How to Write a Dissertation Introduction

writiing dissertation introduction

The introduction is the first chapter of your thesis, which your reader is going to read. It comes after the list of contents and gives a thorough background of the topic and set the base for your study. So, it is critical to grab the attention of your reader at this point. You need to set a clear purpose and direct approach while writing it. A strong dissertation introduction helps to provide the insight of your topic to the reader, and allows him to get to know it from your point of view.
Generally, an introduction is written at the start of your thesis but it is not likely to be the case in many scenarios. You can write the introduction at the very end of your study so that you can add the crux of your study in your introduction.

Structure of Dissertation Introduction

Before you start writing your introduction, you can take the idea from the introduction you wrote for a research proposal, and you can expand it with concepts you want to add in your thesis. Don’t forget to revise your intro from time to time to add new facts to compliment your introduction more.
Your introduction must cover the following parts

You can either merge these parts but it is better to write them with separate headings or sections to give clarity to your reader. You can also add further points or literature references to give an overview of your topic and areas your study is going to cover. The length of the introduction depends on the overall length of your thesis. It should be around 10% of your entire text.


You can introduce your topic at the start of the chapter. One of the most important goals of writing background is to give an idea to your reader regarding your topic so that he can relate to it and understand it. You must write the reason for choosing the topic and how your research Is timely and why there is a need to address this problem and how the research is going to make a difference in the respective field. Don’t stretch your background information, cover it in not more than two pages. You can add references to few important researchers related to your topic to highlight the importance of your topic.


You can also introduce the few important terminologies you are using throughout your thesis, to make your topic clear for the reader. While you may add the other ones in the list of abbreviations or glossary. In the first chapter, only provide the basic information to the reader to contextualize your topic.

Focus, Motivation and Relevance of Study

Focus of the study provides the rationale and further leads to aims and objectives of the study while linking it to the background information you have provided in introduction. Whether you write the sections on different days, but all of it should look like a continuous flow. All of the sections should be in complete synchronization and interlinked with each other. Explain in the focus that why your research topic is important and what its scope is in the research field. Narrow down various segments just like demographics and geographical area, community you are going to focus on for research and time constraints.

Write down the motivation of your thesis topic and how it is related to existing work and how it will help it further. Cite the relevant literature to support your argument. Importance of your study is focused on its practical use. You can say that you are using a new angle to an already existing hypothesis or investigating a new technique of relevant topic. It will enhance the value of your research in your readers’ view.

Explain how your research can

Objectives, Aims and Research Questions

Objectives and aims are two different aspects of a study and should be written in that way. Every research study has an aim which roots out its further objectives and research questions to be achieved or met in the study. You have already formulated or included your research questions or objectives, all you have to do now is to carefully organize them in your introduction. Preferably, they should be noted down in bullets or in numbering.

In formulating or writing research objectives, one should

You cannot just write these questions or objectives or not work on them in your research. You should address your objectives to achieve the desirable result of your study.

Your research questions or objectives must be:

Other sections which you can add to your introduction are research methods, but there is no need to go in detail if you have already mentioned it in the methodology chapter. You can formulate the hypothesis too in this section and highlight the variables included with its conceptual framework.


You can write up the overview for each chapter so summarize all the facts and sections you have added in it. It can give an overall idea to the reader if they don’t have time to read every section or heading of your study. Few lines or one paragraph is enough for this purpose.

Your introduction builds up the foundation of your thesis in the mind of your reader, so make it clear, precise, direct and reasonable. A disorientated or disordered intro can cause confusion and break off the attention period of your supervisor or reader.