How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Introduction

Table of Contents

The introduction of a thesis or dissertation serves as a roadmap for the entire paper. It sets the stage for the research and provides context to the reader. The introduction should clearly state the purpose and goals of the research, and it should also briefly outline the methods and structure of the paper. Here are some steps to help you write a strong thesis or dissertation introduction:


      1. Define the research problem: Start by clearly defining the research problem or question that your paper aims to address. This should be stated in a way that is easily understood by the reader.

      1. Provide background information: Give the reader a brief overview of the background and history of the research problem. This should include a review of relevant literature, theories, and previous studies.

      1. State the research objectives: Clearly state the main goals or objectives of your research. This will help the reader understand the purpose and significance of your study.

      1. Outline the structure of the paper: Give a brief overview of the structure of the paper, including the chapters or sections that will be covered. This will help the reader understand the organization of the paper and how the information will be presented.

      1. Provide a thesis statement: Finally, state your thesis statement, which is a clear and concise statement of the main argument or claim of your paper. The thesis statement should be arguable and provide a roadmap for the rest of the paper.

    Focus and scope

    Focus refers to the central idea or topic around which a project, study, or publication is centered. It represents the main area of interest that the project, study, or publication is trying to explore or address. The focus defines the overall direction of the project and helps in staying on track.

    Scope, on the other hand, refers to the extent and boundaries of a project, study, or publication. It defines what is included and what is excluded in a project, study, or publication. The scope helps in setting the limits of the project, study, or publication and helps in determining the resources required to complete it successfully.

    Together, focus and scope provide a clear and concise understanding of the purpose and objectives of a project, study, or publication. It helps in ensuring that the project, study, or publication stays on track and that the resources are utilized effectively.

    Relevance and importance

    The relevance and importance of writing a well-crafted introduction for a thesis or dissertation cannot be overstated. The introduction serves as the first impression that a reader has of your work, and it sets the tone for the rest of the document.

    Firstly, a well-written introduction provides context and background information on your research topic, helping readers understand why your work is important and relevant. It also provides a roadmap for what the reader can expect to learn from your thesis or dissertation, which helps them follow the argument and structure of your work more easily.

    Additionally, a strong introduction can also make your work more accessible to a wider audience, including those who may not have a background in the field. By using clear and concise language, defining key terms, and providing relevant context, you can ensure that your work is understood and appreciated by a broad range of readers.

    Furthermore, a well-crafted introduction can also help improve the discoverability of your work through search engines. By incorporating relevant keywords and optimizing for SEO, you can make it easier for others to find your work when searching for information on your topic.

    Questions and objectives

    The questions and objectives in your introduction hold great significance, as they establish the expectations for the remainder of your thesis or dissertation. The way in which you craft your research questions and objectives will vary based on your field of study, subject matter, and area of emphasis. However, it is crucial to unambiguously articulate the main objective of your study.

    In your introduction, it is appropriate to provide a brief overview of the research methods you employed to address your questions. However, if you plan on including a dedicated methodology chapter, it is not necessary to delve too deeply into the details at this point. If your research involves testing hypotheses, you may state them clearly in the introduction. Additionally, this section may serve as an ideal location to present a conceptual framework, which outlines the interrelationships between various variables.

    Overview of the structure

    End your introduction with a roadmap of the thesis or dissertation to come, to help guide your reader. Offer a brief overview of each chapter, illuminating how they all work together to support your central objectives. Bear in mind, though, to keep this summary brief – a sentence or two is sufficient.


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