How to create an Interesting Dissertation Introduction

For students in the dissertation phase of their academic life, this period can be a little stressful. As you prepare for dissertation and begin to write, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First and foremost, as with anything, it is best to start on the right foot. The first chapter of the dissertation, the introduction, is vital to informing your audience as well as inviting them to be interested in your topic.

Many advisors have differing opinions as to how best to write the introduction. Some say it is best to start with this portion so that you know where you are going. Still others say it’s best to make this one of your last chapters to write so that you know what you’re talking about.

In the end, it comes down to you and your topic. Altogether, though, it is best to keep in mind the purpose of the introduction.

Its primary goal is to set the stage of your readers, and give them a roadmap of the dissertation. This is not meant to be a table of contents, nor a summary.

It is however, to be the explanation of your dissertation.

In this portion, strive to make it clear what the problem is that your dissertation will address. For this reason, many advise the earlier method of writing this first. In this portion, you can take the time to present the issue, briefly outline the questions your dissertation will address, and highlight how your findings can effect that issue.

The introduction is a stepping stone for your entire dissertation. While it is not your soapbox, nor the presentation of your findings, it is an outline for your reader.

If you strive to make this portion interesting, think of it as explaining why the issue exists, some contributing factors, what are the larger ramifications that your dissertation will address, and what solutions are possible.

This in of itself may seem a large task.

If it helps, consider it your roadmap as you use it as a guide to present the reader with the relevance of your research.

However, that all being said, avoid common pitfalls.

  • Don’t start with a story or be allegorical.
  • Don’t give out too much information.
  • Remember that “brief” doesn’t mean sparse. Tell the reader why your dissertation is special.

Do these things and you will be off to a great start, or a fine ending, to your dissertation - depending on your method.

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