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Dissertation Introduction: Step-by-Step Guide and Useful Tips

We will teach you everything you should know about dissertation introduction! Are you intrigued? Good, because it was not a trick but a sincere promise that we will keep. Writing is all about planning. So going in with an effective plan will get you a step closer to your success. Today, we’ll give you all the important bits of information, and you won't need hours of googling. Stay with us and nail your research!

What Is an Introduction for Dissertation?

First and foremost, we should understand what an introduction for a dissertation even is. To put it in simple terms: it is your first attempt to impress the reader and make them stay reading your paper. Therefore, it needs to be clear and up to a point. Try to explain why your work matters and you got this thing in the bag.

And if you’re wondering about sizes of your initial few paragraphs, there is no fixed word count. Your introduction must take 10% of a total word count. Remember this 10% and personalize your own word count to write.

Difference Between Abstract and Introduction in Dissertation

There is a clear difference between an introduction of a dissertation and an abstract for dissertation. They both indeed summarize your work. However, our abstract proposes only a brief summary of the main findings. There is no evidence or anything else about the work.
An introduction does not only provide a summary. Apart from our main findings, it also allows readers to see why you chose a specific topic. What evidence made you think of these questions for the research. That is a crucial point worth remembering for your study.

What to Include In a Dissertation Introduction

We have an easy dissertation introduction structure for you to remember. Just use it as an initial template. Make sure you have these elements:

  1. Hook (How can you intrigue your reader? Maybe you have some statistics or a quote?)
  2. Introduction of your topic (What is the main focus of your work?)
  3. Background and context for your study (How can you prepare your readers for your conclusions?)
  4. Relevance (Why does it matter?)
  5. Objectives and aims (What did you want to find and why?)
  6. Methodology (Did you use any theories or techniques to get our results?)
  7. Limits (Does something limit our research? Was there enough data?)
  8. Structure of our study (What do you talk about chapter by chapter?)

If you follow this structure when creating an introduction for your dissertation, be sure you will succeed. Use these elements as a checklist for your further research to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.

How to Write a Dissertation Introduction?

How to write a good dissertation introduction? That is a million-dollar question. But no worries because we got you in this aspect. We’ve prepared all steps that require your focus. By mastering them, you’ll nail this section of an incredible research. So our framework can be found below. Make sure you save it!

1. Introduce the Topic in Your Introduction of a Dissertation

Writing an introduction for a dissertation involves, well, an obvious part — introducing the reader to your topic. This is mostly done by stating the focus of your study and giving content to the reader. It is essential. For the sake of our examples, we will propose one topic and stick to it for the rest of our guide.

An importance of Broadway musicals for American identity.

Broadway musicals have been a vital part of American culture. Nevertheless, they also have the power to influence the understanding of a nation's identity and its development.

See, your reader will understand what will be your main subject of our paper. So our first step is complete.

2. Focus on Scientific Background in an Introduction to a Dissertation

A dissertation background is an ideal opportunity to expand on what we have already introduced. Here we should add more details and some interesting facts. What do we know about this area of study? How well is it researched? Can you narrow down your topic to main points? Let’s take a look at the example.

Musicals became a significant part of modern media. Now, they can even be streamed on varied platforms. Therefore, younger generations are active consumers of such content, even in virtual forms that undoubtedly shape the understanding of reality.

P.S. Don't forget current contextual factors! This will help readers in understanding the timeline of your paper.

3. Specify the Relevance of Your Research in an Introduction of Dissertation

A dissertation introduction chapter also involves stating why your topic is even relevant. Why did you choose this subject and not anything else? Whom does it help? Why study it? What do you add to the already existing scope of knowledge? Therefore, you should consider the importance of your research and remember that you’re still trying to intrigue your reader. You can also mention any gaps in data and say how you’re filling them out. We have provided the example just for this case below.

Ever since Hamilton became a phenomenon known even overseas, more and more people started viewing musicals as art that fits any generation. Nevertheless, apart from the well-known rap musical, there is little information on how other pieces might have impacted modern use. Moreover, it is worth considering whether lockdown measures and streaming platforms have changed the perception of such films.

4. State the Objectives and Aim in an Introduction to Dissertation

An objective of your dissertation and an aim of your dissertation are to be included as well. Take a look at these questions that will help in writing:

  • What did you want to understand?
  • How did you go around understanding it?
  • What findings did you collect and how?

Thus, objectives present your overall goal of your paper. Here is the example.

How did musicals affect modern culture ever since they hit the mainstream?

Inspect existing literature on modern musicals.

Collect quantitative data regarding the popularity of the aforementioned art pieces on streaming platforms such as Disney+. Determine whether young people enjoy musicals and use them as pop-cultural references.

5. Include the Methodology in an Introduction in a Dissertation

The methodology is yet another vital part of your introduction to a dissertation. It is relatively simple. We bet you used some methods and techniques when preparing to write your paper. The only thing left is to ensure that this information can be found at the beginning of the article. But keep it up to a point. You’ll have another separate section to show all the practical applications and methodologies. Here’s a brief list of methods you might have used:

  • Quantitative (those that can be measured like surveys)
  • Qualitative (cannot be measured, so interviews are good examples)
  • Mixed (combination of both)

6. Show Your Limits in an Introduction in Dissertation

Introduction for a dissertation is also not complete without limits. And, yes, we know, only the sky's a limit. But this doesn't work in research. You might question why we should include the limits when introducing your topic. Well, we're glad that you asked. Here are several main reasons:

  • Claiming that your research is ideal will make readers question its validity.
  • Some will definitely find weaknesses and wonder if you have addressed them.
  • By providing limits and justifying your decisions, you'll immodesty answer all the extra questions your readers might have.
  • Limitations prove that you really thought about the scope of your paper.
  • Limitations add value to our introduction.

7. Give an Outline of Your Research in an Introduction for a Dissertation

A dissertation introduction outline is our last thing you might want to add to this section. It answers the following questions:

  • What chapter will your readers find in your paper?
  • What is our main focus of each chapter?
  • What is the overall structure of your work?

Thus, you should briefly mention the existing content that can be found inside.

For example, as we deal with musicals, we can structure the paper according to several pieces we have chosen. So you can state that the reader will find three distinct chapters. The first one will deal with Dear Evan Hansen, the second will talk about Wicked, and the third — Beetlejuice. This way, the reader will already know what to expect and where they can find it.

Tips for Writing an Introduction for Dissertation

We couldn't leave you without tips for dissertation introduction. All the juicy and important bits are here for you to enjoy. So consider and use them!

  1. In order to write a good introduction, complete it after your research is fully done. It might be ironic to finish with it, yet this method totally works.
  2. Make sure to highlight major purposes of your paper.
  3. Don't try to fit all your findings. Focus on your main points.
  4. Use a pyramid structure: from a board topic to a narrow one.
  5. Approach your introduction as if our audience knows nothing about its aim.

Common Mistakes When Writing an Introduction for a Dissertation

Introduction in a dissertation can sometimes be tricky. But making mistakes is only natural. Don't be afraid to learn from them. Still, to minimize your problems and bad cases, we've prepared an overview of mistakes a student might make when writing:

  1. Making an introduction too long. It is not a story, so make it short, 10% of the paper, if being exact.
  2. Not mentioning the main problem. You should only state what is known. Include what you will add to the scope.
  3. Boring beginning. Start with an intriguing hook.
  4. Wordy sentences. Being academic doesn't mean using long words or numerous synonyms.
  5. Dry and not flowy writing. Using connectors in between sentences is a major gamechanger.

Dissertation Introduction Example

Our final little present is an example of a dissertation introduction. It will help you understand the guide better. Besides, you might have a good idea of what an introduction is, yet having a reference is always better. So check out our sample!

Booking patterns of online clients within the tourism and hospitality industry
Tourism and Hospitality
Paper type

Final Thoughts on Writing an Introduction for a Dissertation

Now you are more than ready to start writing an introduction to a dissertation. But to recap what we learned. We now know that introduction must take up to 10% of our overall work. Moreover, it must be concise and clear. For more information about dissertation writing (appendix in dissertation, proposal, dissertation acknowledgments, etc.), you can read in the Dissertation Guide at our blog.

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Joe Eckel is an expert on Dissertations writing. He makes sure that each student gets precious insights on composing A-grade academic writing.

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