How to Write an Introduction for a Dissertation

Writing the introduction to a dissertation can be difficult, as with any start. Students, both novices and experts, frequently struggle to write an introduction for a research paper. 

Along with finding the information you need for your paper, you may be unsure of how to organize it so that it supports your research, explains your thought process to the reader, and draws them into reading your work. 

This article will address all the issues for writing an introduction for a dissertation to help you overcome the common challenges for students working on their dissertations. 

What is the purpose of an introduction?

What is the importance of an introduction in a research paper? An introduction is responsible for giving the reader the scope of your topic and putting your paper into context. The introduction also tackles the goals of your research, giving the reader a basis to gauge the achievement of your research objectives. 

The introduction should thus highlight the background of your topic to justify your research and build a framework for how ideas ought to be developed within your paper. 

How to write an introduction to a dissertation

  1. Come up with a hook

Preferably, the first sentence of your introduction should pique your reader’s interest, driving them to interact further with your paper. However, be keen to avoid cliché introductions and to ensure the relevance of your hook to the topic. 

Some of the hooks for research papers include rhetorical questions, facts, and statistics which highlight the extent of a research problem. 

  1. Provide a background for your research

After coming up with a hook for your paper, tackle the background of the topic to highlight the research gaps that warrant your research. Here, critique the contradicting information on existing sources to set a basis for the introduction of your thesis. 

  1. Define the problem

After highlighting the research gap, discuss the problem your paper will be addressing. This section should help you to narrow your focus from the general topic to the particular subject your paper ought to address. 

  1. Outline your research aims and objectives

Next, state the goals of your research to give the reader a framework for your dissertation and to highlight the variables you intend to investigate. 

  1. Discuss the significance of your study

The introduction should also highlight the expectations of your study by stating what you hope to achieve through your research. here, you can discuss the application of your expected results and identify how your findings can be used to resolve an existing problem. 

  1. Identify the limitations of your research

Within your introduction, mention the limitations of your research to clarify what you can achieve and the concepts exceeding your research. This will ensure objectivity and allow your reader to define their expectations for your research. 

  1. Outline the structure of your thesis

Finally, outline the approach that you shall take in your study to guide your reader through the development and analysis of your argument. 

Dissertation introduction outline

  1. Hook

A short statement that highlights the importance of your study and grabs your reader’s interest to read your paper. 

  1. Background

Summary of the problem and failures of the existing research to address this problem. 

  1. Thesis statement

Introduction of the main hypothesis for your paper to clarify the purpose of your study. 

  1. Main points

A summary of all the essay objectives and research questions in your paper. Here, you can also tackle the limitations and discuss the order in which your essay objectives shall be addressed. 

Tips for writing the introduction of a dissertation

  • Write the introduction last as you have a better grasp of your key arguments after completing each portion of your research. 
  • Be concise to avoid boring details that would overwhelm your reader. 
  • Ensure that you explain the purpose of your research and highlight the main objectives to manage the reader’s expectations for your paper.
  • Use simple language as opposed to technical jargon to allow a non-field expert to understand your paper.
  • Keep your paper within 10% of the total word count to avoid sharing information for the discussion section within the introduction.
  • check a dissertation introduction example for a better understanding on writing your dissertation. 

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