them a sneak peek of what’s coming next in your dissertation. Easy peasy!

How Do You Make Your Dissertation Introduction Stand Out?

The best way to make your work better than the rest is to think out of the box. Everyone will start their intro with a hook. While most students prefer to follow the tried and tested paths, you can add a pinch of your own uniqueness to level up the taste of your work. First off, understand who your target readers are, think of something that connects your thoughts with them, and use it properly. Rest is just a cakewalk. 

What Are Some Common Pitfalls To Avoid When Writing A Dissertation Introduction?

When writing an introduction, you must avoid common pitfalls that can detract from its effectiveness. Some of these pitfalls include:

  1. Avoid including unnecessary details or overly complex language that may confuse or overwhelm the reader.
  2. Make sure your introduction clearly states the central questions to make your readers understand the purpose of your study.
  3. There must be enough background information to help readers understand the significance of your research.
  4. Make sure to give your readers an overview of what to expect in the rest of your dissertation.

How Can You Ensure That Your Dissertation Introduction Is Relevant?

Making your intro relevant is paramount, but it’s not a big deal also. 

  • Start by thoroughly researching your topic
  • and understanding its significance within the real-world context. 
  • Make your writing easily comprehensible by the readers,
  • Add facts and figures to make it relatable for your reader. 

How Can You Effectively Transition from Your Introduction To The Main Body Of Your Dissertation?

The best way to make the flow of your work smooth is to make an effective transition between the intro and the body sections. For this purpose, you can 

  • Use various transitional phases.
  • Add a hook to make your reader look out for the rest
  • Use a call to action command. 

Apart from this, make sure whatever you are writing in this transitional part is relevant to the main body of your paper.

Hi, I am Mark, a Literature writer by profession. Fueled by a lifelong passion for Literature, story, and creative expression, I went on to get a PhD in creative writing. Over all these years, my passion has helped me manage a publication of my write ups in prominent websites and e-magazines. I have also been working part-time as a writing expert for for 5+ years now. It’s fun to guide students on academic write ups and bag those top grades like a pro. Apart from my professional life, I am a big-time foodie and travel enthusiast in my personal life. So, when I am not working, I am probably travelling places to try regional delicacies and sharing my experiences with people through my blog. 

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