Main points of dissertation introduction structure

Apart from the abstract, the last chapter you will write for your dissertation will be the introduction. However, you should be thinking about your introduction consistently throughout the writing process. Here are some general rules to follow when writing an introduction to a dissertation.

  • Write a draft:
    It is advised that you should write a dissertation introduction when you hand in your research proposal. This will provide you with a good outline for your ideas and the reasons why you have decided to study this topic, including what you hope to discover or to establish within your field of study.
    You should continuously update your introduction throughout the writing process. This will help to ensure that your introduction remains at the forefront of your mind throughout the entire research process.
  • What to include:
    Your introduction should detail the aims and the purpose of your research and briefly introduce the literature you are going to review for the topic. The aim here is to show the reader what has already been written on the subject and to provide a theoretical framework. The introduction is a great place to include your own perspectives on any theoretical debates in the literature. You will also need to state how your research can contribute to the already existing body of research, why it is different and how it can contribute to the academic community.
  • Research proposal:
    Your introduction should include a lot of the information in the research proposal. The purpose of the introduction is to set the scene for the work that you are going to do and to provide a detailed explanation of the work that has preceded yours.
  • What not to do:
    Your introduction should not contain too many citations, the aim is to summarize why you want to study this particular topic and the questions you hope to answer. You should leave the majority of the literature for the chapter on the literature review. Even though the introduction is the one of the last chapters you are going to write, it is the first chapter the examiner is going to read. It serves as the beginning of the journey through your work. You can provide a hint of the outcome of your study, but you do not need to include the results of your study.

Tips for a strong dissertation

  • A powerful opening sentence that will captivate the reader
  • Keep it brief you don’t need to go into detail here
  • Don’t make any promises that you won’t be able to deliver
  • Keep the language simple there is no need for technical jargon here