How Do I Write An Introduction For My Dissertation?

The introduction is an essential part of your dissertation paper. It is the very first part of the paper anyone will read, aside from the abstract. A good introduction makes a good first impression and should lay a strong foundation for what is going to be covered in the rest of the body of your paper.

This first paragraph of your paper sets the scene for your readers, giving them the information they need to navigate through your research and explanations. Start drafting this paragraph at an early stage and have a clear statement of your objectives. Sometimes introductions include a summary of the literature review; seek guidance from your professor to see if this applies to you.

A strong introduction should be able to answer the following questions

  1. What are you trying to find out? What problem are you addressing?
  2. Of what importance is this issue? Why should this problem be investigated?
  3. What hypothesis have you formed? What do you think is happening?
  4. What are the benefits you think your study will have?
  5. In what way will you contribute to the existing set of knowledge in this area?
  6. How do you plan on investigating the issue and attempting to solve the problem?
  7. What are the research methods you will employ?
  8. What, if any, are the limitations or constraints on this study? For example, did you have a small research sample, etc.

Alternate methods for writing introduction paragraphs

Another way to look at writing an introduction is to answer the what, why and how questions. The following is an example of this method:

What – this is an explanation of your focus. You would clearly state what your argument is, and specific questions you will be examining.

Why – this explains how your work is original. It is your rationale for doing this research project. Note that you don’t need to include your literature review in this section, as a lengthier what and why can be discussed in the literature review chapter.

How – this part explains your methodology and theoretical approach. It is only an introduction to it, because the fuller explanation will be given in the Methodology chapter.

When writing your introduction paragraph, think about each element and if necessary, check them off of a list to ensure you don’t miss any essential information.

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