When writing your thesis, it is paramount to give the thesis introduction special attention. Every reader will start with the introduction and come up with his/her understanding of the study problem, ideas, and professionalism based on the information presented therein. So, your thesis paper introduction needs to be perfect to strike the right impression to your readers.
However, it is sad that many people find crafting a good thesis introduction challenging. So, if you have a thesis to write but you are stuck, there is no need to worry because we are here to help. This guide on how to write a thesis introduction will help you to nail it like a pro.
How to Start a Thesis Introduction
The introduction is the first chapter in your thesis, and you should use it to draw the reader’s attention with a strong and attractive beginning. Therefore, set the stage for your dissertation or thesis with a clear focus and direction. The main purposes of your thesis introduction can be broken down into three:
- Establishing your research territory: This involves highlighting general information about the importance of your topic and background details for the reader to understand the study’s context.
- Justifying your niche: This entails telling the reader why your research is needed. You do this by showing the current gap that you are looking forward to filling.
- Explain the significance of your study: This involves demonstrating how the research was conducted and its importance. Go ahead and tell the reader about the value that your study is bringing to your discipline.
Thesis Introduction Structure
The introduction of your PhD thesis should come immediately after the table of content, and you should ensure to provide important, meaningful, and accurate details to your readers. With the details you provide here, the reader should be able to know the following:
- What is the topic of your thesis or dissertation?
- What are the objectives of the study?
- What is the outline used in the study?
- What method/s of study you used for the study.
- Your thesis statement.
In order to get a better understanding of a correct thesis introduction structure, take a look at the real-life sample below. That’s the intro to a 85-page dissertation on homeland security, written by a Penn graduate just a year ago.
Sample Thesis Introduction
The Department of Homeland Security (DOH) was formed by the Bush II administration largely because of the intelligence failures that permitted the 9/11 terror attacks to occur. The most important such problem, now widely recognized, was the failure of the various intelligence agencies to share information with each other. The DOH’s single most important function was supposed to be ensuring that relevant intelligence would not fall through the cracks again.
The DOH’s capabilities include improving anti-terrorism intelligence and response, more extensive surveillance—much of it gathered under the auspices of the notorious Patriot Act; improving monitoring of points of entry into the United States; making borders less porous; enhancing transportation security (for example the security measures we are all familiar with in airports); protecting critical infrastructure; enhancing public health; and protecting against chemical and biological attacks (Miller, 2018).
There are, however, several areas in which the DOH could be improved. One problem is the department’s sheer size. The initial legislation, which has now been supplemented, combined twenty-two differ organizations into “the third largest cabinet-level agency in the U.S. government” (Gerstein, 2017). Some have charged that the enormous bureaucracy occasioned by this integration has made the problem of keeping straight intelligence resources more difficult than it was before. Second, and there is no doubt about this, the operation of the DOH results in an unprecedented level of waste and inefficiency. Third, sub-departments within the DOH have serious problems. To mention only one salient instance, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has become an instrument of the president’s war on immigration (Gerstein, 2017).
The two options for improving the situation seem to be making smaller improvements, of the sort that have been made many times before, on one hand, and dismantling the organization altogether, on the other. While no possibility of a future terrorist attack can be completely discounted, the evidence suggests that globalization has made smaller attacks (perhaps by parties outside the U.S. cooperating with parties inside it) more likely than large ones such as 9/11.
A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Write Thesis Introduction
To make the process of writing a thesis introduction easy, here are the main eleven steps that you should follow. However, it is prudent to note that some disciplines might require additional steps:
- Introduce the topic of the study.
- Provide some general background info about your study.
- Give a short overview of the literature review (we use the word short because the main lit review will be in Chapter Two: Literature Review.
- Bring out the general idea of the study or the scope.
- Provide the details of the current situation about the problem.
- Describe the relevance of the research that you are going to present (note that you are introducing a study that you have already completed).
- Outline the key aims and objectives of the dissertation.
- Bring out the research questions or problems of the study.
- Provide your hypothesis.
- Outline the structure of your dissertation.
- Highlight the methodology that you used to do the study.
As you follow the above eleven steps, it is important to appreciate that the intro is your perfect chance to grab the attention of the reader and make him/her want to keep reading the rest of the paper. You might want to read another thesis introduction sample, preferably one written by an expert.
Pro Tips on How to Write Thesis Introduction
To make the introduction impress your professor or supervisor more, start by creating a good thesis introduction outline, which presents all the points in a logical and easy-to-read manner. Here are other tips to help you craft a winning thesis introduction:
- Ensure to provide acknowledgment to previous studies that you will be using to build your dissertation. Consider checking another masters thesis introduction example to see how the acknowledgment was done.
- At the start of your thesis introduction, provide the reader with an understanding of how the thesis is structured. Try to answer the question, “What will the reader get in the chapters of the thesis?”
- Do not shy from giving readers some surprise. Here, it would be best if you targeted revealing something that is totally unexpected, such as a unique point of view or some perspectives. Simply put – make your readers excited about the study.
- Focus on bringing out the best experiences in the field during the study. So, think of things such as the best examples and the best literature review.
- Start by writing a draft. This will give you the chance to progressively improve the introduction until you have the best piece.
- Make sure to check a great example of introduction in thesis. This can be a great way to improve your writing skills.
Common Problems Faced by Students when Writing Thesis introduction
While your focus should be crafting the best thesis introduction, it is important also to understand why some students find the process challenging. Here are some of the problems that you should try to avoid when working on a thesis introduction:
- Providing too much detail: Avoid the temptation of giving too much background details when writing the introduction. Instead, focus on giving condensed information that only gives highlights of what the reader should anticipate. For example, you should simply highlight the methods used during the study because full details will be available in Chapter Three: Research Methodology.
- Not providing enough details: On the flip side, there are some people who fail to provide enough details, which imply that your readers are left with unanswered questions at the end of the chapter. To ensure you provide enough details, make sure to read through the introduction chapter after completing it to ensure that all the concepts are easy-to-understand.
- Using too much technical details: To make your introduction clear and insightful, you should try to write it in a simplified way so that even people outside your discipline can understand. If you have to use technical details, make sure to provide concise definitions.
With this guide, you should now be able to hammer that thesis introduction like a pro. However, if you still find it challenging, the best option is seeking online writing help from our experts. They have all the skills and experience needed to craft excellent dissertation introductions. With our experts on your side, you can get only one outcome – a top-rated introduction.
Thesis Introduction FAQ
- What is a thesis introduction?
This is the first chapter of your dissertation or thesis and is located immediately after the table of contents. It is a very important part because it helps to draw the attention of the reader and give him/her a summary of what to anticipate in the entire thesis paper. The thesis introduction sets the stage for the study by showing the focus, background, purpose, thesis and direction.
- What should be in the introduction of a PhD thesis?
A good introduction should provide enough background details to allow the reader to understand the goal of the study. Ensure to include the following details in your thesis introduction:
How long is the intro in a thesis?
- Motivation of the study.
- Description of the study topic.
- Explanation of the relevance of the study.
- Explanation of the scope of the study.
- Demonstration of how the study was done.
- Your dissertation outline.
The length of your introduction is dependent on the length of the entire dissertation. The general rule is that the introduction should take 10% of the entire thesis.