How to Write a Killer Dissertation Introduction

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How to Write a Killer Dissertation Introduction

How to Write a Killer Dissertation Introduction

Writing a killer dissertation introduction is inevitable if your aim is to get a distinction in your dissertation. The introduction is a core part of the dissertation structure

The dissertation introduction not only sets the tone for your dissertation but also does the hard work of placing the gist of the dissertation in the mind of the reader/marker.

As such, the introduction must be perfect, covering most of the aspects of your dissertation.

When should you Write the dissertation Introduction?

Due to the fact that the dissertation introduction is the first substantive chapter of your dissertation, it is easy to assume that it should be written first. Far from it, the introduction chapter is best written after a preliminary literature review.

This is important because the introduction must be written when the author already knows what they are doing. When gaps have been established, the scope identified, and limitations set. It is the literature review that also enables the writer to give profound background information on the topic under exploration.

Even then, it is important to review the dissertation introduction after the completion of the dissertation to fine tune it and marry it to the rest of the dissertation.

Why is it Important to review your introduction after completing the dissertation?

The introduction and conclusion of your dissertation can only match when you write in a retrospective manner. The need to match the conclusion with the introduction is important because the former answers questions posed by the latter.

There are higher chances of your ideas evolving and your dissertation developing and, therefore, compelling the need to realign the introduction with these new developments.


Getting Started with the Dissertation Introduction

The introduction to your dissertation should achieve the following;

  • Give preliminary background information that will place the whole article in context
  • Explain your study’s emphasis
  • Highlight on the aim of the research
  • Point out the specific aims of your research

Whereas the background information normally comes first in the introduction of the dissertation, the organization of the remaining three parts is up to you. You can join these parts to best suit your requirements or work with them independently.

You can also introduce other elements that exceed beyond the mentioned four main points as required by your University.

When it comes to length, there is no absolute rule regarding the length of your dissertation introduction, since it is dependent on the length of the whole dissertation. A length between 5 to 7% of the total is entirely accepted.

The introduction part must contain sub-sections that have the best headings and subheadings and should also highlight some of the major highlights that you intend to use in the main research. This explains why writing the introduction of your dissertation last is important.


The Main Background

The background section serves the purpose of introducing the reader to the new topic. It is not right to just highlight the focus and context of your study and the reasons behind the line of that particular research. You should give your reader all the reasons why they should read your research. This can be done successfully by pointing out the gap in the main study and the problem that should be fixed.

It is wrong for the students to state that their topic is interesting to them as a way of justifying their research. The best starting point would be writing a list of the leading five to seven authors that you think are very influential. You can then jot a brief note into why they are influential, and how they best fit together to your general topic.

When writing the background part, one to two pages are just enough, but you should be able to get to the focus of your research quite faster and only give the basic information that enables your reader to appreciate your study in full context.


The Focus of the Research

It is very important to highlight the areas you plan to research and give a clear explanation why you have done the research in the first place. Whereas it is okay to write the parts in different days or months, it should appear like a single continuous flow. To make the sections appear connected to each other, you can use the transitional phrases.

The focus of the research would lead to the objectives and values of the research so that you might think of it as the link between what has happened and the path your research has taken. To give your reader some sort of ease into your topic, stating something like “my research focus is…” in your section’s first line might be considered a bit harsh. The best thing to do is to introduce the main focus, and highlighting why the research is vital as well as the general benefit of the research field.

Adding Value to your Research

The section of the value greatly needs its own sub-section in the introduction of your dissertation. This is due to the fact that it is greatly important to those who would be assessing your work’s merit. There are several ways in which you can answer the question about the value of your research. Viewing the area or topic from a certain point of view might also be considered as adding value to your article.

But whatever reason you come up with to address the question of value addition, ensure that somewhere in the section, you directly explain the added value or the benefit of the research.

 Aims and Objectives in a Dissertation

The Main Differences

An aim is an aspiration, intention or what you expect to achieve. Aims basically are statements of intent that have been written in very broad terms. They tend to set out what you hope to achieve towards the end of your project.

Objectives, on the other hand, are steps or goals that lead to meeting the aim, and how it would be achieved. Objectives use specific statements that define measurable outcomes. The objectives of a dissertation should be measurable, specific, realistic, achievable, and time constrained.

Since they have already been drafted at the proposal section, placing them in the introduction of your dissertation is all about clarity and organization.

The objectives, in most cases, arise from the main aim and explains how the aim shall be met. They are mostly organized either in bullet forms or numbers and are basically terse statements that are not only identifiable but also clear.


When drafting your research objectives, do not forget the following four important things:

  • Distinctiveness – Each of the objectives is entirely focused on achieving the main aim of the research.
  • Appropriateness – Each of the objectives is clearly connected to what you need to study.
  • Achievable – Each of the objectives should be realistic and can be done within a reasonable timeframe.
  • Clarity – They should not be ambiguous in any way.

These research objectives must be clearly addressed in your research. It would not be right to just highlight them in the introductory part of your dissertation and then forget about them. Similar to any part of the dissertation, the section should be properly referenced in the discussion and findings, and not forgetting the conclusion.

As long as the introduction of your dissertation is organized in a clear manner, you are best placed to write the best paper.

Statement of Purpose

This is the major intent or the objective of the study, and so the research purpose should be described in an explicit and logical manner. The statement of purpose allows the audience to fully understand the thrust of the study.

Limitations & Delimitations

This part of the study highlights the potential weakness of the study and its main scope. The limitations are external conditions that tend to constrain or restrict the scope of the study or may interfere with its outcome.

Delimitations, on the other hand, are parameters or conditions that the researcher intentionally imposes so as to limit the scope of a given study. This might include using participants of certain genders, ages, or groups.

Matters to do with Trustworthiness – In this section, measures that have been taken to enhance the study are discussed. The dependability [reliability] and the credibility [validity] are also discussed in this section.

Quality Markers in the Methodology Section

A research cannot be quality if it does not achieve the purpose that is clearly outlined in the introduction part [the part of the research problem and research questions]. The relationship that exists between the kind of data collection, the research paradigm and analysis used in the study has to be very clear. All the relevant information is articulated and presented in a very clear manner. The narrative also has to be accompanied by descriptive and clear visuals such as tables, figures and charts.

Further Reading:     (very important)


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