Dissertation introduction is the most crucial section, which sets the tone and direction for your research. It gives you a chance to impress the readers and convince them to keep reading. A dissertation introduction determines the pathway for your research. The ideas discussed in the introduction must be clear and straightforward and indicates to the reader what to expect in the ensuing paragraphs. Therefore, writing a strong introduction and setting a clear path for your dissertation is imperative. This article will tell you how to write an outstanding dissertation introduction and what things should be avoided.
What is a Dissertation Introduction?
A dissertation introduction is the first section of your dissertation. It entails informing the reader about your topic. The introduction section starts with a specific idea relevant to your topic, essentially the introduction paragraph’s topic sentence. Topic sentence includes the topic and a controlling idea. The first two to three sentences seek to grab the reader’s attention by using hook statements. Attention grabber can be a rhetorical statement also. In the next few lines, the author provides brief background information on the topic and develops the context for introducing the reader to the central idea.
In the last two to three lines, the author presents the problem statement, which is the core idea of the research. A research problem for a dissertation introduction must be strong and coherent and capture the essence of the entire research. The introduction is the most important part of a dissertation and must have unity, coherence, and brevity. It should not be too long and should not get bogged down by too many ideas or excessive information but just provide enough information for the reader to understand what the research is about.
Dos and Donts of Dissertation Introduction
Dissertation introduction encompasses the following elements:
- Introduce the reader to your research
- Develop the context (Background information)
- State the Research Problem
- Research aims, objectives, and questions
- Significance and scope of your research
The opening section of the dissertation introduction provides a brief overview of the chapter, which is clearly explained in the first few lines. It includes a hook statement to capture the reader’s interest. The introduction’s opening section must be clear, concise, and understandable to the reader. It must not start with vague, generic statements but must build the foundation for the specific topic of your research. So, the first two to three lines must provide the reader with a brief overview of your subject area.
In the next sentence, you introduce your reader to the research problem. A research problem basically highlights the research gap (identified during the preliminary literature review) and informs the reader about your stance on the issue. After stating the research problem, the author informs the reader about the aims and objectives of the research. For example, “This research aims to identify and explore….”. In one sentence, provide a brief outline of the introduction chapter. For example, “This chapter will inform the reader about the background, problem statement, aims, objectives, research questions and significance and scope of the research.” The opening section must not be too lengthy and must be summed up in one or maximum of two paragraphs.
After providing a brief overview of the research in the introduction section, the next step is to inform the reader about the background of the study. A dissertation introduction must cast a spell on the reader, and therefore it must be a well-written section. However, if you face any difficulty writing the introduction section, you can always get help from expert writers at Dissertation Writing Service.
Your introductory chapter’s background section should give a general outline of the subject matter in addition to the existing state of development in literature. You can, for instance, provide a brief historical overview of the existing developments in the field (old and contemporary). But make sure to highlight the most relevant and key studies because the literature review has a separate section, and you can provide a detailed account of the literature in that section. But in the background section, you provide an overview of the field to help the reader understand the current state of scholarship in your subject and the existing gaps. Background section builds the foundation of your research. It is brief yet comprehensive enough to get a general idea of the latest developments in the subject area.
After providing the background information in the dissertation introduction, the next step is to get down to the specifics. Research gap develops as a consequence of identified gaps, and essentially a research problem is an attempt to address the gap. It is your position on the issue and how tactfully you explain the problem that determines the significance and rationale of your research. A research problem cannot be too generic or too specific. It must have a balanced focus, and it must be argumentative. A research problem cannot be a value judgment or a factual statement. Instead, it is a well-articulated statement that captures the essence of your research and takes a strong position on the issue. A research problem can be formulated by keeping the following specifics in mind:
- What is the current state of research?
- What are the gaps?
- Why does it matter to address the gap?
Research Aims, Objectives, and Research Questions
This part of the dissertation introduction informs the reader what practical steps you will take to address the research problem. You must clearly articulate your research aim and define the overall purpose of your research. The next step is to clearly specify the research objectives by stating them in three-tier bulleted statements. Research objectives inform the reader about what your research seeks to achieve. For example, the opening lines can be like the following:
- To explore……
- To analyse….
- To compare and contrast….
After stating the objectives, research questions further narrow down your research and inform the reader about the specific questions your research will address. Research questions must be straightforward and concise.
Significance and Scope
Significance and scope of the dissertation introduction section delineate the significance of your research, its specific focus, and its limitations. It is imperative to keep a limited research focus, and it must not be vague or generic.
Introduction sets the tone and context of your research and informs the reader about the controlling idea of your research. Therefore, it must be engaging enough for the reader to understand the rationale and importance of your research.