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How to Write a Thesis Introduction

What types of information should you include in your introduction .

In the introduction of your thesis, you’ll be trying to do three main things, which are called Moves :

  • Move 1 establish your territory (say what the topic is about)
  • Move 2 establish a niche (show why there needs to be further research on your topic)
  • Move 3 introduce the current research (make hypotheses; state the research questions)

Each Move has a number of stages. Depending on what you need to say in your introduction, you might use one or more stages. Table 1 provides you with a list of the most commonly occurring stages of introductions in Honours theses (colour-coded to show the Moves ). You will also find examples of Introductions, divided into stages with sample sentence extracts. Once you’ve looked at Examples 1 and 2, try the exercise that follows.

Most thesis introductions include SOME (but not all) of the stages listed below. There are variations between different Schools and between different theses, depending on the purpose of the thesis.

Stages in a thesis introduction

  • state the general topic and give some background
  • provide a review of the literature related to the topic
  • define the terms and scope of the topic
  • outline the current situation
  • evaluate the current situation (advantages/ disadvantages) and identify the gap
  • identify the importance of the proposed research
  • state the research problem/ questions
  • state the research aims and/or research objectives
  • state the hypotheses
  • outline the order of information in the thesis
  • outline the methodology

Example 1: Evaluation of Boron Solid Source Diffusion for High-Efficiency Silicon Solar Cells (School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering)

Example 2: Methods for Measuring Hepatitis C Viral Complexity (School of Biotechnology and Biological Sciences)

Note: this introduction includes the literature review.

Now that you have read example 1 and 2, what are the differences?

Example 3: The IMO Severe-Weather Criterion Applied to High-Speed Monohulls (School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering)

Example 4: The Steiner Tree Problem (School of Computer Science and Engineering)

Introduction exercise

Example 5.1 (extract 1): The effects of Fluoride on the reproduction of three native Australian plant Species (School of Geography)

Example 5.2 (extract 2): The effects of Fluoride on the reproduction of three native Australian plant Species (School of Geography)

Example 5.3

Example 5.4 (extract 4): The effects of Fluoride on the reproduction of three native Australian plant Species (School of Geography)

Example 5.5 (extract 5): The effects of Fluoride on the reproduction of three native Australian plant Species (School of Geography)

Example 5.6 (extract 6): The effects of Fluoride on the reproduction of three native Australian plant Species (School of Geography)

Well, firstly, there are many choices that you can make. You will notice that there are variations not only between the different Schools in your faculty, but also between individual theses, depending on the type of information that is being communicated. However, there are a few elements that a good Introduction should include, at the very minimum:

  • Either Statement of general topic Or Background information about the topic;
  • Either Identification of disadvantages of current situation Or Identification of the gap in current research;
  • Identification of importance of proposed research
  • Either Statement of aims Or Statement of objectives
  • An Outline of the order of information in the thesis

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How to write an introduction chapter for a thesis

Louisa Hill is a Senior Teaching Fellow and delivers workshops for Postgraduate Researchers who want to teach.

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When writing a thesis, you will need to write an introductory chapter. This chapter is critical as it is the first thing that the examiner will read and it is therefore important to make a good first impression. 

A good introduction chapter should incite the reader to read the rest of the thesis by establishing the context of your topic, the motivation for undertaking your work and the importance of your research.

As a lecturer and supervisor, I have read many introductory chapters for research projects such as theses. Here is my advice to those undertaking a research project and writing a thesis.

Capture the reader’s interest

Initially you need to capture the reader’s attention with a discussion of a broader theme relating to your research. To add impact draw on research, data and quotations from international or national professional bodies, governmental organisations or key authors on the topic of study.

Give an overview of your research topic

Your discussion should then begin by detailing the broader aspects of the topic more, before focussing on the specific topic of your research. It is a good idea when you do this to assume that the reader knows nothing about your topic. Therefore definitions, drawing on key research, need to be clarified and explained. Alternatively, if having read key literature for the literature review chapter, you are not satisfied with existing definitions, then draw on these, to devise your own (but make it clear you have done this).

Detail how your research is going to make a contribution

You must then sell your idea for undertaking the research topic, demonstrating the main reasons why the research will make a significant contribution to the current body of research. This can be achieved by demonstrating a gap or limitation with existing research, then showing how your research will resolve this. There are different types of contribution (see  Constructing Research Questions: Doing Interesting Research ).

Explain what your interest is in the topic

Next you need to demonstrate your personal reasons for choosing the topic. These could relate to your previous research, work or experiences.

List your research objectives

You need to include your three or four overarching research objectives. Also include corresponding research questions if it is a qualitative piece of research or hypotheses if it is quantitative-based. The former are usually derivatives of the research objectives. Note though that these objectives and questions or hypotheses are fluid in nature and can be tweaked as you undertake the research.

Give a forthcoming chapter overview

The final part of the introduction is an overview of the rest of the chapters in the thesis. The other sections can go in any order, providing it is a logical sequence.

Learn from others

Look at other theses for example from  White Rose etheses  or your university library’s website. The majority of journal articles that you will read in the content of your topic will also provide useful insights.

Speak with your supervisor

Remember to always speak with your supervisor and have regular catch-ups. They will be able to offer guidance and encouragement, and steer you in the right direction.

Related content

  • Writing a research PhD proposal
  • Presenting with impact
  • The benefits of undertaking a placement alongside your PhD

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How to write a good thesis introduction

best thesis introduction

Many people struggle to write a thesis introduction. Much of your research prep should be done and you should be ready to start your introduction. But often, it’s not clear what needs to be included in a thesis introduction. If you feel stuck at this point not knowing how to start, this guide can help.

Tip: If you’re really struggling to write your thesis intro, consider putting in a placeholder until you write more of the body of your thesis. Then, come back to your intro once you have a stronger sense of the overall content of your thesis.

A good introduction draws readers in while providing the setup for the entire project. There is no single way to write an introduction that will always work for every topic , but the points below can act as a guide. These points can help you write a good thesis introduction.

  • 1. Identify your readership

Before even starting with your first sentence, consider who your readers are. Most likely, your readers will be the professors who are advising you on your thesis.

You should also consider readers of your thesis who are not specialists in your field. Writing with them in your mind will help you to be as clear as possible; this will make your thesis more understandable and enjoyable overall.

Tip: Always strive to be clear, correct, concrete, and concise in your writing.

  • 2. Hook the reader and grab their attention

The first sentence of the thesis is crucial. Looking back at your own research, think about how other writers may have hooked you.

It is common to start with a question or quotation, but these types of hooks are often overused. The best way to start your introduction is with a sentence that is broad and interesting and that seamlessly transitions into your argument.

Once again, consider your audience and how much background information they need to understand your approach. You can start by making a list of what is interesting about your topic:

  • Are there any current events or controversies associated with your topic that might be interesting for your introduction?
  • What kinds of background information might be useful for a reader to understand right away?
  • Are there historical anecdotes or other situations that uniquely illustrate an important aspect of your argument?
  • 3. Provide relevant background

A good introduction also needs to contain enough background information to allow the reader to understand the thesis statement and arguments. The amount of background information required will depend on the topic .

There should be enough background information so you don't have to spend too much time with it in the body of the thesis, but not so much that it becomes uninteresting.

Tip: Strike a balance between background information that is too broad or too specific.

  • 4. Give the reader a sense of what the paper is about

Let the reader know what the purpose of the study is. Make sure to include the following points:

  • Briefly describe the motivation behind your research.
  • Describe the topic and scope of your research.
  • Explain the practical relevance of your research.
  • Explain the scholarly consensus related to your topic: briefly explain the most important articles and how they are related to your research.
  • 5. Preview key points and lead into your thesis statement

At the end of your introduction, you should lead into your thesis statement by briefly bringing up a few of your main supporting details and by previewing what will be covered in the main part of the thesis. You’ll want to highlight the overall structure of your thesis so that readers will have a sense of what they will encounter as they read.

  • Frequently Asked Questions about writing a good thesis introduction

A good introduction draws readers in while providing the setup for the entire project. There is no single way to write an introduction that will always work for every topic, but these tips will help you write a great introduction:

  • Identify your readership.
  • Grab the reader's attention.
  • Provide relevant background.
  • Preview key points and lead into the thesis statement.

A good introduction needs to contain enough background information, and let the reader know what the purpose of the study is. Make sure to include the following points:

  • Briefly describe the motivation for your research.

The length of the introduction will depend on the length of the whole thesis. Usually, an introduction makes up roughly 10 per cent of the total word count.

The best way to start your introduction is with a sentence that is broad and interesting and that seamlessly transitions into your argument. Consider the audience, then think of something that would grab their attention.

In Open Access: Theses and Dissertations you can find thousands of recent works. Take a look at any of the theses or dissertations for real-life examples of introductions that were already approved.

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How to write a fantastic thesis introduction (+15 examples)

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The thesis introduction, usually chapter 1, is one of the most important chapters of a thesis. It sets the scene. It previews key arguments and findings. And it helps the reader to understand the structure of the thesis. In short, a lot is riding on this first chapter. With the following tips, you can write a powerful thesis introduction.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase using the links below at no additional cost to you . I only recommend products or services that I truly believe can benefit my audience. As always, my opinions are my own.

Elements of a fantastic thesis introduction

Open with a (personal) story, begin with a problem, define a clear research gap, describe the scientific relevance of the thesis, describe the societal relevance of the thesis, write down the thesis’ core claim in 1-2 sentences, support your argument with sufficient evidence, consider possible objections, address the empirical research context, give a taste of the thesis’ empirical analysis, hint at the practical implications of the research, provide a reading guide, briefly summarise all chapters to come, design a figure illustrating the thesis structure.

An introductory chapter plays an integral part in every thesis. The first chapter has to include quite a lot of information to contextualise the research. At the same time, a good thesis introduction is not too long, but clear and to the point.

A powerful thesis introduction does the following:

  • It captures the reader’s attention.
  • It presents a clear research gap and emphasises the thesis’ relevance.
  • It provides a compelling argument.
  • It previews the research findings.
  • It explains the structure of the thesis.

In addition, a powerful thesis introduction is well-written, logically structured, and free of grammar and spelling errors. Reputable thesis editors can elevate the quality of your introduction to the next level. If you are in search of a trustworthy thesis or dissertation editor who upholds high-quality standards and offers efficient turnaround times, I recommend the professional thesis and dissertation editing service provided by Editage . 

This list can feel quite overwhelming. However, with some easy tips and tricks, you can accomplish all these goals in your thesis introduction. (And if you struggle with finding the right wording, have a look at academic key phrases for introductions .)

Ways to capture the reader’s attention

A powerful thesis introduction should spark the reader’s interest on the first pages. A reader should be enticed to continue reading! There are three common ways to capture the reader’s attention.

An established way to capture the reader’s attention in a thesis introduction is by starting with a story. Regardless of how abstract and ‘scientific’ the actual thesis content is, it can be useful to ease the reader into the topic with a short story.

This story can be, for instance, based on one of your study participants. It can also be a very personal account of one of your own experiences, which drew you to study the thesis topic in the first place.

Start by providing data or statistics

Data and statistics are another established way to immediately draw in your reader. Especially surprising or shocking numbers can highlight the importance of a thesis topic in the first few sentences!

So if your thesis topic lends itself to being kick-started with data or statistics, you are in for a quick and easy way to write a memorable thesis introduction.

The third established way to capture the reader’s attention is by starting with the problem that underlies your thesis. It is advisable to keep the problem simple. A few sentences at the start of the chapter should suffice.

Usually, at a later stage in the introductory chapter, it is common to go more in-depth, describing the research problem (and its scientific and societal relevance) in more detail.

You may also like: Minimalist writing for a better thesis

Emphasising the thesis’ relevance

A good thesis is a relevant thesis. No one wants to read about a concept that has already been explored hundreds of times, or that no one cares about.

Of course, a thesis heavily relies on the work of other scholars. However, each thesis is – and should be – unique. If you want to write a fantastic thesis introduction, your job is to point out this uniqueness!

In academic research, a research gap signifies a research area or research question that has not been explored yet, that has been insufficiently explored, or whose insights and findings are outdated.

Every thesis needs a crystal-clear research gap. Spell it out instead of letting your reader figure out why your thesis is relevant.

* This example has been taken from an actual academic paper on toxic behaviour in online games: Liu, J. and Agur, C. (2022). “After All, They Don’t Know Me” Exploring the Psychological Mechanisms of Toxic Behavior in Online Games. Games and Culture 1–24, DOI: 10.1177/15554120221115397

The scientific relevance of a thesis highlights the importance of your work in terms of advancing theoretical insights on a topic. You can think of this part as your contribution to the (international) academic literature.

Scientific relevance comes in different forms. For instance, you can critically assess a prominent theory explaining a specific phenomenon. Maybe something is missing? Or you can develop a novel framework that combines different frameworks used by other scholars. Or you can draw attention to the context-specific nature of a phenomenon that is discussed in the international literature.

The societal relevance of a thesis highlights the importance of your research in more practical terms. You can think of this part as your contribution beyond theoretical insights and academic publications.

Why are your insights useful? Who can benefit from your insights? How can your insights improve existing practices?

best thesis introduction

Formulating a compelling argument

Arguments are sets of reasons supporting an idea, which – in academia – often integrate theoretical and empirical insights. Think of an argument as an umbrella statement, or core claim. It should be no longer than one or two sentences.

Including an argument in the introduction of your thesis may seem counterintuitive. After all, the reader will be introduced to your core claim before reading all the chapters of your thesis that led you to this claim in the first place.

But rest assured: A clear argument at the start of your thesis introduction is a sign of a good thesis. It works like a movie teaser to generate interest. And it helps the reader to follow your subsequent line of argumentation.

The core claim of your thesis should be accompanied by sufficient evidence. This does not mean that you have to write 10 pages about your results at this point.

However, you do need to show the reader that your claim is credible and legitimate because of the work you have done.

A good argument already anticipates possible objections. Not everyone will agree with your core claim. Therefore, it is smart to think ahead. What criticism can you expect?

Think about reasons or opposing positions that people can come up with to disagree with your claim. Then, try to address them head-on.

Providing a captivating preview of findings

Similar to presenting a compelling argument, a fantastic thesis introduction also previews some of the findings. When reading an introduction, the reader wants to learn a bit more about the research context. Furthermore, a reader should get a taste of the type of analysis that will be conducted. And lastly, a hint at the practical implications of the findings encourages the reader to read until the end.

If you focus on a specific empirical context, make sure to provide some information about it. The empirical context could be, for instance, a country, an island, a school or city. Make sure the reader understands why you chose this context for your research, and why it fits to your research objective.

If you did all your research in a lab, this section is obviously irrelevant. However, in that case you should explain the setup of your experiment, etcetera.

The empirical part of your thesis centers around the collection and analysis of information. What information, and what evidence, did you generate? And what are some of the key findings?

For instance, you can provide a short summary of the different research methods that you used to collect data. Followed by a short overview of how you analysed this data, and some of the key findings. The reader needs to understand why your empirical analysis is worth reading.

You already highlighted the practical relevance of your thesis in the introductory chapter. However, you should also provide a preview of some of the practical implications that you will develop in your thesis based on your findings.

Presenting a crystal clear thesis structure

A fantastic thesis introduction helps the reader to understand the structure and logic of your whole thesis. This is probably the easiest part to write in a thesis introduction. However, this part can be best written at the very end, once everything else is ready.

A reading guide is an essential part in a thesis introduction! Usually, the reading guide can be found toward the end of the introductory chapter.

The reading guide basically tells the reader what to expect in the chapters to come.

In a longer thesis, such as a PhD thesis, it can be smart to provide a summary of each chapter to come. Think of a paragraph for each chapter, almost in the form of an abstract.

For shorter theses, which also have a shorter introduction, this step is not necessary.

Especially for longer theses, it tends to be a good idea to design a simple figure that illustrates the structure of your thesis. It helps the reader to better grasp the logic of your thesis.

best thesis introduction

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  • How To Write A Thesis Introduction: Write like Professional

How To Write A Thesis Introduction: Secrets, Tips, Advice

How To Write A Thesis Introduction: Secrets, Tips, Advice

When you write a thesis, you should pay exceptional attention to the introduction. The reader will start your thesis from the introduction, and he will make up his view and understanding of the problem, your ideas, professionalism and writing skills based on the introduction. Your introduction is an important section that must be perfect. Good news that you can read our guide on how to write a thesis introduction of high quality or find  thesis writer on our website. Keep reading and find out useful information, tips, and advice to create a successful project.

Thesis Introduction: How to Start?

A thesis introduction  is the first special chapter of your work and the starting point of your paper. If to say shortly, you should describe the topic of your thesis, talk about problem statements and write persuasive points based on an overview of your work. Let's define the main purposes of your introduction?

Main Purposes

  • To introduce the topic: answer the hypothetical question of what the main reason is, what a thesis idea is and why it is relevant today?
  • To win the reader’s interest. Use persuasive but clear words and facts to make your introduction interesting for the reader. People should be interested in keeping reading your dissertation.
  • To demonstrate awareness of your topic as well as the relevance of the research question . The author should persuade the reader of professionalism. Your main goal is to show the entire research is relevant, and it contains significant academic and practical components.

Which Parts Should Your Introduction Contain?

The introduction should be placed in your thesis just after the table of contents. In this part, you have to provide readers with a good beginning to explain to them shortly what they will read in the document. You need to describe your research with its main purpose and direction. Below, you can find the main parts your introduction should contain:

  • Context and topic. Write about what your readers need to know to understand your thesis.
  • Scope and focus. Think about the certain aspect of the topic you want to address to your readers.
  • Importance and relevance. Your current research must fit into work that already was done on the chosen topic.
  • Objectives and questions. Define research problem , explain what's the main goal of your research and how good it gives all the needed information to readers.
  • Structure overview. Each chapter of your thesis must contain something useful to explain the main goal of the writing.  

What Information Should You Give in the Introduction? 

Give only meaningful, important and accurate information in your thesis and the introduction. Thanks to the details you give here, your reader should understand:

  • What is the topic of your paper;
  • What part of the general topic needs further investigations, research and why;
  • Your thesis statement.

Each paragraph has the number of steps you should follow, and the introduction is not an exception to this rule. Read the steps you should make when you write your introduction piece.

Writing a Thesis Introduction: Steps

These 12 steps that can be common despite the topic. However, some specific fields require more stages.

  • Introduce the topic of your research problem;
  • Give some general background information;
  • Make a short overview of related literature you have studied (the detailed view should be written in a literature review section);
  • Give the general idea of the scope of the topic you have chosen;
  • Describe in details the current situation concerning the problem;
  • Find the area or piece of the topic which is not researched yet or researched not enough;
  • Explain the relevance, importance of the research you are going to do;
  • State the main aims and objectives of your thesis;
  • Name the research question (questions) or problem (problems);
  • Give your hypotheses;
  • Show the how to structure a thesis ;
  • Outline the methodology you used.

Your introduction is the only chance to catch the interest of your reader and to make the first impression. Remember the introductory part has the same importance as all other chapters of your dissertation you have to complete.

How to Make a Well-Structured Introduction?

Above, we have mentioned the main parts that must be included in the thesis or dissertation introduction. Let's see what information you need to write in each of those parts. Make sure you read all the points thoroughly to include all the needed elements to your writing.

Context and Topic

Start with the topic introduction and provide readers with a short background. Show why the chosen subject is important to make the audience interested. It means you should select a relevant topic for discussion.

Scope and Focus

Here you have to define the scope of your dissertation and focus of your research. For example, you can mention the area of your investigation, the time period of your research, the communities you're researching, or any other specific aspects of your dissertation.

Importance and Relevance

Try to explain your motivation for this research. Provide an overview of the current state of your study and don't forget to cite sources. You will make a more detailed view of all used sources in the literature review section of your manuscript. Show the importance of your research and how it helps to solve a particular problem.  

Objectives and Questions

Pay a lot of attention to this part because here you set up the expectations of the rest of your work. Please focus on the main goal of your research to formulate your objectives and questions. Here you can provide the methods you used in your paper to answer these questions. You can write about it in detail in the methodology part. You can also include your hypotheses here. It's possible to include the hypotheses after the literature review.

Structure Overview

Your document must have a good structure to guide the reader through. Make an overview of the structure: write just 1-2 sentences to describe the content of each part of your thesis. But if the research is complicated, you can write a paragraph for each part to explain the document's structure.

How to Organize Your Work?

You don’t write your thesis in the same order as all the chapters appear in the outline. So how to organize your work effectively to complete your Ph.D. dissertation successfully?

  • You should organize your whole paper in a logical consequence and write your work using the informative language;
  • Find facts, figures, create infographics to illustrate your argument in details;
  • Define the main parts of the thesis: Background information; Facts you will use in the argument; Observations; Ways of connecting review, analysis, and conclusions; The main elements of the thesis (sections).
  • Now you can start writing.

Length of Introduction

The length is an important issue. It shouldn’t take a lot of time to read it, but it should contain all the important points (please check them above). There are no special length requirements for thesis introduction, just be clear and don’t provide unnecessary information here. At the same time, there is no need to squeeze all your points in one page. Two or three pages will be quite enough. Read our guide to find out how long is a thesis paper or its separate chapter.

Rule ‘General - Specific – General’

It is a good rule you can follow not only in thesis introductions but many other writing papers. You should start your paper with a broad position - explain why the field for your research matters and why it is relevant.

After that, you can go to narrower things. Find points which lie in your niche, share and describe details, explain why they matter to your topic.

In the end, you should think wider again. Make connections between narrow and general things to show the effects and results of your research.

How to Write an Engaging Thesis Introduction: Tips

Read the next tips if you want to know how to write a thesis introduction in a good way.

  • Give the proper acknowledgment of previous research on which you are writing a thesis paper .
  • In the beginning, give your readers an understanding of how you are going to structure your thesis. What will they find in chapters?
  • Surprise the reader a little. Give something unexpected details: unique research or point of view, some facts or perspectives. Make your reader feel excited about reading.
  • Always talk about the best experience in the field: check and present the best examples that you have, the best literature review, and the best experience of other researchers.
  • Don’t use specific vocabulary in the beginning. It is like a door to your thesis for people to make it clear for understanding.
  • Don’t neglect to draft. This will help you to improve your work as in the case of any other chapter.
  • Use the simple present tense to state the topic/subject. Use simple past tense/present perfect tense for describing background information.
  • Don’t include a lot of citations. You can provide readers with all the used sources in the literature review chapter.

It’s not easy to write a good thesis introduction. We tried to give you all the necessary information because we knew that you might have difficulties with that. But if you feel unconfident, it’s a good idea to order your thesis from professionals. If you still have any questions, you can address them to our professional writers, they will answer you with pleasure. Contact experts to finish your project easily! Our English professionals can create a perfect Ph.D. thesis to shift your expectations!

The methodology is an important part of your dissertation. It describes a broad philosophical underpinning to your chosen research methods, either quantitative or qualitative, to explain to readers your approach better. Make sure that you’re clear about an academic basis for your choice of research ...

If your college requires you to undergraduate thesis, then chances are that they want you to write a literature review. If you’re writing a literature review for academic purposes, then this document demonstrates that you have learned from the previous publications and are ready to work on new ideas...

Thesis abstract is an essential part of the dissertation paper. It is a summary of a complete work. It gives readers a chance to discover the key points of your dissertation, its research chapter, methodology and results part. Writing a proper abstract is important. Students use various techniques a...

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How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Introduction

Published on September 7, 2022 by Tegan George and Shona McCombes. Revised on November 21, 2023.

The introduction is the first section of your thesis or dissertation , appearing right after the table of contents . Your introduction draws your reader in, setting the stage for your research with a clear focus, purpose, and direction on a relevant topic .

Your introduction should include:

  • Your topic, in context: what does your reader need to know to understand your thesis dissertation?
  • Your focus and scope: what specific aspect of the topic will you address?
  • The relevance of your research: how does your work fit into existing studies on your topic?
  • Your questions and objectives: what does your research aim to find out, and how?
  • An overview of your structure: what does each section contribute to the overall aim?

Table of contents

How to start your introduction, topic and context, focus and scope, relevance and importance, questions and objectives, overview of the structure, thesis introduction example, introduction checklist, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about introductions.

Although your introduction kicks off your dissertation, it doesn’t have to be the first thing you write — in fact, it’s often one of the very last parts to be completed (just before your abstract ).

It’s a good idea to write a rough draft of your introduction as you begin your research, to help guide you. If you wrote a research proposal , consider using this as a template, as it contains many of the same elements. However, be sure to revise your introduction throughout the writing process, making sure it matches the content of your ensuing sections.

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Begin by introducing your dissertation topic and giving any necessary background information. It’s important to contextualize your research and generate interest. Aim to show why your topic is timely or important. You may want to mention a relevant news item, academic debate, or practical problem.

After a brief introduction to your general area of interest, narrow your focus and define the scope of your research.

You can narrow this down in many ways, such as by:

  • Geographical area
  • Time period
  • Demographics or communities
  • Themes or aspects of the topic

It’s essential to share your motivation for doing this research, as well as how it relates to existing work on your topic. Further, you should also mention what new insights you expect it will contribute.

Start by giving a brief overview of the current state of research. You should definitely cite the most relevant literature, but remember that you will conduct a more in-depth survey of relevant sources in the literature review section, so there’s no need to go too in-depth in the introduction.

Depending on your field, the importance of your research might focus on its practical application (e.g., in policy or management) or on advancing scholarly understanding of the topic (e.g., by developing theories or adding new empirical data). In many cases, it will do both.

Ultimately, your introduction should explain how your thesis or dissertation:

  • Helps solve a practical or theoretical problem
  • Addresses a gap in the literature
  • Builds on existing research
  • Proposes a new understanding of your topic

Perhaps the most important part of your introduction is your questions and objectives, as it sets up the expectations for the rest of your thesis or dissertation. How you formulate your research questions and research objectives will depend on your discipline, topic, and focus, but you should always clearly state the central aim of your research.

If your research aims to test hypotheses , you can formulate them here. Your introduction is also a good place for a conceptual framework that suggests relationships between variables .

  • Conduct surveys to collect data on students’ levels of knowledge, understanding, and positive/negative perceptions of government policy.
  • Determine whether attitudes to climate policy are associated with variables such as age, gender, region, and social class.
  • Conduct interviews to gain qualitative insights into students’ perspectives and actions in relation to climate policy.

To help guide your reader, end your introduction with an outline  of the structure of the thesis or dissertation to follow. Share a brief summary of each chapter, clearly showing how each contributes to your central aims. However, be careful to keep this overview concise: 1-2 sentences should be enough.

I. Introduction

Human language consists of a set of vowels and consonants which are combined to form words. During the speech production process, thoughts are converted into spoken utterances to convey a message. The appropriate words and their meanings are selected in the mental lexicon (Dell & Burger, 1997). This pre-verbal message is then grammatically coded, during which a syntactic representation of the utterance is built.

Speech, language, and voice disorders affect the vocal cords, nerves, muscles, and brain structures, which result in a distorted language reception or speech production (Sataloff & Hawkshaw, 2014). The symptoms vary from adding superfluous words and taking pauses to hoarseness of the voice, depending on the type of disorder (Dodd, 2005). However, distortions of the speech may also occur as a result of a disease that seems unrelated to speech, such as multiple sclerosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

This study aims to determine which acoustic parameters are suitable for the automatic detection of exacerbations in patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by investigating which aspects of speech differ between COPD patients and healthy speakers and which aspects differ between COPD patients in exacerbation and stable COPD patients.

Checklist: Introduction

I have introduced my research topic in an engaging way.

I have provided necessary context to help the reader understand my topic.

I have clearly specified the focus of my research.

I have shown the relevance and importance of the dissertation topic .

I have clearly stated the problem or question that my research addresses.

I have outlined the specific objectives of the research .

I have provided an overview of the dissertation’s structure .

You've written a strong introduction for your thesis or dissertation. Use the other checklists to continue improving your dissertation.

If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or research bias, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

Research bias

  • Survivorship bias
  • Self-serving bias
  • Availability heuristic
  • Halo effect
  • Hindsight bias
  • Deep learning
  • Generative AI
  • Machine learning
  • Reinforcement learning
  • Supervised vs. unsupervised learning

 (AI) Tools

  • Grammar Checker
  • Paraphrasing Tool
  • Text Summarizer
  • AI Detector
  • Plagiarism Checker
  • Citation Generator

The introduction of a research paper includes several key elements:

  • A hook to catch the reader’s interest
  • Relevant background on the topic
  • Details of your research problem

and your problem statement

  • A thesis statement or research question
  • Sometimes an overview of the paper

Don’t feel that you have to write the introduction first. The introduction is often one of the last parts of the research paper you’ll write, along with the conclusion.

This is because it can be easier to introduce your paper once you’ve already written the body ; you may not have the clearest idea of your arguments until you’ve written them, and things can change during the writing process .

Research objectives describe what you intend your research project to accomplish.

They summarize the approach and purpose of the project and help to focus your research.

Your objectives should appear in the introduction of your research paper , at the end of your problem statement .

Scope of research is determined at the beginning of your research process , prior to the data collection stage. Sometimes called “scope of study,” your scope delineates what will and will not be covered in your project. It helps you focus your work and your time, ensuring that you’ll be able to achieve your goals and outcomes.

Defining a scope can be very useful in any research project, from a research proposal to a thesis or dissertation . A scope is needed for all types of research: quantitative , qualitative , and mixed methods .

To define your scope of research, consider the following:

  • Budget constraints or any specifics of grant funding
  • Your proposed timeline and duration
  • Specifics about your population of study, your proposed sample size , and the research methodology you’ll pursue
  • Any inclusion and exclusion criteria
  • Any anticipated control , extraneous , or confounding variables that could bias your research if not accounted for properly.

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How to Write a Compelling Thesis Introduction

best thesis introduction

The introduction to your thesis is like a first impression: you want it to be great. It is the first chapter and appears before the literature review and after the table of contents. You want the introduction to set the stage for your reader: tell them what you’re writing about, why, and what comes next. So how can you write a compelling thesis introduction?

Structure and elements of a thesis introduction

Before you write a compelling thesis introduction, you need to know what elements belong in this section and how it should be structured. A typical thesis introduction includes:

  • A clear thesis statement
  • An explanation of the context (brief background) for the study
  • The focus and scope of the paper
  • An explanation of the relevance and importance of your research
  • A description of the objectives of your research and how your methodology achieves them
  • A guide to the structure of the rest of the thesis (roadmap)

A thesis introduction is typically about 10% of the total length of your paper. If your introduction includes diagrams or figures, the length may be longer. It is critical to include all of the points above when writing a clear and compelling introduction. You may include additional elements if you feel they are essential in introducing your topic to the audience.

Thesis introduction: Getting started

If you do decide to write your introduction first, you can draw on the information in your thesis/dissertation proposal to help construct your draft.

How should you draft your thesis introduction, and when should you do it?

Despite the fact that your introduction comes first in the structure of your thesis, there is absolutely no need to write it first. Starting your thesis is often difficult and overwhelming, and many writers suffer from blank page syndrome —the paralysis of not knowing where to start. For this reason, some people advocate writing a kind of placeholder introduction when you begin, just to get something written down. You are free to write the introduction section at the beginning, middle, or end of the thesis drafting process . I personally find it preferable to write the introduction to a paper after I have already drafted a significant portion of the remainder of the paper. This is because I can draw on what I have written already to make sure that I cover all of the important points above.

However, if you do decide to write your introduction first, you can draw on the information in your thesis/dissertation proposal  to help construct your draft. Just keep in mind that you will need to revisit your introduction after you have written the rest of your thesis to make sure it still provides an accurate roadmap and summary of the paper for your readers.

Topic and background information

When you introduce your topic, you want to draw your reader in.

Your thesis introduction should begin by informing the reader what your topic is and providing them with some relevant background information. The amount of background information you provide in this step will actually depend on what type of thesis/dissertation you are writing.

If you are writing a paper in the natural sciences or some social sciences, then it will have a separate background section after the introduction. Not a lot of background information is needed here. You can just state the larger context of the research. However, if your paper is structured such that there is no separate background chapter, then this portion of your thesis will be a bit longer and that is okay.

When you introduce your topic, you want to draw your reader in. Provide them with the reasons your research is interesting and important so that they will want to keep reading. Don’t be afraid to offer up some surprising facts or an interesting anecdote. You don’t need to be sensationalist, but your writing does not have to be dry and boring also! It is encouraged that you try to connect to your reader by offering them a relevant fact or story about your topic.

Example (topic) Weaknesses in financial regulatory systems in the United States
Example (context): Highlight some news stories about banks allowing money laundering on a massive scale, which financed gangs and led to more street drugs in major American cities. You could include a story about someone personally impacted by drugs in their neighborhood and then connect the presence of drugs to the gangs who were allowed to launder their money through big banks.

Focus and scope of your thesis

Once you have introduced your reader to the broader topic and provided some background information, you might want to explain the specific focus and scope of your thesis.

Once you have introduced your reader to the broader topic and provided some background information, you might want to explain the specific focus and scope of your thesis. What aspect of your topic will you research in particular? Why? What will your research not cover, and why? While this second part is optional, it is often helpful to be very specific about the aims of your research.

Example : Regulatory capture in the Federal Reserve and how it contributes to lax enforcement of anti-money laundering regulations.

You might write about this by explaining that your study focuses on regulatory capture in the Federal Reserve because they are one of the primary regulatory bodies monitoring the financial institutions, which were caught allowing money laundering. You could further specify that you will be focusing specifically on the role the Federal Reserve plays in monitoring banks for compliance with anti-money laundering laws; however, you will not be talking about the role they play in monitoring for compliance in other areas such as loans or mergers. This prepares your reader for what they are going to read and sets their expectations for what will come next.

Explaining the relevance and importance of your research

You must explain to the reader why your research matters, and by implication, why your reader should continue reading!

This is one of the most critical parts of your introduction. You must explain to the reader why your research matters, and by implication, why your reader should continue reading! Your research does not have to be completely revolutionary or groundbreaking to have value. You don’t need to inflate the importance of the thesis/dissertation you are writing when explaining why the research you have done is worthwhile.

Example: Corruption is an increasingly important issue in the maintenance and promotion of democratic norms and good governance. Without the ability to enforce effective penalties against institutions that turn a blind eye to money laundering, democratic governments like the United States will be threatened by the increasing power of bad actors flouting regulations. With the dollar being the global reserve currency, the US must enforce anti-money laundering legislation at home to have any hopes of shutting down global networks of corrupt operators that rely on its financial institutions. Identifying the presence of regulatory capture in the Federal Reserve sounds the alarm bell for lawmakers and regulators and suggests important interventions for policymakers are needed.

The above example clearly explains the wider impact of the issue without making overly broad statements such as “this research will revolutionize financial regulation in the United States as we know it” or “this research provides a roadmap for ending corrupt financial flows.” Just focus on what made the issue important and interesting to you and clearly state it within the broader context you provided earlier on.

Giving your reader a roadmap

At the end of your thesis introduction, you will want to provide your reader with a roadmap to the rest of the thesis.

At the end of your thesis introduction, you will want to provide your reader with a roadmap to the rest of the thesis. This differs from your table of contents in that it provides more context and details for how and why you have structured your thesis the way you have. The format of “first, next, finally” is a clear and easy way to structure this section of your introduction.

Example: First , this study reviews the existing literature on regulatory capture and how it impacts enforcement actions, with a specific focus on financial institutions and the history of the Federal Reserve. Next , it discusses the materials used for this research and how analysis was performed. Finally , it explains the results of the data analysis and investigates what the results mean and implications for future policymaking.

Now your reader knows exactly what to expect and how this fits into your overall aims and objectives. They are primed with the knowledge of your topic, its background, its relevance, and your specific focus in this study.

One common problem people have when writing an introduction to a thesis is actually writing too much . Many students and young researchers fear they won’t have enough to say and then will find themselves with a super long introduction that they somehow need to cut in half. You don’t have to give too much detail in the introduction of your thesis! Remember, the substance of your paper is located in the chapters that follow. If you are struggling with how to cut down (or add to) your introduction, you might benefit from the help of a professional editor who can see your paper with fresh eyes and quickly help you revise it. The introduction is the first part of your thesis/dissertation that people will read, so use these tips to make sure you write a great one! Check out our site for more tips on how to write a good thesis/dissertation, where to find the best thesis editing services , and more about thesis editing and proofreading services .

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Checklist: Tips for writing a compelling thesis introduction

Remember the below points when you are writing a thesis introduction:

Know your audience

Refer to your thesis/dissertation proposal or notes

Make sure you clearly state your topic, aims, and objectives

Explain why your research matters

Try to offer interesting facts or statistics that may surprise your reader and draw their interest

Draw a roadmap of what your paper will discuss

Don’t try to write too much detail about your topic

Remember to revise your introduction as you revise other sections of your thesis

What are the typical elements in an introduction section? +

The typical elements in an introduction section are as follows:

  • Thesis statement
  • Brief background of the study
  • The focus and scope of the article
  • The relevance and importance of your research

Do I have to write my introduction first? +

You can write your introduction section whenever you feel ready. Many writers save the introduction section for last to make sure they provide a clear summary and roadmap of the content of the rest of the paper.

How long should my introduction be? +

Most introductions are about 10% of the total paper, but can be longer if they include figures or diagrams.


How do you write a good introduction to a thesis or dissertation?

introduction thesis

The introduction to a university dissertation or thesis is an essential part of a final year project.It is the first connection you will make with your reader.It is therefore important to write a well-written introduction to your dissertation in order to

  • interest the reader or the examiner,
  • capture their attention ,
  • give them a clear idea of the subject covered in the dissertation.

A reader or examiner in a hurry generally reads your thesis  diagonally. In this case, they are particularly interested in the following 3 elements : the introduction to the thesis , the outline of the thesis  and the conclusion of the thesis . It is therefore important to take care with these 3 elements to highlight the quality of your work. 

In this article, we present the main elements to be included in a thesis introduction , with an example of an introduction valid for different levels of study: bachelor's thesis (bac+3), master's thesis (bac+4 and bac+5), doctoral thesis , etc.

Contents :  Writing a thesis introduction at the right time The 5 main elements in the introduction to a dissertation or thesis Highlighting your thesis introduction Example of a thesis introduction

how to write a thesis introduction

1. Writing a thesis introduction at the right time

There are 2 schools of thought on the ideal time to write a thesis introduction :  

  • Write your introduction after the writing plan has been finalised (at the start of the dissertation or thesis project).
  • Write your introduction after you have finished writing your thesis (at the end of the project).

Writing a thesis introduction after finalising the outline

Drawing up a detailed outline for your dissertation or thesis is a crucial stage in the preparation of a university project .

It follows the definition of the subject, the choice of a thesis supervisor and the formulation of the problem statement . 

Drawing up an outline for your thesis is important, because your outline sets out your response to the problem.

As soon as you have finalised and validated your dissertation or thesis plan , you can start writing your project , particularly the introduction to your thesis or dissertation .

Be careful to adjust your dissertation or thesis introduction according to the elements you include in your dissertation as you go along.

how to write a dissertation introduction

Writing a thesis introduction after you've written your thesis

Writing your thesis introduction at the end may seem counter-intuitive , but in reality it is recommended practice for a number of reasons: 

When writing the different parts of your thesis, you usually have a vague idea of the points you want to cover. As you go along, your thoughts evolve and you refine your ideas . Writing the introduction at the end gives you an overview of the work as a whole, so that you can write a more precise and relevant introduction to your thesis .

Clarifying your objectives

At the end of your research, you will have a clearer idea of your objectives and the means and tools you will use to achieve them. Writing your introduction at the end makes it easier to explain your objectives.

Adjusting the problem

During the course of a research project, the subject may evolve . By writing the thesis introduction at the end, you can be sure that you are presenting the problem to which you are responding.

Consistency with the conclusion

Writing your thesis introduction at the same time as your conclusion ensures that they are aligned . This way, you can be sure that they are coherent and that they provide a good framework for your thesis .

Even if you choose to write your thesis introduction at the end of your work , you should be aware that you can write a draft introduction at the beginning of the project. This first draft will allow you to clarify your ideas and give your dissertation or thesis a direction. You can revise and finalise it once the rest of the thesis has been completed.

thesis introduction

2. The 5 main elements of a thesis introduction

There are several elements to include in your thesis introduction , whether it's a research or professional thesis . 

Make sure your introduction is structured , brief and concise . The aim is to communicate the essential information to your reader in no more than one or two pages . 

The structure of a thesis introduction is also crucial in capturing the reader's attention. This structure may vary according to the requirements of your field of study or your institution.

Here are the 5 parts to be included in your thesis introduction and adapted according to the guidelines received :


Start with a hook (statistics, key facts or concrete examples) to draw your reader's attention to the subject. Then go on to introduce the subject in a general way, highlighting its importance in the current context and its relevance to your field of study . 


Clearly identify the question you wish to answer. Explain why this problematic is interesting and why you have chosen to address it. A good problematic should be simple, precise and understandable! 

Research objectives

Frame your study by presenting its objectives . What are you trying to measure? What are the main hypotheses you want to examine? Also describe your research methodology in this paragraph. 

Structure of the thesis

Give an overview of the overall structure of your dissertation or thesis by announcing your plan. Explain your choice of sections and parts to familiarise the reader with your organisation. 

Announcement of results (optional)

Finally, give a brief overview of the results you have reached at the end of your research. Indicate the main conclusions to pique the reader's interest and encourage them to want to find out more.

thesis introduction and research methodology

Focus on the presentation of research methodology

What is the research methodology for a thesis.

The choice of academic research methodology depends on the nature of the project: research dissertation , professional dissertation , doctoral thesis .

There are several academic research methods : quantitative studies , qualitative studies , empirical studies , comparative studies , etc.

Why present your research methodology in the thesis introduction?

By presenting your research methodology in your thesis introduction , you situate your work in a specific methodological context . You give the reader more information to u nderstand your approach and assess the validity of your results.

Focus on announcing the plan in a thesis introduction

Why include the outline in the introduction to a thesis.

To orientate the reader, we strongly advise you to announce the overall plan of your thesis in your introduction. This gives them an overview and helps them to follow your argument coherently. 

By announcing the plan, you also help the reader to understand what to expect in each part. This can be particularly useful when your work is long.

introduction to a thesis

How do you announce a thesis plan in the introduction?

Here are some ideas for announcing the plan in the introduction to your thesis : 

Simple enumeration

List the main parts of your thesis .

For example : "This thesis is divided into four main parts: Part I - Background and problematic, Part II - Review of the literature, Part III...".

Explanatory sentences

To give more context to each part, you can add a brief explanatory sentence for each of them. 

For example: "This thesis is structured in four main parts. In the first part, we will examine the context and problematic of our research. The second part will be devoted to an in-depth review of the existing literature on the subject...".

3. Highlighting the thesis introduction: the layout

It is important to highlight the thesis introduction . To do this, an appropriate layout is necessary. 

The layout of the thesis introduction must be carefully thought out and well structured in order to capture the reader's attention and guide them through the text clearly and concisely. 

Here is an example of the layout for the first few pages of a thesis (including the introduction): 

Page 1: cover page of the thesis 

name of the university or institution,

  • title of the thesis,
  • first name and surname of the author,
  • date of submission.

Page 2: acknowledgement page 

Acknowledgements to all the people who contributed to the smooth running of your academic year,

  • thanks to all those who contributed to the writing of your dissertation or university thesis.

Page 3: table of contents

A detailed list of the sections and subsections of the thesis, with the corresponding page numbers.

Page 4: thesis introduction 

title of the introduction,

  • catchphrase or relevant quotation to capture the reader's attention (contextualisation),
  • context in which the research topic is justified (contextualisation),
  • problematic and research questions (problematic), 
  • research objectives and methodology used,
  • outline of the plan.

example thesis introduction

4. Example of a thesis introduction

The following is an example of a thesis introduction that can be adapted to deliverables for different levels of study: bachelor's thesis , master's thesis , doctoral thesis , etc. 

Example of a thesis introduction for a dissertation or doctoral thesis on the subject of artificial intelligence and its impact on education :

The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) has opened up new perspectives in many fields, including education. AI-based technologies have the potential to transform educational practices , improve learning processes and prepare learners for the challenges of our digital society. In this doctoral thesis, we propose to explore the impact of artificial intelligences on education , taking an in-depth look at the opportunities, challenges and implications of these emerging technologies.

The problematic of this research lies in the growing need to adapt education to the demands of the 21st century , integrating technological innovations to deliver a more effective, personalised and relevant learning experience. Artificial intelligences represent a promising response to this problematic, but their integration into the field of education raises fundamental questions about the pedagogical, ethical and social consequences of these technological advances.

Research objective

The main objective of this thesis is therefore to analyse in depth the impact of artificial intelligences on education , focusing on their applications, their potential benefits, and the challenges and concerns they raise. To achieve this aim, we will adopt a multidisciplinary approach, combining conceptual analyses , case studies and empirical investigations .

Structure of the dissertation

This thesis is structured in six main parts . In the first part , we present the context and the problematic linked to the use of artificial intelligences in education . We will raise the current educational issues and the needs that AIs can meet, identifying the research questions that guide our work.

The second part will be devoted to an in-depth literature review , where we will analyse previous work and existing research on the impact of artificial intelligences in education. We will examine the different applications of AIs , such as intelligent tutoring systems , learning data analysis , personalisation of teaching , etc.

In the third part , we will describe our research methodology , explaining how we designed our case studies and empirical investigations . We will discuss the tools and methods used to collect and analyse the data, as well as the measures taken to ensure the validity and reliability of our research .

Then, in the fourth section , we will present the results of our case studies and surveys , analysing them in the light of our research problematic. We will examine the potential benefits of AI in terms of improved learner performance, adaptation to individual needs, personalised feedback, and so on.

In the fifth part , we will address the challenges and concerns associated with the use of AI .

To sum up, the introduction is an important part of the thesis. It captures the reader's attention by presenting the context, subject, problematic and structure of the thesis. By following these few tips, you can write an effective and relevant thesis introduction to encourage your reader or your examiner to read your deliverable. 

Sources for further reading :  " How to Write a Thesis Introduction " UNSW, consulted on 13/07/2023. " How to write a good thesis introduction " Paperpile, consulted on 13/07/2023. " How to write a fantastic thesis introduction " Master Academia, consulted on 13/07/2023.   Information: this informative article, which does not require any personal reflection, was written in part with the help of ChatGPT. We have reworked the automatically generated content (correcting repetitions, correcting turns of phrase, adding clarifications, adding quotations, checking the veracity of the information, etc.).

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Thesis Writing

Thesis Introduction

Nova A.

Writing a Thesis Introduction Like a Pro - Steps & Examples

10 min read

Published on: Oct 22, 2021

Last updated on: Jul 21, 2023

Thesis Introduction

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Are you struggling with writing an engaging thesis introduction that grabs the attention of your readers? 

Do you find yourself unsure of how to effectively introduce your research topic and present its significance? 

Look no further!

In this blog, we will go through the complete process of writing the best thesis introduction. 

We will also provide examples of some engaging thesis introductions along with expert tips to hook the reader's attention. 

So, let's get started!

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What is a Thesis Introduction?

Writing an introduction for a thesis is one of the most important parts of writing. It sets the stage and direction for your work, and helps you stay focused on what’s at hand. In addition, it can be used as reference points throughout your research process. 

The first chapter in any thesis document starts with an introductory paragraph that narrows down broad subject matter into more specific.

Thesis introductions are usually found after the table of contents page and give a broader research context. Remember that a good opening is essential for capturing the reader's interest.

Components of a Good Thesis Introduction 

The following are the important thesis introduction parts that must be covered.

  • Topic and Context -  What information should a reader have to grasp the thesis?
  • Scope and Focus -  Which elements of the topic will be covered? It might be research gaps, queries, or issues.
  • Importance and Relevance -  How your research work will contribute to the existing work on the same topic?
  • Objectives and Questions -  What are the major research aims and objectives the and how they will be achieved?
  • Structure Overview -  How will each chapter of the thesis contribute to the overarching goals?

How Long Should a Thesis Introduction be?

Your introduction is 10% of your paper which makes it the most important part. The PhD. thesis introduction should be between 8000 to 10000 words long. On the other hand, a Masters thesis introduction word count should be between 1500 to 2000.

However, the thesis introduction length might be extended if the writer incorporates photos, diagrams, and explanations.

Thesis Introduction Outline 

The format of a thesis introduction chapter outline is as follows.

Take a look at the template below to get a sense of how the thesis introduction structure should be.

Thesis Introduction Outline Sample

How to Start a Thesis Introduction?

To begin a thesis introduction appropriately, follow the given steps

To write a successful paper, you must first identify an interesting topic that will keep readers engaged. Second, your introduction should be clear so they can understand what's going on between the text lines.

Brainstorm various thoughts and facts relating to your topic. Then, go through prior literature on the subject to thoroughly research it to grasp that concept or idea.

Choose the type of paper you are most comfortable using in your writing process. Keep in mind that the content should never be written in the first person.

Also, avoid including unnecessary details and be exact by utilizing correct language and grammar. When writing a thesis, using powerful phrases can assist you in defining the study objectives.

It is preferable to be aware of the audience to whom you are speaking. Similarly, work approaches, procedures, and literature should be introduced in accordance with your target audience.

In the following stage, organize and assemble the major arguments, concepts, and claims. A good idea will be useful in describing and presenting the thesis statement in the introduction.

Before beginning your thesis introduction, define the subject and the relevant themes. Going through it would make it easy for the reader to understand and get a decent idea of your topic.

How to Write a Thesis Introduction?

Here is a step-by-step guide to help you write a thesis introduction.

These steps of writing an introduction are discussed below in detail.

1. Capture the Reader’s Attention

A writer should begin the introduction with a hook sentence to draw the reader's attention. It can start with a quote, question, or an interesting transition into your argument.

Make a list of intriguing, present issues or events that are connected to your theme as well. It will assist in the development of a good opening and  thesis statement .

2. Determine the Research Gap

Examine and evaluate the available literature. It will assist you in identifying and filling the research gaps.

3. Provide Background Information

An excellent thesis beginning always provides the historical context of the selected topic. It is generally referenced in the opening paragraph and illustrates the subject's present status.

4. Use Relevant Literature to Back Up Your Topic

The introduction combines previous research and the literature review. As a result, the topic should be backed up by relevant resources.

It's also used to explain the context and significance of previous research. It also acknowledges credible sources of information to back up your argument.

You can also check out this video for a better understanding:

5. Specify the Hypothesis

Create a hypothesis for your research paper . It will go through your goals as well as the options available to you.

6. Explain the Importance of Your Research

The gap will assist in assessing the situation and explaining the relevance of the current research.

Thus, provide your paper's goal, which explains why the study was conducted. It will also show the potential future contributions of the study work.

7. Outline the Research Questions

The next step is to compose an outline of your research questions. These should be relevant to the goal of your research. It will also aid you in discussing the issues you wish to address.

8. State Your Research Goals

To identify the fundamental purpose of the work, state the research goals and objectives. It should provide direction for the research by offering an outline of what it hopes to achieve.

9. Make an Outline

Make a well-structured outline to organize and assemble your ideas. Include a table of contents at the start of your dissertation as well. It could be used as a mind map to talk about the structure of your thesis proposal.

10. Examine the Research Methodology

In this stage, you have to identify and define the terms and methods you will use in your study. It is an effective method for making your research authentic, trustworthy, and valuable.

11. Complete Your Introduction

After you've finished writing the introduction, ask yourself the following questions.

  • Is your introduction concerned with the issue that your thesis seeks to address?
  • Does it make a case for the study?
  • Is this part concerned with the research's contribution?
  • Is it a thorough review of your thesis?
  • Is it precise in defining research topics, issues, and hypotheses?
  • Does it end by briefly addressing the topic of each chapter?

Take a look at this example and get a better understanding of writing the thesis introduction.

How to Write a Good Thesis Introduction

Thesis Introduction Examples

The following are examples of an introductory thesis paragraph to assist you in writing effective introductions.

Thesis Introduction Sample

School Canteen Thesis Introduction

Study Habits Thesis Introduction

PhD Thesis Introduction

Master Thesis Introduction Example

Bachelor Thesis Introduction Example

Thesis Defense Introduction Speech Sample

Thesis Chapter 1 Introduction Example

Thesis Introduction About Working Students Example

Useful Tips for Writing a Thesis Introduction

Here are some useful writing tips for writing a great thesis introduction. 

Identify and Specify Research Parameters:

  • Define the Research Scope and Boundaries
  • Set Research Parameters in the Introduction

Provide Adequate Information to Back Up Claims:

  • Support Claims with Relevant Information
  • Present Evidence in the Introduction

Compose a Strong Introduction to Establish Scope and Goal:

  • Establish the Scope and Goal of the Work in the Introduction
  • Craft a Compelling Opening to Set the Tone and Direction

Solid Opening to Establish Scope and Aim:

  • Establish the Scope and Aim of the Work in the Opening
  • Create a Strong Opening Statement for the Introduction

Establishing Topic, Terms, and Scope:

  • Establish the Context and Parameters of the Research
  • Define the Topic, Terms, and Scope in the Introduction

Background Information for a Strong Foundation:

  • Provide Background Information 
  • Establish a Solid Foundation with Background Details

Creating a Niche and Restricting Assertions:

  • Establish a Niche and Limiting Assertions in the Introduction
  • Create a Focused Framework for the Thesis in the Introduction

Guiding Future Research with Methodology:

  • Indicate the Methodology for Future Research in the Introduction
  • Guide Future Research with the Introduction's Methodological Overview

Overview of Present Research: Hypothesis, Questions, Aims:

  • Present the Research Overview in the Introduction
  • Introduce Hypotheses , Research Questions, and Aims in the Introduction

Unique and Plagiarism-Free Content:

  • Ensure Unique and Original Content 
  • Maintain Academic Integrity with Plagiarism-Free Introduction

Consistent Thesis Format with Clear Facts:

  • Adhere to a Consistent Thesis Format
  • Present Clear Facts with a Consistent Format in the Introduction

Avoiding Technical Terms and Confusing Language:

  • Write in Clear Language, Avoiding Technical Terms 
  • Maintain Clarity by Avoiding Confusing Language in the Introduction

Are you stuck on starting an introduction or looking for a thesis paper that will get an A? Get help from our AI writing tool to get started!

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Grad Coach

How To Write A Dissertation Introduction Chapter:

The 7 essential ingredients of an a-grade introduction.

By: Derek Jansen (MBA). Reviewed By Dr Eunice Rautenbach (D. Tech) | March 2020

If you’re reading this, you’re probably at the daunting early phases of writing up the introduction chapter of your dissertation or thesis. It can be intimidating, I know. 

In this post, we’ll look at the 7 essential ingredients of a strong dissertation or thesis introduction chapter, as well as the essential things you need to keep in mind as you craft each section. We’ll also share some useful tips to help you optimize your approach.

Overview: How To Write An Introduction Chapter

  • Understand the purpose and function of the intro chapter
  • Craft an enticing and engaging opening section
  • Provide a background and context to the study
  • Clearly define the research problem
  • State your research aims, objectives and questions
  • Explain the significance of your study
  • Identify the limitations of your research
  • Outline the structure of your dissertation or thesis

The perfect dissertation or thesis introduction chapter

A quick sidenote:

You’ll notice that I’ve used the words dissertation and thesis interchangeably. While these terms reflect different levels of research – for example, Masters vs PhD-level research – the introduction chapter generally contains the same 7 essential ingredients regardless of level. So, in this post, dissertation introduction equals thesis introduction.

Start with why.

To craft a high-quality dissertation or thesis introduction chapter, you need to understand exactly what this chapter needs to achieve. In other words, what’s its purpose ? As the name suggests, the introduction chapter needs to introduce the reader to your research so that they understand what you’re trying to figure out, or what problem you’re trying to solve. More specifically, you need to answer four important questions in your introduction chapter.

These questions are:

  • What will you be researching? (in other words, your research topic)
  • Why is that worthwhile? (in other words, your justification)
  • What will the scope of your research be? (in other words, what will you cover and what won’t you cover)
  • What will the limitations of your research be? (in other words, what will the potential shortcomings of your research be?)

Simply put, your dissertation’s introduction chapter needs to provide an overview of your planned research , as well as a clear rationale for it. In other words, this chapter has to explain the “what” and the “why” of your research – what’s it all about and why’s that important.

Simple enough, right?

Well, the trick is finding the appropriate depth of information. As the researcher, you’ll be extremely close to your topic and this makes it easy to get caught up in the minor details. While these intricate details might be interesting, you need to write your introduction chapter on more of a “need-to-know” type basis, or it will end up way too lengthy and dense. You need to balance painting a clear picture with keeping things concise. Don’t worry though – you’ll be able to explore all the intricate details in later chapters.

The core ingredients of a dissertation introduction chapter

Now that you understand what you need to achieve from your introduction chapter, we can get into the details. While the exact requirements for this chapter can vary from university to university, there are seven core components that most universities will require. We call these the seven essential ingredients . 

The 7 Essential Ingredients

  • The opening section – where you’ll introduce the reader to your research in high-level terms
  • The background to the study – where you’ll explain the context of your project
  • The research problem – where you’ll explain the “gap” that exists in the current research
  • The research aims , objectives and questions – where you’ll clearly state what your research will aim to achieve
  • The significance (or justification) – where you’ll explain why your research is worth doing and the value it will provide to the world
  • The limitations – where you’ll acknowledge the potential limitations of your project and approach
  • The structure – where you’ll briefly outline the structure of your dissertation or thesis to help orient the reader

By incorporating these seven essential ingredients into your introduction chapter, you’ll comprehensively cover both the “ what ” and the “ why ” I mentioned earlier – in other words, you’ll achieve the purpose of the chapter.

Side note – you can also use these 7 ingredients in this order as the structure for your chapter to ensure a smooth, logical flow. This isn’t essential, but, generally speaking, it helps create an engaging narrative that’s easy for your reader to understand. If you’d like, you can also download our free introduction chapter template here.

Alright – let’s look at each of the ingredients now.

best thesis introduction

#1 – The Opening Section

The very first essential ingredient for your dissertation introduction is, well, an introduction or opening section. Just like every other chapter, your introduction chapter needs to start by providing a brief overview of what you’ll be covering in the chapter.

This section needs to engage the reader with clear, concise language that can be easily understood and digested. If the reader (your marker!) has to struggle through it, they’ll lose interest, which will make it harder for you to earn marks. Just because you’re writing an academic paper doesn’t mean you can ignore the basic principles of engaging writing used by marketers, bloggers, and journalists. At the end of the day, you’re all trying to sell an idea – yours is just a research idea.

So, what goes into this opening section?

Well, while there’s no set formula, it’s a good idea to include the following four foundational sentences in your opening section:

1 – A sentence or two introducing the overall field of your research.

For example:

“Organisational skills development involves identifying current or potential skills gaps within a business and developing programs to resolve these gaps. Management research, including X, Y and Z, has clearly established that organisational skills development is an essential contributor to business growth.”

2 – A sentence introducing your specific research problem.

“However, there are conflicting views and an overall lack of research regarding how best to manage skills development initiatives in highly dynamic environments where subject knowledge is rapidly and continuously evolving – for example, in the website development industry.”

3 – A sentence stating your research aims and objectives.

“This research aims to identify and evaluate skills development approaches and strategies for highly dynamic industries in which subject knowledge is continuously evolving.”.

4 – A sentence outlining the layout of the chapter.

“This chapter will provide an introduction to the study by first discussing the background and context, followed by the research problem, the research aims, objectives and questions, the significance and finally, the limitations.”

As I mentioned, this opening section of your introduction chapter shouldn’t be lengthy . Typically, these four sentences should fit neatly into one or two paragraphs, max. What you’re aiming for here is a clear, concise introduction to your research – not a detailed account.

PS – If some of this terminology sounds unfamiliar, don’t stress – I’ll explain each of the concepts later in this post.

Dissertation writing

#2 – Background to the study

Now that you’ve provided a high-level overview of your dissertation or thesis, it’s time to go a little deeper and lay a foundation for your research topic. This foundation is what the second ingredient is all about – the background to your study.

So, what is the background section all about?

Well, this section of your introduction chapter should provide a broad overview of the topic area that you’ll be researching, as well as the current contextual factors . This could include, for example, a brief history of the topic, recent developments in the area, key pieces of research in the area and so on. In other words, in this section, you need to provide the relevant background information to give the reader a decent foundational understanding of your research area.

Let’s look at an example to make this a little more concrete.

If we stick with the skills development topic I mentioned earlier, the background to the study section would start by providing an overview of the skills development area and outline the key existing research. Then, it would go on to discuss how the modern-day context has created a new challenge for traditional skills development strategies and approaches. Specifically, that in many industries, technical knowledge is constantly and rapidly evolving, and traditional education providers struggle to keep up with the pace of new technologies.

Importantly, you need to write this section with the assumption that the reader is not an expert in your topic area. So, if there are industry-specific jargon and complex terminology, you should briefly explain that here , so that the reader can understand the rest of your document.

Don’t make assumptions about the reader’s knowledge – in most cases, your markers will not be able to ask you questions if they don’t understand something. So, always err on the safe side and explain anything that’s not common knowledge.

Dissertation Coaching

#3 – The research problem

Now that you’ve given your reader an overview of your research area, it’s time to get specific about the research problem that you’ll address in your dissertation or thesis. While the background section would have eluded to a potential research problem (or even multiple research problems), the purpose of this section is to narrow the focus and highlight the specific research problem you’ll focus on.

But, what exactly is a research problem, you ask?

Well, a research problem can be any issue or question for which there isn’t already a well-established and agreed-upon answer in the existing research. In other words, a research problem exists when there’s a need to answer a question (or set of questions), but there’s a gap in the existing literature , or the existing research is conflicting and/or inconsistent.

So, to present your research problem, you need to make it clear what exactly is missing in the current literature and why this is a problem . It’s usually a good idea to structure this discussion into three sections – specifically:

  • What’s already well-established in the literature (in other words, the current state of research)
  • What’s missing in the literature (in other words, the literature gap)
  • Why this is a problem (in other words, why it’s important to fill this gap)

Let’s look at an example of this structure using the skills development topic.

Organisational skills development is critically important for employee satisfaction and company performance (reference). Numerous studies have investigated strategies and approaches to manage skills development programs within organisations (reference).

(this paragraph explains what’s already well-established in the literature)

However, these studies have traditionally focused on relatively slow-paced industries where key skills and knowledge do not change particularly often. This body of theory presents a problem for industries that face a rapidly changing skills landscape – for example, the website development industry – where new platforms, languages and best practices emerge on an extremely frequent basis.

(this paragraph explains what’s missing from the literature)

As a result, the existing research is inadequate for industries in which essential knowledge and skills are constantly and rapidly evolving, as it assumes a slow pace of knowledge development. Industries in such environments, therefore, find themselves ill-equipped in terms of skills development strategies and approaches.

(this paragraph explains why the research gap is problematic)

As you can see in this example, in a few lines, we’ve explained (1) the current state of research, (2) the literature gap and (3) why that gap is problematic. By doing this, the research problem is made crystal clear, which lays the foundation for the next ingredient.

#4 – The research aims, objectives and questions

Now that you’ve clearly identified your research problem, it’s time to identify your research aims and objectives , as well as your research questions . In other words, it’s time to explain what you’re going to do about the research problem.

So, what do you need to do here?

Well, the starting point is to clearly state your research aim (or aims) . The research aim is the main goal or the overarching purpose of your dissertation or thesis. In other words, it’s a high-level statement of what you’re aiming to achieve.

Let’s look at an example, sticking with the skills development topic:

“Given the lack of research regarding organisational skills development in fast-moving industries, this study will aim to identify and evaluate the skills development approaches utilised by web development companies in the UK”.

As you can see in this example, the research aim is clearly outlined, as well as the specific context in which the research will be undertaken (in other words, web development companies in the UK).

Next up is the research objective (or objectives) . While the research aims cover the high-level “what”, the research objectives are a bit more practically oriented, looking at specific things you’ll be doing to achieve those research aims.

Let’s take a look at an example of some research objectives (ROs) to fit the research aim.

  • RO1 – To identify common skills development strategies and approaches utilised by web development companies in the UK.
  • RO2 – To evaluate the effectiveness of these strategies and approaches.
  • RO3 – To compare and contrast these strategies and approaches in terms of their strengths and weaknesses.

As you can see from this example, these objectives describe the actions you’ll take and the specific things you’ll investigate in order to achieve your research aims. They break down the research aims into more specific, actionable objectives.

The final step is to state your research questions . Your research questions bring the aims and objectives another level “down to earth”. These are the specific questions that your dissertation or theses will seek to answer. They’re not fluffy, ambiguous or conceptual – they’re very specific and you’ll need to directly answer them in your conclusions chapter .

The research questions typically relate directly to the research objectives and sometimes can look a bit obvious, but they are still extremely important. Let’s take a look at an example of the research questions (RQs) that would flow from the research objectives I mentioned earlier.

  • RQ1 – What skills development strategies and approaches are currently being used by web development companies in the UK?
  • RQ2 – How effective are each of these strategies and approaches?
  • RQ3 – What are the strengths and weaknesses of each of these strategies and approaches?

As you can see, the research questions mimic the research objectives , but they are presented in question format. These questions will act as the driving force throughout your dissertation or thesis – from the literature review to the methodology and onward – so they’re really important.

A final note about this section – it’s really important to be clear about the scope of your study (more technically, the delimitations ). In other words, what you WILL cover and what you WON’T cover. If your research aims, objectives and questions are too broad, you’ll risk losing focus or investigating a problem that is too big to solve within a single dissertation.

Simply put, you need to establish clear boundaries in your research. You can do this, for example, by limiting it to a specific industry, country or time period. That way, you’ll ringfence your research, which will allow you to investigate your topic deeply and thoroughly – which is what earns marks!

Need a helping hand?

best thesis introduction

#5 – Significance

Now that you’ve made it clear what you’ll be researching, it’s time to make a strong argument regarding your study’s importance and significance . In other words, now that you’ve covered the what, it’s time to cover the why – enter essential ingredient number 5 – significance.

Of course, by this stage, you’ve already briefly alluded to the importance of your study in your background and research problem sections, but you haven’t explicitly stated how your research findings will benefit the world . So, now’s your chance to clearly state how your study will benefit either industry , academia , or – ideally – both . In other words, you need to explain how your research will make a difference and what implications it will have.

Let’s take a look at an example.

“This study will contribute to the body of knowledge on skills development by incorporating skills development strategies and approaches for industries in which knowledge and skills are rapidly and constantly changing. This will help address the current shortage of research in this area and provide real-world value to organisations operating in such dynamic environments.”

As you can see in this example, the paragraph clearly explains how the research will help fill a gap in the literature and also provide practical real-world value to organisations.

This section doesn’t need to be particularly lengthy, but it does need to be convincing . You need to “sell” the value of your research here so that the reader understands why it’s worth committing an entire dissertation or thesis to it. This section needs to be the salesman of your research. So, spend some time thinking about the ways in which your research will make a unique contribution to the world and how the knowledge you create could benefit both academia and industry – and then “sell it” in this section.

studying and prep for henley exams

#6 – The limitations

Now that you’ve “sold” your research to the reader and hopefully got them excited about what’s coming up in the rest of your dissertation, it’s time to briefly discuss the potential limitations of your research.

But you’re probably thinking, hold up – what limitations? My research is well thought out and carefully designed – why would there be limitations?

Well, no piece of research is perfect . This is especially true for a dissertation or thesis – which typically has a very low or zero budget, tight time constraints and limited researcher experience. Generally, your dissertation will be the first or second formal research project you’ve ever undertaken, so it’s unlikely to win any research awards…

Simply put, your research will invariably have limitations. Don’t stress yourself out though – this is completely acceptable (and expected). Even “professional” research has limitations – as I said, no piece of research is perfect. The key is to recognise the limitations upfront and be completely transparent about them, so that future researchers are aware of them and can improve the study’s design to minimise the limitations and strengthen the findings.

Generally, you’ll want to consider at least the following four common limitations. These are:

  • Your scope – for example, perhaps your focus is very narrow and doesn’t consider how certain variables interact with each other.
  • Your research methodology – for example, a qualitative methodology could be criticised for being overly subjective, or a quantitative methodology could be criticised for oversimplifying the situation (learn more about methodologies here ).
  • Your resources – for example, a lack of time, money, equipment and your own research experience.
  • The generalisability of your findings – for example, the findings from the study of a specific industry or country can’t necessarily be generalised to other industries or countries.

Don’t be shy here. There’s no use trying to hide the limitations or weaknesses of your research. In fact, the more critical you can be of your study, the better. The markers want to see that you are aware of the limitations as this demonstrates your understanding of research design – so be brutal.

#7 – The structural outline

Now that you’ve clearly communicated what your research is going to be about, why it’s important and what the limitations of your research will be, the final ingredient is the structural outline.The purpose of this section is simply to provide your reader with a roadmap of what to expect in terms of the structure of your dissertation or thesis.

In this section, you’ll need to provide a brief summary of each chapter’s purpose and contents (including the introduction chapter). A sentence or two explaining what you’ll do in each chapter is generally enough to orient the reader. You don’t want to get too detailed here – it’s purely an outline, not a summary of your research.

Let’s look at an example:

In Chapter One, the context of the study has been introduced. The research objectives and questions have been identified, and the value of such research argued. The limitations of the study have also been discussed.

In Chapter Two, the existing literature will be reviewed and a foundation of theory will be laid out to identify key skills development approaches and strategies within the context of fast-moving industries, especially technology-intensive industries.

In Chapter Three, the methodological choices will be explored. Specifically, the adoption of a qualitative, inductive research approach will be justified, and the broader research design will be discussed, including the limitations thereof.

So, as you can see from the example, this section is simply an outline of the chapter structure, allocating a short paragraph to each chapter. Done correctly, the outline will help your reader understand what to expect and reassure them that you’ll address the multiple facets of the study.

By the way – if you’re unsure of how to structure your dissertation or thesis, be sure to check out our video post which explains dissertation structure .

Keep calm and carry on.

Hopefully you feel a bit more prepared for this challenge of crafting your dissertation or thesis introduction chapter now. Take a deep breath and remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day – conquer one ingredient at a time and you’ll be firmly on the path to success.

Let’s quickly recap – the 7 ingredients are:

  • The opening section – where you give a brief, high-level overview of what your research will be about.
  • The study background – where you introduce the reader to key theory, concepts and terminology, as well as the context of your study.
  • The research problem – where you explain what the problem with the current research is. In other words, the research gap.
  • The research aims , objectives and questions – where you clearly state what your dissertation will investigate.
  • The significance – where you explain what value your research will provide to the world.
  • The limitations – where you explain what the potential shortcomings and limitations of your research may be.
  • The structural outline – where you provide a high-level overview of the structure of your document

If you bake these ingredients into your dissertation introduction chapter, you’ll be well on your way to building an engaging introduction chapter that lays a rock-solid foundation for the rest of your document.

Remember, while we’ve covered the essential ingredients here, there may be some additional components that your university requires, so be sure to double-check your project brief!

best thesis introduction

Psst… there’s more (for free)

This post is part of our dissertation mini-course, which covers everything you need to get started with your dissertation, thesis or research project. 

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Thanks very much for such an insight. I feel confident enough in undertaking my thesis on the survey;The future of facial recognition and learning non verbal interaction

Derek Jansen

Glad to hear that. Good luck with your thesis!

Thanks very much for such an insight. I feel confident now undertaking my thesis; The future of facial recognition and learning non verbal interaction.

Emmanuel Chukwuebuka Okoli

Thanks so much for this article. I found myself struggling and wasting a lot of time in my thesis writing but after reading this article and watching some of your youtube videos, I now have a clear understanding of what is required for a thesis.

Saima Kashif

Thank you Derek, i find your each post so useful. Keep it up.


Thank you so much Derek ,for shedding the light and making it easier for me to handle the daunting task of academic writing .

Alice kasaka

Thanks do much Dereck for the comprehensive guide. It will assist me queit a lot in my thesis.


thanks a lot for helping

SALly henderson

i LOVE the gifs, such a fun way to engage readers. thanks for the advice, much appreciated


Thanks a lot Derek! It will be really useful to the beginner in research!

Derek Jansen

You’re welcome


This is a well written, easily comprehensible, simple introduction to the basics of a Research Dissertation../the need to keep the reader in mind while writing the dissertation is an important point that is covered../ I appreciate the efforts of the author../

Laxmi kanta Sharma

The instruction given are perfect and clear. I was supposed to take the course , unfortunately in Nepal the service is not avaialble.However, I am much more hopeful that you will provide require documents whatever you have produced so far.

Halima Ringim

Thank you very much

Shamim Nabankema

Thanks so much ❤️😘 I feel am ready to start writing my research methodology

Sapphire Kellichan

This is genuinely the most effective advice I have ever been given regarding academia. Thank you so much!


This is one of the best write up I have seen in my road to PhD thesis. regards, this write up update my knowledge of research


I was looking for some good blogs related to Education hopefully your article will help. Thanks for sharing.


This is an awesome masterpiece. It is one of the most comprehensive guides to writing a Dissertation/Thesis I have seen and read.

You just saved me from going astray in writing a Dissertation for my undergraduate studies. I could not be more grateful for such a relevant guide like this. Thank you so much.


Thank you so much Derek, this has been extremely helpful!!

I do have one question though, in the limitations part do you refer to the scope as the focus of the research on a specific industry/country/chronological period? I assume that in order to talk about whether or not the research could be generalized, the above would need to be already presented and described in the introduction.

Thank you again!

Jackson Lubari Wani

Phew! You have genuinely rescued me. I was stuck how to go about my thesis. Now l have started. Thank you.

Valmont Dain

This is the very best guide in anything that has to do with thesis or dissertation writing. The numerous blends of examples and detailed insights make it worth a read and in fact, a treasure that is worthy to be bookmarked.

Thanks a lot for this masterpiece!


Powerful insight. I can now take a step


Thank you very much for these valuable introductions to thesis chapters. I saw all your videos about writing the introduction, discussion, and conclusion chapter. Then, I am wondering if we need to explain our research limitations in all three chapters, introduction, discussion, and conclusion? Isn’t it a bit redundant? If not, could you please explain how can we write in different ways? Thank you.

Md. Abdullah-Al-mahbub

Excellent!!! Thank you…


Thanks for this informative content. I have a question. The research gap is mentioned in both the introduction and literature section. I would like to know how can I demonstrate the research gap in both sections without repeating the contents?


I’m incredibly grateful for this invaluable content. I’ve been dreading compiling my postgrad thesis but breaking each chapter down into sections has made it so much easier for me to engage with the material without feeling overwhelmed. After relying on your guidance, I’m really happy with how I’ve laid out my introduction.


Thank you for the informative content you provided


Hi Derrick and Team, thank you so much for the comprehensive guide on how to write a dissertation or a thesis introduction section. For some of us first-timers, it is a daunting task. However, the instruction with relevant examples makes it clear and easy to follow through. Much appreciated.

Raza Bukhari

It was so helpful. God Bless you. Thanks very much


I thank you Grad coach for your priceless help. I have two questions I have learned from your video the limitations of the research presented in chapter one. but in another video also presented in chapter five. which chapter limitation should be included? If possible, I need your answer since I am doing my thesis. how can I explain If I am asked what is my motivation for this research?

Simon Musa Wuranjiya

Thank you guys for the great work you are doing. Honestly, you have made the research to be interesting and simplified. Even a novice will easily grasp the ideas you put forward, Thank you once again.


Excellent piece!


I feel like just settling for a good topic is usually the hardest part.


Thank you so much. My confidence has been completely destroyed during my first year of PhD and you have helped me pull myself together again

Happy to help 🙂

Linda Adhoch

I am so glad I ran into your resources and did not waste time doing the wrong this. Research is now making so much sense now.

Danyal Ahmad

Gratitude to Derrick and the team I was looking for a solid article that would aid me in drafting the thesis’ introduction. I felt quite happy when I came across the piece you wrote because it was so well-written and insightful. I wish you success in the future.

ria M

thank you so much. God Bless you

Arnold C

Thank you so much Grad Coach for these helpful insights. Now I can get started, with a great deal of confidence.

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Introduction and Conclusion: Writing Tips

  • Introduction


Introductions should:

  • Begin in an interesting way
  • Start with a general idea about the topic and end with a specific statement about the focus of the paper (thesis statement). Use a funnel approach by starting broad and getting more narrow by the thesis.
  • Have a thesis statement that begins with a claim or statement and exactly why you are writing about this claim or what you will be focusing about the claim (so what clause).

Introductions should not:

  • Only be a sentence or two long. Introductions should be full paragraphs (5-6 sentences).
  • Begin with the thesis statement. The thesis statement should be the last sentence (or two) of the introduction paragraph.
  • Have wording like: “In this paper I will write about” or “I will focus on” be specific but do not spell out the obvious. (Remember to be interesting to the reader!)


Conclusions should:

  • Begin in an interesting way that serves to begin to tie up the main points.
  • Should have a summary of each main idea that the essay talks about.
  • Show how these ideas relate to the thesis statement
  • End in a way that comes full circle and ties up all loose ends

Conclusions should not:

  • Begin with “In Conclusion”
  • Introduce any new ideas
  • End abruptly
  • Leave the reader wondering how the main ideas relate to the thesis
  • Only be a sentence or two long.  Conclusions should be full paragraphs.

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Writing Scholarly Introductions - Group Session

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Monday 3:00 p.m. 

The introduction to any type of writing is important as it sets the tone for the reader and builds their expectations for what is to come. Equally important is the conclusion since it is the last contact a writer has with the reader. Together, they form the bookends that encapsulate the argument made within the paper itself. In this interactive group session, you will learn how to create scholarly introductions and conclusions that will capture your reader’s interest and ensure that they leave knowing your intended points.   Coaching Scheduler

Key Resource: Thesis Writing Tips

Thesis Writing Tips

Thesis Statement

Some ways to help strengthen your thesis are as follows:

  • Before you develop an argument on any topic, you have to collect and organize evidence, look for possible relationships between known facts (such as surprising contrasts or similarities), and think about the significance of these relationships. Once you do this thinking, you will probably have a "working thesis," a basic or main idea, an argument that you think you can support with evidence but that may need adjustment along the way.
  • Do I answer the question? Re-reading the question prompt after constructing a working thesis can help you fix an argument that misses the focus of the question.
  • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? If your thesis simply states facts that no one would, or even could, disagree with, it's possible that you are simply providing a summary, rather than making an argument
  • Is my thesis statement specific enough?   Thesis statements that are too vague often do not have a strong argument.  If your thesis contains words like "good" or "successful," see if you could be more specific: why is something "good"; what specifically makes something "successful"? Does my thesis pass the "So what?" test? If a reader's first response is, "So what?" then you need to clarify, to forge a relationship, or to connect to a larger issue.
  • Does my essay support my thesis specifically and without wandering? If your thesis and the body of your essay do not seem to go together, one of them has to change. It's o.k. to change your working thesis to reflect things you have figured out in the course of writing your paper. Remember, always reassess and revise your writing as necessary.
  • Does my thesis pass the "how and why?" test? If a reader's first response is "how?" or "why?" your thesis may be too open-ended and lack guidance for the reader. See what you can add to give the reader a better take on your position right from the beginning.
  • Remember: A strong thesis statement takes a stand, justifies discussion, expresses one main idea and is specific. Use the questions above to help make sure each of these components are present in your thesis.

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  • Last Updated: Nov 29, 2023 6:15 PM
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