Writing a dissertation introduction can be tasking for most students. In this article, you will be getting a dissertation introduction outline and dissertation introduction samples. So, keep reading.
How to Write a Dissertation Introduction
Start With a Background Story
If you are unsure of how, to begin with writing your academic dissertation, you can start with a background story. Depending on your word count or what you have to say, your introduction chapter can be between 1000 – 2500 words. So, take your reader on a reading journey to the circumstances that surround your dissertation topic. This will help to hold the attention of the reader and keep them reading. Still, there are some things you must note. First of all, do not use flowery words in the background story. Also, avoid the use of (excessive) adjectives; simply use the words as they are. Finally, do not try to use “poetic license” by coining new words.
In addition to this, make sure your writing language is clear and that you use concrete terms. For example, instead of writing, “in conclusion”, you can write, “conclusively”. If you are finding it difficult to exchange simple words for concrete ones, you can consult a thesaurus.
Another important thing to do is to use the passive voice and not an active voice in your writing. Not only is this more acceptable, but it will also help you with your word count. Also, write longer sentences. Your sentences should contain between 20 to 50 words.
Introduce Your Dissertation Topic and Aims
Your dissertation introduction chapter is the first chapter where you get to introduce your topic and the aims of your research. You may choose to do the introduction either in the middle of the chapter or at the end of the chapter. This also depends on the flow of your words. Now, your research aims or questions should complement your topic. Furthermore, you should separate them from the body text, in a block form and appropriately numbered. For example,
The intent of this dissertation will be further divided into three aims:
- To uncover why children like sugar
- To show how this can be curbed
- To promote a healthy lifestyle
Use Appropriate Terminology and Define Them
When writing your dissertation, it is important that you use terminology centered around your topic. For example, if your topic was something like, “The Misappropriation of the Media”, you would need to use the appropriate terminologies in a consistent fashion. These include, “bias” “reporting” “news” “journalism” “under-reportage” among others.
Also, make sure you provide the definition for the terminologies especially if they are a major part of your work. Do not assume that your reader knows the meaning of these terminologies. Also, make sure that you use either a recognized dictionary or a research work to give definitions to those terms. However, it is usually best to use relevant research work for definition as this gives a more specific meaning to your terminology. Take a look at the difference in a definition for both a dictionary and a research work. For example, if you wanted to define the “misappropriation” in “The Misappropriation of the Media”, you can write like this:
“The Oxford dictionary defines misappropriation as ‘dishonestly or unfairly take (something, especially money, belonging to another) for one’s own use.‘”
“According to Bramah (1998), misappropriation means, ‘the dishonesty of the media to manipulate a news story for political gains.'”
Give Indicators to Other Chapters of Your Dissertation
From your introduction, your reader should have a clear understanding of the intent of your dissertation. However, this does not mean that you should give so much description that you reveal the details of the other chapters. You can give brief descriptions but make sure to indicate that the other chapters of your work will expand on these. For example, “The methodology chapter will discuss further on the challenges of getting this information.”
Cite Relevant Literature
Make sure to cite relevant literature in your introduction. Whether you are defining terms or showing problems, let information with appropriate citation accompany these terms. Citing in a dissertation is easy. Most times all you have to do is use the author’s surname and the year of publication. Also, you may have to write the page number of the exact quote. For example, “Dennis (2015) explains that the media is biased towards certain groups of people.”
Write About The Structure of Your Dissertation
Finally, in your dissertation, write about the structure. Let your reader know that there are more chapters that they should expect and let them know which chapters. Also, include a brief description of what these chapters intend to show.
For example, “Chapter two of this dissertation shows the relevant literature used. Chapter three of this dissertation discusses the methodology employed during research. Chapter four of this dissertation presents data and discusses them.”
Structure of a Dissertation
- Chapter One: Introduction
This is the first chapter in your dissertation as has already been discussed in this article.
- Chapter Two: Review of Literature
Your literature review should contain three major areas. First of all, use select information from relevant works and show how they have helped you during research. Next, write about the shortcomings of those works. Finally, write why your research differs from previous literature.
- Chapter Three: Methodology
In this chapter, you will tell the reader what methods you have chosen to use and why. Also, you will discuss the sources you chose to gather data and why. In addition to this, you will discuss the challenges you faced in the course of research.
- Chapter Four: Analysis and Discussion
In this chapter, you will analyze and discuss the data you have gathered. It is in this chapter you will be able to show whether or not you have answered your Research Questions or Aims of the Dissertation.
- Chapter Five: Conclusion
Here, you will give a summary of all you have done in the preceding chapters.
With this sample dissertation introduction, you now know how to write dissertation introduction. So, start practicing!