How to write a fantastic thesis introduction (+15 examples)

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The thesis introduction, usually chapter 1, is one of the most important chapters of a thesis. It sets the scene. It previews key arguments and findings. And it helps the reader to understand the structure of the thesis. In short, a lot is riding on this first chapter. With the following tips, you can write a powerful thesis introduction.

Elements of a fantastic thesis introduction

An introductory chapter plays an integral part in every thesis. The first chapter has to include quite a lot of information to contextualise the research. At the same time, a good thesis introduction is not too long, but clear and to the point.

This list can feel quite overwhelming. However, with some easy tips and tricks, you can accomplish all these goals in your thesis introduction. (And if you struggle with finding the right wording, have a look at academic key phrases for introductions .)

Ways to capture the reader’s attention

Open with a (personal) story.

An established way to capture the reader’s attention in a thesis introduction is by starting with a story. Regardless of how abstract and ‘scientific’ the actual thesis content is, it can be useful to ease the reader into the topic with a short story.



Start by providing data or statistics

So if your thesis topic lends itself to being kick-started with data or statistics, you are in for a quick and easy way to write a memorable thesis introduction.

, 2022)! While awareness of marine pollution is increasing, there is a lack of concrete actions to tackle this environmental problem. In this thesis, I provide a comparative analysis of interventions to reduce marine pollution in five European countries.

Begin with a problem

Emphasising the thesis’ relevance

A good thesis is a relevant thesis. No one wants to read about a concept that has already been explored hundreds of times, or that no one cares about.

Define a clear research gap

Every thesis needs a crystal-clear research gap. Spell it out instead of letting your reader figure out why your thesis is relevant.

“ ” (Liu and Agur, 2022: 2)*.

Describe the scientific relevance of the thesis

Scientific relevance comes in different forms. For instance, you can critically assess a prominent theory explaining a specific phenomenon. Maybe something is missing? Or you can develop a novel framework that combines different frameworks used by other scholars. Or you can draw attention to the context-specific nature of a phenomenon that is discussed in the international literature.

Describe the societal relevance of the thesis

Formulating a compelling argument.

Arguments are sets of reasons supporting an idea, which – in academia – often integrate theoretical and empirical insights. Think of an argument as an umbrella statement, or core claim. It should be no longer than one or two sentences.

Write down the thesis’ core claim in 1-2 sentences

Support your argument with sufficient evidence.

The core claim of your thesis should be accompanied by sufficient evidence. This does not mean that you have to write 10 pages about your results at this point.

Consider possible objections

Think about reasons or opposing positions that people can come up with to disagree with your claim. Then, try to address them head-on.

Providing a captivating preview of findings

Address the empirical research context.

If you did all your research in a lab, this section is obviously irrelevant. However, in that case you should explain the setup of your experiment, etcetera.

. As a consequence, the marine and terrestrial ecosystems of the Islands are increasingly disrupted.

Give a taste of the thesis’ empirical analysis

Hint at the practical implications of the research.

You already highlighted the practical relevance of your thesis in the introductory chapter. However, you should also provide a preview of some of the practical implications that you will develop in your thesis based on your findings.

. . .

Presenting a crystal clear thesis structure

Provide a reading guide.

The reading guide basically tells the reader what to expect in the chapters to come.

Briefly summarise all chapters to come

Design a figure illustrating the thesis structure.

Especially for longer theses, it tends to be a good idea to design a simple figure that illustrates the structure of your thesis. It helps the reader to better grasp the logic of your thesis.

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How to Write a Thesis Introduction (with Examples)

how to write a thesis introduction

As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis.” While it’s ironically the case for many, writing a thesis is basically the culmination of your hard work.

There’s a certain pride in accomplishing such a task, and many people hold it close to their hearts throughout their lifetimes.

This showcases a student’s ability to contribute original insights to their field and opens many more doors to broaden their academic and professional opportunities. Finishing a thesis certainly has weight.

The great thing about education today is that technology can help make things easier. AI tools, for instance, can assist with writing research papers and doing thesis work.

Even teachers can utilize the power of AI to improve their ways of teaching – but more on the exciting AI stuff later.

What you need to start with for your thesis is to create a strong introduction. Your thesis intro sets the tone for your entire work, so getting it right is important.

Here’s everything you need to know on how to write a thesis introduction that instantly catches the eye and informs effectively at a glance.

What Types of Information Should Be Included in Your Thesis Introduction?

After days and nights of researching, typing, and editing, the general average thesis length ends up at around 20-50 pages.

How to Write a Thesis Introduction (with Examples) Thesis Introduction

A PhD dissertation, usually tougher, can go up to 90-500 pages long. That’s a lot of work.

With so much information to showcase, your thesis intro should be able to make a big impression. A weak introduction can mislead your readers and even diminish the value of your entire thesis.

As the first impression of your work, the intro sets the stage by providing some context, highlighting the research problem, and laying out your objectives clearly.

It can be intimidating just thinking about it, so we’re here to make sure your thesis intro delivers the punch it needs. Here are some things that you should include.

Have an attention-grabbing opening

In the marketing world, you’ve only got eight seconds to grab a customer’s attention; that’s the average attention span.

While your teacher won’t drop your thesis if your introduction doesn’t grab them within seconds, having a great opening can still make a strong impact.

The main goal here is to present a compelling hook that sparks curiosity.

Include a surprising statistic, engage with a thought-provoking question, share a short but relatable anecdote, or try to be daring and make a bold statement that shocks but relates to your research topic.

There are many ways to do it, but ultimately, you want to engage your reader right from the start.

Provide context and the importance of the topic

“In this thesis, we will be exploring the effects of social media on communication.” Why, though? And what part of social media are we talking about here?

This is a bad example of a thesis intro because it lacks context.

Instead of simply choosing a controversial or topical subject to make an impact, you need to go deeper straight away.

The goal of providing context is to guide your reader in understanding why your topic is worth discussing in the first place.

You can offer a brief overview of already existing research and how you can add to it, and also show the gaps and unresolved issues that your study aims to fix.

Highlighting your topic goes to show that it’s an important matter to discuss in your field.

Engage through specific questions that your research addresses

One of the best ways to make your thesis intro stand out is by asking specific questions.

For example, if your research is about the effects of social media on traditional media, rather than just stating it outright, you can start off with an engaging question like “Is social media ending the age of the newspaper?”

In this way, you instantly grab the attention of your reader with a compelling question while still providing a sense of what your research will be about.

It’s a two-punch combo of showing immediate purpose and relevance while making your thesis intro easy to follow.

Frame your research in the form of specific and engaging questions so you can lay the groundwork for a more focused thesis.

Thesis Introduction Tips

How to Write a Thesis Introduction (with Examples) Thesis Introduction

So far, a good thesis introduction should be able to outline the main topic clearly, present some compelling questions, and provide context and significance for the study.

It’s definitely not easy, but there are ways to make it more doable. Here are some handy thesis introduction tips to help you out.

Know your audience

Knowing your audience means that you understand who will be reading your thesis. By doing this, you can create an introduction that meets their expectations and interests.

When writing a thesis intro, you should be able to consider the background, knowledge level, and interests of the thesis readers – your advisor, committee members, and other related academics.

Knowing this, you can set the right tone, which is usually formal, and engage in a way that interests them.

Refer to your thesis proposal or notes

If you want to make a seamless thesis paper, you will constantly need to refer to your proposal and notes.

You should refer to all the preliminary work that you’ve done to direct the writing of your introduction.

This can include your research questions, objectives, literature review, and methodology that you’ve outlined for your proposal.

It’s always important to go back and review your thesis notes regularly because these help you:

  • Ensure that your thesis introduction is consistent with your original proposal.
  • Present the main elements of your research.
  • Organize your thoughts and create a well-structured introduction, contributing to your overall thesis flow.

Keep your thesis proposal and notes by your side. They will help you create a strong introduction that provides clear context for your research.

Use Assistant AI tools to help with writing and proofreading

Especially when it comes to writing, AI tools have become quite useful.

You might already be familiar with ChatGPT, which uses advanced algorithms to generate the needed content; it can even proofread text .

AI tools can be useful to writers and researchers by offering suggestions and writing parts of the work that they can improve later.

This makes the writing process a whole lot more efficient and much less time-consuming. With AI, you can essentially produce high-quality work under tight deadlines.

However, while AI tools are clearly helpful, it’s necessary that you still use them responsibly.

AI plagiarism is a growing concern that happens when any AI-generated content is presented as original work without giving the right acknowledgment.

This can severely damage the credibility of your research and even get you in trouble.

Treat AI as what it’s intended to be – a tool – rather than the main writer of your work. You should still be the writer of your own work.

To avoid any issue with AI, a reliable detector like Undetectable AI can be used to always make sure that your content passes as human-written.

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Undetectable analyzes any text you submit to effectively detect AI content. It also includes features like a humanizer that adjusts the writing to match a natural human tone .

We certainly don’t want to stop you from maximizing your potential with the help of AI, so with a useful AI detector and humanizer by your side, you can always get the results you want.

Make sure you clearly state your topic, aims, and objectives

This one is essential. Your thesis introduction should be able to clearly define what your research is about (topic), what you plan to accomplish (aims), and the steps you’re taking to get there (objectives).

It’s pretty straightforward and is a no-brainer, but you must do this for several reasons:

  • Helps your readers understand the focus of your research right from the get-go.
  • Sets clear expectations for your thesis.
  • Establishes relevance, making your work highly credible.
  • Easier assessment (whether you’ve achieved your goals) by your advisor and evaluators.

Remember, a well-defined introduction is your first step toward a successful thesis. Make it matter.

Explain why your research matters

If your thesis doesn’t make an impact in your field, then it might not be seen as valuable. So, from the start, be sure to explain why your research matters.

This provides a basis for why you’re choosing a specific topic in the first place and explaining why it deserves their attention.

To help, you can also link your research to real-world applications or social issues to enhance its appeal to the research community and beyond.

3 Thesis Introduction Examples to Inspire You

How to Write a Thesis Introduction (with Examples) Thesis Introduction

Writing a thesis introduction can be quite a challenge, but looking at examples can help you understand how to start your research on the right foot.

Communications Example

“Is social media ending the age of the newspaper?” This question frequently arises in discussions as the communication landscape continuously evolves.

Platforms like Facebook, X (previously called Twitter), and Instagram continue to grow, and their impact on traditional media – newspapers, television, and radio – becomes more significant and complex.

Social media has drastically changed how people access information. Unlike traditional media, which professional journalists and editors usually produce, social media allows anyone to create and share content.

This shift has huge implications for both media producers and consumers. Understanding these changes is important for professionals in the field and the general population.

This thesis aims to answer several questions: How has social media affected the credibility of traditional news sources?

What strategies are traditional media adopting to compete in a digital world? And how do today’s audiences perceive news found on social media vs traditional platforms?

By addressing these questions, this research seeks to provide a comprehensive understanding of the current media landscape and provide some discourse on the future of communication and modern-day responsible journalism.

Environmental Science Example

Food production is one of the largest contributors to environmental damage.

The methods that we traditionally use to grow and raise our food have serious implications for resource use, greenhouse gas emissions, and land use.

So, we ask the question, “Can our food choices save the planet?”

As global populations rise and climate change accelerates, understanding the environmental impact of different food production systems has never been more important.

Plant-based agriculture and animal-based agriculture differ considerably, so studying these differences can help identify sustainable practices that minimize and ultimately prevent environmental damage.

This thesis aims to address how plant-based and animal-based food production systems compare in terms of resource use and environmental impact and what practices within these systems can reduce their impact on the environment.

Education Example

The global pandemic has made a dent in how we live, and that includes the state of education.

During this difficult time, schools and universities worldwide were essentially forced to shift to online learning almost overnight.

This sudden and widespread adoption of online learning presents a unique opportunity to assess its effectiveness and impact on education – past the pandemic.

If online learning is actually shown to be effective, it could lead to more flexible, accessible, and inclusive educational practices.

Conversely, if notable shortcomings are identified, this can highlight areas that need improvement to support students and educators better.

This thesis aims to identify the effectiveness of online learning in achieving educational outcomes compared to traditional classroom settings, the major challenges faced by students and educators during this transition, and how factors such as socioeconomic status and access to technology influence the effectiveness of online learning.

With this study, we can provide valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of online education, contributing to the broader discussion of post-pandemic learning.

How do you start an introduction for a thesis?

To start a thesis introduction, start with a hook that draws the reader in and sets the stage for your research topic. Provide context by discussing the significance of the topic. Then transition into your thesis statement, which outlines the main argument or purpose of your research.

What is an example of a thesis statement in an introduction?

An example of a thesis statement in an introduction could be: “This thesis examines how social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly Twitter) have reshaped how individuals interact and form relationships in the digital age, with an emphasis on interpersonal communication.” Clearly state the main focus and purpose of your research and provide a roadmap for the reader to understand what will be discussed in your thesis.

What is a good way to start a thesis statement?

You could start a thesis statement by introducing your topic and talking about the specific angle you plan to explore in your research. Grab the reader’s attention and establish why it’s worth investigating further.

How do you start writing a thesis?

Writing a thesis starts with choosing a topic that interests you – and then aligns with your field. Be sure that the main goal of your thesis stays relevant to gain some credibility. With this, you can create a clear thesis statement that outlines the main objective of your study. This is where you can start drafting a compelling thesis introduction and then filling your content with strong arguments that are supported by evidence and analysis. Firmly conclude with a summary of your findings and their implications. Always cite your sources accurately and follow the academic guidelines.

Maximizing the potential of your thesis always starts with an introduction, and with the help of AI tools, you can be confident to write a strong one.

When using these tools, just be sure to have Undetectable AI by your side so that any content you need assistance with stays authentic.

The humanizer feature matches real human writing styles as closely as possible so that your content speaks to your readers.

Remember to tailor your thesis introduction to your specific research topic and audience, and use examples and evidence to back up your claims.

With these strategies in mind, you’ll be well-equipped to write an impactful thesis introduction – paving the way for a great thesis.

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How to write a good thesis introduction

what to include in an introduction thesis

1. Identify your readership

2. hook the reader and grab their attention, 3. provide relevant background, 4. give the reader a sense of what the paper is about, 5. preview key points and lead into your thesis statement, frequently asked questions about writing a good thesis introduction, related articles.

Many people struggle to write a thesis introduction. Much of your research prep should be done and you should be ready to start your introduction. But often, it’s not clear what needs to be included in a thesis introduction. If you feel stuck at this point not knowing how to start, this guide can help.

Tip: If you’re really struggling to write your thesis intro, consider putting in a placeholder until you write more of the body of your thesis. Then, come back to your intro once you have a stronger sense of the overall content of your thesis.

A good introduction draws readers in while providing the setup for the entire project. There is no single way to write an introduction that will always work for every topic , but the points below can act as a guide. These points can help you write a good thesis introduction.

Before even starting with your first sentence, consider who your readers are. Most likely, your readers will be the professors who are advising you on your thesis.

You should also consider readers of your thesis who are not specialists in your field. Writing with them in your mind will help you to be as clear as possible; this will make your thesis more understandable and enjoyable overall.

Tip: Always strive to be clear, correct, concrete, and concise in your writing.

The first sentence of the thesis is crucial. Looking back at your own research, think about how other writers may have hooked you.

It is common to start with a question or quotation, but these types of hooks are often overused. The best way to start your introduction is with a sentence that is broad and interesting and that seamlessly transitions into your argument.

Once again, consider your audience and how much background information they need to understand your approach. You can start by making a list of what is interesting about your topic:

  • Are there any current events or controversies associated with your topic that might be interesting for your introduction?
  • What kinds of background information might be useful for a reader to understand right away?
  • Are there historical anecdotes or other situations that uniquely illustrate an important aspect of your argument?

A good introduction also needs to contain enough background information to allow the reader to understand the thesis statement and arguments. The amount of background information required will depend on the topic .

There should be enough background information so you don't have to spend too much time with it in the body of the thesis, but not so much that it becomes uninteresting.

Tip: Strike a balance between background information that is too broad or too specific.

Let the reader know what the purpose of the study is. Make sure to include the following points:

  • Briefly describe the motivation behind your research.
  • Describe the topic and scope of your research.
  • Explain the practical relevance of your research.
  • Explain the scholarly consensus related to your topic: briefly explain the most important articles and how they are related to your research.

At the end of your introduction, you should lead into your thesis statement by briefly bringing up a few of your main supporting details and by previewing what will be covered in the main part of the thesis. You’ll want to highlight the overall structure of your thesis so that readers will have a sense of what they will encounter as they read.

A good introduction draws readers in while providing the setup for the entire project. There is no single way to write an introduction that will always work for every topic, but these tips will help you write a great introduction:

  • Identify your readership.
  • Grab the reader's attention.
  • Provide relevant background.
  • Preview key points and lead into the thesis statement.

A good introduction needs to contain enough background information, and let the reader know what the purpose of the study is. Make sure to include the following points:

  • Briefly describe the motivation for your research.

The length of the introduction will depend on the length of the whole thesis. Usually, an introduction makes up roughly 10 per cent of the total word count.

The best way to start your introduction is with a sentence that is broad and interesting and that seamlessly transitions into your argument. Consider the audience, then think of something that would grab their attention.

In Open Access: Theses and Dissertations you can find thousands of recent works. Take a look at any of the theses or dissertations for real-life examples of introductions that were already approved.

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How to Write the Thesis Or Dissertation Introduction – Guide

Published by Carmen Troy at August 31st, 2021 , Revised On June 7, 2024

What would you tell someone if they asked you to introduce yourself? You’d probably start with your name, what you do for a living…etc., etc., etc. Think of your dissertation as the same. How would you go about it if you had to introduce it to the world for the first time?

Keep this forefront in your mind for the remainder of this guide: you are introducing your research to the world that doesn’t even know it exists. Every word, phrase and line you write in your introduction will stand for the strength of your dissertation’s character.

This is not very different from how, in real life, if someone fails to introduce themselves properly (such as leaving out what they do for a living, where they live, etc.) to a stranger, it leaves a lasting impression on the stranger.

Don’t leave your dissertation a stranger among other strangers. Let’s review the little, basic concepts we already have at the back of our minds, perhaps, to piece them together in one body: an introduction.

What Goes Inside an Introduction

The exact ingredients of a dissertation or thesis introduction chapter vary depending on  your chosen research topic, your university’s guidelines, and your academic subject – but they are generally mixed in one sequence or another to introduce an academic argument.

The critical elements of an excellent dissertation introduction include a definition of the selected research topic , a reference to previous studies on the subject, a statement of the value of the subject for academic and scientific communities, a clear aim/purpose of the study, a list of your objectives, a reference to viewpoints of other researchers and a justification for the research.

Steps of Writing a Dissertation Introduction

  • Research background
  • Significance of the research 
  • Research problem 
  • Research questions 
  • The research aims and objectives 
  • Limitations of the research 
  • Outline of dissertation

1. Research Background – Writing a Dissertation Introduction

This is the very first section of your introduction. Building a background of your chosen topic will help you understand more about the topic and help readers know why the general research area is problematic, interesting, central, important, etc.

Your research background should include significant concepts related to your dissertation topic. This will give your supervisor and markers an idea that you’ve investigated the research problem thoroughly and know the various aspects of your topic.

The introduction to a dissertation shouldn’t talk only about other research work in the same area, as this will be discussed in the literature review section. Moreover, this section should not include the research design  and  data collection method(s) .

All about  research strategy  should be covered in the  methodology chapter . Research background only helps to build up your research in general.

For instance, if your research is based on job satisfaction measures of a specific country, the content of the introduction chapter will generally be about job satisfaction and its impact.

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2.     Significance of the Research

As a researcher, you must demonstrate how your research will provide value to the scientific and academic communities. If your dissertation is based on a specific company or industry, you need to explain why that industry and company were chosen.

If you’re comparing, explain why you’re doing so and what this research will yield. Regardless of your chosen research topic, explain thoroughly in this section why this research is being conducted and what benefits it will serve.

The idea here is to convince your supervisor and readers that the concept should be researched to find a solution to a problem.

3.     Research Problem

Once you’ve described the main research problem  and the importance of your research, the next step would be to present your  problem statement , i.e., why this research is being conducted and its purpose.

This is one of the essential aspects of writing a dissertation’s introduction. Doing so will help your readers understand what you intend to do in this research and what they should expect from this study.

Presenting the research problem competently is crucial in persuading your readers to read other parts of the dissertation paper . This research problem is the crux of your dissertation, i.e., it gives a direction as to why this research is being carried out, and what issues the study will consider. The research problem should be a clear and concise statement that identifies the gap in the existing knowledge that your research aims to fill. It should be specific enough to guide your research, but broad enough to allow for a comprehensive investigation.

For example, if your dissertation is based on measuring the job satisfaction of a specific organisation, your research problem should talk about the problem the company is facing and how your research will help the company to solve that.

If your dissertation is not based on any specific organisation, you can explain the common issues that companies face when they do not consider job satisfaction as a pillar of business growth and elaborate on how your research will help them realise its importance.

Citing too many references in the introduction chapter isn’t recommended because here, you must explain why you chose to study a specific area and what your research will accomplish. Any citations only set the context, and you should leave the bulk of the literature for a later section.

4.     Research Question(s)

The central part of your introduction is the research question , which should be based on your research problem and the dissertation title. Combining these two aspects will help you formulate an exciting yet manageable research question. Your research question is what your research aims to answer and around which your dissertation will revolve. The research question should be specific and concise.

Your research question is what your research aims to answer and around which your dissertation will revolve. The research question should be specific and concise.

It should be a one- or two-line question you’ve set out to answer through your dissertation. For the job satisfaction example, a sample research question could be, how does job satisfaction positively impact employee performance?

Look up dissertation introduction examples online or ask your friends to get an idea of how an ideal research question is formed. Or you can review our dissertation introduction example here  and  research question examples here .

Once you’ve formed your research question, pick out vital elements from it, based on which you will then prepare your theoretical framework  and literature review. You will come back to your research question again when  concluding your dissertation .

Sometimes, you might have to formulate a hypothesis in place of a research question. The hypothesis is a simple statement you prove with your  results ,  discussion and analysis .

A sample hypothesis could be job satisfaction is positively linked to employee job performance . The results of your dissertation could be in favour of this dissertation or against it.

Tip: Read up about what alternative, null, one-tailed and two-tailed hypotheses are so you can better formulate the hypothesis for your dissertation. Following are the definitions for each term, as retrieved from Trochim et al.’s Research Methods: The Essential Knowledge Base (2016):

  • Alternative hypothesis (H 1 ): “A specific statement of prediction that usually states what you expect will happen in your study.”
  • Null hypothesis (H 0 ): “The hypothesis that describes the possible outcomes other than the alternative hypothesis. Usually, the null hypothesis predicts there will be no effect of a program or treatment you are studying.”
  • One-tailed hypothesis: “A hypothesis that specifies a direction; for example, when your hypothesis predicts that your program will increase the outcome.”
  • Two-tailed hypothesis: “A hypothesis that does not specify a direction. For example, if you hypothesise that your program or intervention will affect an outcome, but you are unwilling to specify whether that effect will be positive or negative, you are using a two-tailed hypothesis.”

Get Help with Any Part of Your Dissertation!

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Interesting read: 10 ways to write a practical introduction fast .

Get Help With Any Part of Your Dissertation!

Uk’s best academic support services. how would you know until you try, 5.     research aims and objectives.

Next, the research aims and objectives. Aims and objectives are broad statements of desired results of your dissertation . They reflect the expectations of the topic and research and address the long-term project outcomes.

These statements should use the concepts accurately, must be focused, should be able to convey your research intentions and serve as steps that communicate how your  research question  will be answered.

You should formulate your aims and objectives based on your topic, research question, or hypothesis. These are simple statements and are an extension of your research question.

Through the aims and objectives, you communicate to your readers what aspects of research you’ve considered and how you intend to answer your research question.

Usually, these statements initiate with words like ‘to explore’, ‘to study’, ‘to assess’, ‘to critically assess’, ‘to understand’, ‘to evaluate’ etc.

You could ask your supervisor to provide some thesis introduction examples to help you understand better how aims and objectives are formulated. More examples are here .

Your aims and objectives should be interrelated and connect to your research question and problem. If they do not, they’ll be considered vague and too broad in scope.

Always ensure your research aims and objectives are concise, brief, and relevant.

Once you conclude  your dissertation , you will have to revert back to address whether your research aims and objectives have been met.

You will have to reflect on how your dissertation’s findings , analysis, and discussion related to your aims and objectives and how your research has helped in achieving them.

6.     Research Limitations

This section is sometimes a part of the  dissertation methodology section ; however, it is usually included in the introduction of a dissertation.

Every research has some limitations. Thus, it is normal for you to experience certain limitations when conducting your study.

You could experience  research design limitations, data limitations or even financial limitations. Regardless of which type of limitation you may experience, your dissertation would be impacted. Thus, it would be best if you mentioned them without any hesitation.

When including this section in the introduction, make sure that you clearly state the type of constraint you experienced. This will help your supervisor understand what problems you went through while working on your dissertation.

However, one aspect that you should take care of is that your results, in no way, should be influenced by these restrictions. The results should not be compromised, or your dissertation will not be deemed authentic and reliable.

After you’ve mentioned your research limitations, discuss how you overcame them to produce a perfect dissertation .

Also, mention that your limitations do not adversely impact your results and that you’ve produced research with accurate results the academic community can rely on.

Also read:   How to Write Dissertation Methodology .

7.     Outline of the Dissertation

Even though this isn’t a mandatory sub-section of the introduction chapter, good introductory chapters in dissertations outline what’s to follow in the preceding chapters.

It is also usual to set out an  outline of the rest of the dissertation . Depending on your university and academic subject, you might also be asked to include it in your research proposal .

Because your tutor might want to glance over it to see how you  plan your dissertation and what sections you’d include; based on what sections you include and how you intend to research and cover them, they’d provide feedback for you to improve.

Usually, this section discusses what sections you plan to include and what concepts and aspects each section entails. A standard dissertation consists of five sections : chapters, introduction,  literature review ,  methodology ,  results  and  discussion , and  conclusion .

Some  dissertation assignments do not use the same chapter for results and discussion. Instead, they split it into two different chapters, making six chapters. Check with your supervisor regarding which format you should follow.

When discussing the  outline of your dissertation , remember that you’d have to mention what each section involves. Discuss all the significant aspects of each section to give a brief overview of what your dissertation contains. This is precisely what our dissertation outline service  provides.

Writing a dissertation introduction might seem complicated, but it is not if you understand what is expected of you. To understand the required elements and make sure that you focus on all of them.

Include all the aspects to ensure your supervisor and other readers can easily understand how you intend to undertake your research.

“If you find yourself stuck at any stage of your dissertation introduction, get introduction writing help from our writers! At ResearchProspect, we offer a dissertation writing service , and our qualified team of writers will also assist you in conducting in-depth research for your dissertation.

Topic Discussion versus Topic Introduction

Discussing and introducing a topic are two highly different aspects of dissertation introduction writing. You might find it easy to discuss a topic, but introducing it is much trickier.

The introduction is the first thing a reader reads; thus, it must be to the point, informative, engaging, and enjoyable. Even if one of these elements is missing, the reader will not be motivated to continue reading the paper and will move on to something different.

So, it’s critical to fully understand how to write the introduction of a dissertation before starting the actual write-up.

When writing a dissertation introduction, one has to explain the title, discuss the topic and present a background so that readers understand what your research is about and what results you expect to achieve at the end of the research work.

As a standard practice, you might work on your dissertation introduction chapter several times. Once when you’re working on your proposal and the second time when writing your actual dissertation.

“Want to keep up with the progress of the work done by your writer? ResearchProspect can deliver your dissertation order in three parts; outline, first half, and final dissertation delivery. Here is the link to our online order form .

Many academics argue that the Introduction chapter should be the last section of the dissertation paper you should complete, but by no means is it the last part you would think of because this is where your research starts from.

Write the draft introduction as early as possible. You should write it at the same time as the proposal submission, although you must revise and edit it many times before it takes the final shape.

Considering its importance, many students remain unsure of how to write the introduction of a dissertation. Here are some of the essential elements of how to write the introduction of a dissertation that’ll provide much-needed dissertation introduction writing help.

Here are some guidelines for you to learn to write a flawless first-class dissertation paper.

Dissertation Introduction Samples & Examples

Check out some basic samples of dissertation introduction chapters to get started.

FAQs about Dissertation Introduction

How to write a dissertation introduction.

  • Capture the attention of your reader 
  • Add the following sections:
  • Learn from others

What is the purpose of an introduction chapter?

It’s used to introduce key constructs, ideas, models and/or theories etc. relating to the topic; things that you will be basing the remainder of your dissertation on.

How do you start an introduction in a dissertation?

There is more than one way of starting a dissertation’s introductory chapter. You can begin by stating a problem in your area of interest, review relevant literature, identify the gap, and introduce your topic. Or, you can go the opposite way, too. It’s all entirely up to your discretion. However, be consistent in the format you choose to write in.

How long should a dissertation introduction be?

It can range from 1000 to 2000 words for a master’s dissertation , but for a higher-level dissertation, it mostly ranges from 8,000 to 10,000 words ’ introduction chapter. In the end, though, it depends on the guidelines provided to you by your department.

Dissertation Introduction Checklist

You may also like.

Make sure that your selected topic is intriguing, manageable, and relevant. Here are some guidelines to help understand how to find a good dissertation topic.

If your dissertation includes many abbreviations, it would make sense to define all these abbreviations in a list of abbreviations in alphabetical order.

Dissertation discussion is where you explore the relevance and significance of results. Here are guidelines to help you write the perfect discussion chapter.

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How To Write A Dissertation Introduction

A Simple Explainer With Examples + Free Template

By: Derek Jansen (MBA) | Reviewed By Dr Eunice Rautenbach (D. Tech) | March 2020

If you’re reading this, you’re probably at the daunting early phases of writing up the introduction chapter of your dissertation or thesis. It can be intimidating, I know. 

In this post, we’ll look at the 7 essential ingredients of a strong dissertation or thesis introduction chapter, as well as the essential things you need to keep in mind as you craft each section. We’ll also share some useful tips to help you optimize your approach.

Overview: Writing An Introduction Chapter

  • The purpose and function of the intro chapter
  • Craft an enticing and engaging opening section
  • Provide a background and context to the study
  • Clearly define the research problem
  • State your research aims, objectives and questions
  • Explain the significance of your study
  • Identify the limitations of your research
  • Outline the structure of your dissertation or thesis

A quick sidenote:

You’ll notice that I’ve used the words dissertation and thesis interchangeably. While these terms reflect different levels of research – for example, Masters vs PhD-level research – the introduction chapter generally contains the same 7 essential ingredients regardless of level. So, in this post, dissertation introduction equals thesis introduction.

Free template for a dissertation or thesis introduction

Start with why.

To craft a high-quality dissertation or thesis introduction chapter, you need to understand exactly what this chapter needs to achieve. In other words, what’s its purpose ? As the name suggests, the introduction chapter needs to introduce the reader to your research so that they understand what you’re trying to figure out, or what problem you’re trying to solve. More specifically, you need to answer four important questions in your introduction chapter.

These questions are:

  • What will you be researching? (in other words, your research topic)
  • Why is that worthwhile? (in other words, your justification)
  • What will the scope of your research be? (in other words, what will you cover and what won’t you cover)
  • What will the limitations of your research be? (in other words, what will the potential shortcomings of your research be?)

Simply put, your dissertation’s introduction chapter needs to provide an overview of your planned research , as well as a clear rationale for it. In other words, this chapter has to explain the “what” and the “why” of your research – what’s it all about and why’s that important.

Simple enough, right?

Well, the trick is finding the appropriate depth of information. As the researcher, you’ll be extremely close to your topic and this makes it easy to get caught up in the minor details. While these intricate details might be interesting, you need to write your introduction chapter on more of a “need-to-know” type basis, or it will end up way too lengthy and dense. You need to balance painting a clear picture with keeping things concise. Don’t worry though – you’ll be able to explore all the intricate details in later chapters.

The core ingredients of a dissertation introduction chapter

Now that you understand what you need to achieve from your introduction chapter, we can get into the details. While the exact requirements for this chapter can vary from university to university, there are seven core components that most universities will require. We call these the seven essential ingredients . 

The 7 Essential Ingredients

  • The opening section – where you’ll introduce the reader to your research in high-level terms
  • The background to the study – where you’ll explain the context of your project
  • The research problem – where you’ll explain the “gap” that exists in the current research
  • The research aims , objectives and questions – where you’ll clearly state what your research will aim to achieve
  • The significance (or justification) – where you’ll explain why your research is worth doing and the value it will provide to the world
  • The limitations – where you’ll acknowledge the potential limitations of your project and approach
  • The structure – where you’ll briefly outline the structure of your dissertation or thesis to help orient the reader

By incorporating these seven essential ingredients into your introduction chapter, you’ll comprehensively cover both the “ what ” and the “ why ” I mentioned earlier – in other words, you’ll achieve the purpose of the chapter.

Side note – you can also use these 7 ingredients in this order as the structure for your chapter to ensure a smooth, logical flow. This isn’t essential, but, generally speaking, it helps create an engaging narrative that’s easy for your reader to understand. If you’d like, you can also download our free introduction chapter template here.

Alright – let’s look at each of the ingredients now.

what to include in an introduction thesis

#1 – The Opening Section

The very first essential ingredient for your dissertation introduction is, well, an introduction or opening section. Just like every other chapter, your introduction chapter needs to start by providing a brief overview of what you’ll be covering in the chapter.

This section needs to engage the reader with clear, concise language that can be easily understood and digested. If the reader (your marker!) has to struggle through it, they’ll lose interest, which will make it harder for you to earn marks. Just because you’re writing an academic paper doesn’t mean you can ignore the basic principles of engaging writing used by marketers, bloggers, and journalists. At the end of the day, you’re all trying to sell an idea – yours is just a research idea.

So, what goes into this opening section?

Well, while there’s no set formula, it’s a good idea to include the following four foundational sentences in your opening section:

1 – A sentence or two introducing the overall field of your research.

For example:

“Organisational skills development involves identifying current or potential skills gaps within a business and developing programs to resolve these gaps. Management research, including X, Y and Z, has clearly established that organisational skills development is an essential contributor to business growth.”

2 – A sentence introducing your specific research problem.

“However, there are conflicting views and an overall lack of research regarding how best to manage skills development initiatives in highly dynamic environments where subject knowledge is rapidly and continuously evolving – for example, in the website development industry.”

3 – A sentence stating your research aims and objectives.

“This research aims to identify and evaluate skills development approaches and strategies for highly dynamic industries in which subject knowledge is continuously evolving.”.

4 – A sentence outlining the layout of the chapter.

“This chapter will provide an introduction to the study by first discussing the background and context, followed by the research problem, the research aims, objectives and questions, the significance and finally, the limitations.”

As I mentioned, this opening section of your introduction chapter shouldn’t be lengthy . Typically, these four sentences should fit neatly into one or two paragraphs, max. What you’re aiming for here is a clear, concise introduction to your research – not a detailed account.

PS – If some of this terminology sounds unfamiliar, don’t stress – I’ll explain each of the concepts later in this post.

#2 – Background to the study

Now that you’ve provided a high-level overview of your dissertation or thesis, it’s time to go a little deeper and lay a foundation for your research topic. This foundation is what the second ingredient is all about – the background to your study.

So, what is the background section all about?

Well, this section of your introduction chapter should provide a broad overview of the topic area that you’ll be researching, as well as the current contextual factors . This could include, for example, a brief history of the topic, recent developments in the area, key pieces of research in the area and so on. In other words, in this section, you need to provide the relevant background information to give the reader a decent foundational understanding of your research area.

Let’s look at an example to make this a little more concrete.

If we stick with the skills development topic I mentioned earlier, the background to the study section would start by providing an overview of the skills development area and outline the key existing research. Then, it would go on to discuss how the modern-day context has created a new challenge for traditional skills development strategies and approaches. Specifically, that in many industries, technical knowledge is constantly and rapidly evolving, and traditional education providers struggle to keep up with the pace of new technologies.

Importantly, you need to write this section with the assumption that the reader is not an expert in your topic area. So, if there are industry-specific jargon and complex terminology, you should briefly explain that here , so that the reader can understand the rest of your document.

Don’t make assumptions about the reader’s knowledge – in most cases, your markers will not be able to ask you questions if they don’t understand something. So, always err on the safe side and explain anything that’s not common knowledge.

Dissertation Coaching

#3 – The research problem

Now that you’ve given your reader an overview of your research area, it’s time to get specific about the research problem that you’ll address in your dissertation or thesis. While the background section would have alluded to a potential research problem (or even multiple research problems), the purpose of this section is to narrow the focus and highlight the specific research problem you’ll focus on.

But, what exactly is a research problem, you ask?

Well, a research problem can be any issue or question for which there isn’t already a well-established and agreed-upon answer in the existing research. In other words, a research problem exists when there’s a need to answer a question (or set of questions), but there’s a gap in the existing literature , or the existing research is conflicting and/or inconsistent.

So, to present your research problem, you need to make it clear what exactly is missing in the current literature and why this is a problem . It’s usually a good idea to structure this discussion into three sections – specifically:

  • What’s already well-established in the literature (in other words, the current state of research)
  • What’s missing in the literature (in other words, the literature gap)
  • Why this is a problem (in other words, why it’s important to fill this gap)

Let’s look at an example of this structure using the skills development topic.

Organisational skills development is critically important for employee satisfaction and company performance (reference). Numerous studies have investigated strategies and approaches to manage skills development programs within organisations (reference).

(this paragraph explains what’s already well-established in the literature)

However, these studies have traditionally focused on relatively slow-paced industries where key skills and knowledge do not change particularly often. This body of theory presents a problem for industries that face a rapidly changing skills landscape – for example, the website development industry – where new platforms, languages and best practices emerge on an extremely frequent basis.

(this paragraph explains what’s missing from the literature)

As a result, the existing research is inadequate for industries in which essential knowledge and skills are constantly and rapidly evolving, as it assumes a slow pace of knowledge development. Industries in such environments, therefore, find themselves ill-equipped in terms of skills development strategies and approaches.

(this paragraph explains why the research gap is problematic)

As you can see in this example, in a few lines, we’ve explained (1) the current state of research, (2) the literature gap and (3) why that gap is problematic. By doing this, the research problem is made crystal clear, which lays the foundation for the next ingredient.

#4 – The research aims, objectives and questions

Now that you’ve clearly identified your research problem, it’s time to identify your research aims and objectives , as well as your research questions . In other words, it’s time to explain what you’re going to do about the research problem.

So, what do you need to do here?

Well, the starting point is to clearly state your research aim (or aims) . The research aim is the main goal or the overarching purpose of your dissertation or thesis. In other words, it’s a high-level statement of what you’re aiming to achieve.

Let’s look at an example, sticking with the skills development topic:

“Given the lack of research regarding organisational skills development in fast-moving industries, this study will aim to identify and evaluate the skills development approaches utilised by web development companies in the UK”.

As you can see in this example, the research aim is clearly outlined, as well as the specific context in which the research will be undertaken (in other words, web development companies in the UK).

Next up is the research objective (or objectives) . While the research aims cover the high-level “what”, the research objectives are a bit more practically oriented, looking at specific things you’ll be doing to achieve those research aims.

Let’s take a look at an example of some research objectives (ROs) to fit the research aim.

  • RO1 – To identify common skills development strategies and approaches utilised by web development companies in the UK.
  • RO2 – To evaluate the effectiveness of these strategies and approaches.
  • RO3 – To compare and contrast these strategies and approaches in terms of their strengths and weaknesses.

As you can see from this example, these objectives describe the actions you’ll take and the specific things you’ll investigate in order to achieve your research aims. They break down the research aims into more specific, actionable objectives.

The final step is to state your research questions . Your research questions bring the aims and objectives another level “down to earth”. These are the specific questions that your dissertation or theses will seek to answer. They’re not fluffy, ambiguous or conceptual – they’re very specific and you’ll need to directly answer them in your conclusions chapter .

The research questions typically relate directly to the research objectives and sometimes can look a bit obvious, but they are still extremely important. Let’s take a look at an example of the research questions (RQs) that would flow from the research objectives I mentioned earlier.

  • RQ1 – What skills development strategies and approaches are currently being used by web development companies in the UK?
  • RQ2 – How effective are each of these strategies and approaches?
  • RQ3 – What are the strengths and weaknesses of each of these strategies and approaches?

As you can see, the research questions mimic the research objectives , but they are presented in question format. These questions will act as the driving force throughout your dissertation or thesis – from the literature review to the methodology and onward – so they’re really important.

A final note about this section – it’s really important to be clear about the scope of your study (more technically, the delimitations ). In other words, what you WILL cover and what you WON’T cover. If your research aims, objectives and questions are too broad, you’ll risk losing focus or investigating a problem that is too big to solve within a single dissertation.

Simply put, you need to establish clear boundaries in your research. You can do this, for example, by limiting it to a specific industry, country or time period. That way, you’ll ringfence your research, which will allow you to investigate your topic deeply and thoroughly – which is what earns marks!

Need a helping hand?

what to include in an introduction thesis

#5 – Significance

Now that you’ve made it clear what you’ll be researching, it’s time to make a strong argument regarding your study’s importance and significance . In other words, now that you’ve covered the what, it’s time to cover the why – enter essential ingredient number 5 – significance.

Of course, by this stage, you’ve already briefly alluded to the importance of your study in your background and research problem sections, but you haven’t explicitly stated how your research findings will benefit the world . So, now’s your chance to clearly state how your study will benefit either industry , academia , or – ideally – both . In other words, you need to explain how your research will make a difference and what implications it will have .

Let’s take a look at an example.

“This study will contribute to the body of knowledge on skills development by incorporating skills development strategies and approaches for industries in which knowledge and skills are rapidly and constantly changing. This will help address the current shortage of research in this area and provide real-world value to organisations operating in such dynamic environments.”

As you can see in this example, the paragraph clearly explains how the research will help fill a gap in the literature and also provide practical real-world value to organisations.

This section doesn’t need to be particularly lengthy, but it does need to be convincing . You need to “sell” the value of your research here so that the reader understands why it’s worth committing an entire dissertation or thesis to it. This section needs to be the salesman of your research. So, spend some time thinking about the ways in which your research will make a unique contribution to the world and how the knowledge you create could benefit both academia and industry – and then “sell it” in this section.

studying and prep for henley exams

#6 – The limitations

Now that you’ve “sold” your research to the reader and hopefully got them excited about what’s coming up in the rest of your dissertation, it’s time to briefly discuss the potential limitations of your research.

But you’re probably thinking, hold up – what limitations? My research is well thought out and carefully designed – why would there be limitations?

Well, no piece of research is perfect . This is especially true for a dissertation or thesis – which typically has a very low or zero budget, tight time constraints and limited researcher experience. Generally, your dissertation will be the first or second formal research project you’ve ever undertaken, so it’s unlikely to win any research awards…

Simply put, your research will invariably have limitations. Don’t stress yourself out though – this is completely acceptable (and expected). Even “professional” research has limitations – as I said, no piece of research is perfect. The key is to recognise the limitations upfront and be completely transparent about them, so that future researchers are aware of them and can improve the study’s design to minimise the limitations and strengthen the findings.

Generally, you’ll want to consider at least the following four common limitations. These are:

  • Your scope – for example, perhaps your focus is very narrow and doesn’t consider how certain variables interact with each other.
  • Your research methodology – for example, a qualitative methodology could be criticised for being overly subjective, or a quantitative methodology could be criticised for oversimplifying the situation (learn more about methodologies here ).
  • Your resources – for example, a lack of time, money, equipment and your own research experience.
  • The generalisability of your findings – for example, the findings from the study of a specific industry or country can’t necessarily be generalised to other industries or countries.

Don’t be shy here. There’s no use trying to hide the limitations or weaknesses of your research. In fact, the more critical you can be of your study, the better. The markers want to see that you are aware of the limitations as this demonstrates your understanding of research design – so be brutal.

#7 – The structural outline

Now that you’ve clearly communicated what your research is going to be about, why it’s important and what the limitations of your research will be, the final ingredient is the structural outline.The purpose of this section is simply to provide your reader with a roadmap of what to expect in terms of the structure of your dissertation or thesis.

In this section, you’ll need to provide a brief summary of each chapter’s purpose and contents (including the introduction chapter). A sentence or two explaining what you’ll do in each chapter is generally enough to orient the reader. You don’t want to get too detailed here – it’s purely an outline, not a summary of your research.

Let’s look at an example:

In Chapter One, the context of the study has been introduced. The research objectives and questions have been identified, and the value of such research argued. The limitations of the study have also been discussed.

In Chapter Two, the existing literature will be reviewed and a foundation of theory will be laid out to identify key skills development approaches and strategies within the context of fast-moving industries, especially technology-intensive industries.

In Chapter Three, the methodological choices will be explored. Specifically, the adoption of a qualitative, inductive research approach will be justified, and the broader research design will be discussed, including the limitations thereof.

So, as you can see from the example, this section is simply an outline of the chapter structure, allocating a short paragraph to each chapter. Done correctly, the outline will help your reader understand what to expect and reassure them that you’ll address the multiple facets of the study.

By the way – if you’re unsure of how to structure your dissertation or thesis, be sure to check out our video post which explains dissertation structure .

Keep calm and carry on.

Hopefully you feel a bit more prepared for this challenge of crafting your dissertation or thesis introduction chapter now. Take a deep breath and remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day – conquer one ingredient at a time and you’ll be firmly on the path to success.

Let’s quickly recap – the 7 ingredients are:

  • The opening section – where you give a brief, high-level overview of what your research will be about.
  • The study background – where you introduce the reader to key theory, concepts and terminology, as well as the context of your study.
  • The research problem – where you explain what the problem with the current research is. In other words, the research gap.
  • The research aims , objectives and questions – where you clearly state what your dissertation will investigate.
  • The significance – where you explain what value your research will provide to the world.
  • The limitations – where you explain what the potential shortcomings and limitations of your research may be.
  • The structural outline – where you provide a high-level overview of the structure of your document

If you bake these ingredients into your dissertation introduction chapter, you’ll be well on your way to building an engaging introduction chapter that lays a rock-solid foundation for the rest of your document.

Remember, while we’ve covered the essential ingredients here, there may be some additional components that your university requires, so be sure to double-check your project brief!

what to include in an introduction thesis

Psst... there’s more!

This post was based on one of our popular Research Bootcamps . If you're working on a research project, you'll definitely want to check this out ...

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43 Comments

Derique

Thanks very much for such an insight. I feel confident enough in undertaking my thesis on the survey;The future of facial recognition and learning non verbal interaction

Derek Jansen

Glad to hear that. Good luck with your thesis!

Thanks very much for such an insight. I feel confident now undertaking my thesis; The future of facial recognition and learning non verbal interaction.

Emmanuel Chukwuebuka Okoli

Thanks so much for this article. I found myself struggling and wasting a lot of time in my thesis writing but after reading this article and watching some of your youtube videos, I now have a clear understanding of what is required for a thesis.

Saima Kashif

Thank you Derek, i find your each post so useful. Keep it up.

Aletta

Thank you so much Derek ,for shedding the light and making it easier for me to handle the daunting task of academic writing .

Alice kasaka

Thanks do much Dereck for the comprehensive guide. It will assist me queit a lot in my thesis.

dawood

thanks a lot for helping

SALly henderson

i LOVE the gifs, such a fun way to engage readers. thanks for the advice, much appreciated

NAG

Thanks a lot Derek! It will be really useful to the beginner in research!

Derek Jansen

You’re welcome

ravi

This is a well written, easily comprehensible, simple introduction to the basics of a Research Dissertation../the need to keep the reader in mind while writing the dissertation is an important point that is covered../ I appreciate the efforts of the author../

Laxmi kanta Sharma

The instruction given are perfect and clear. I was supposed to take the course , unfortunately in Nepal the service is not avaialble.However, I am much more hopeful that you will provide require documents whatever you have produced so far.

Halima Ringim

Thank you very much

Shamim Nabankema

Thanks so much ❤️😘 I feel am ready to start writing my research methodology

Sapphire Kellichan

This is genuinely the most effective advice I have ever been given regarding academia. Thank you so much!

Abdul

This is one of the best write up I have seen in my road to PhD thesis. regards, this write up update my knowledge of research

Amelia

I was looking for some good blogs related to Education hopefully your article will help. Thanks for sharing.

Dennis

This is an awesome masterpiece. It is one of the most comprehensive guides to writing a Dissertation/Thesis I have seen and read.

You just saved me from going astray in writing a Dissertation for my undergraduate studies. I could not be more grateful for such a relevant guide like this. Thank you so much.

Maria

Thank you so much Derek, this has been extremely helpful!!

I do have one question though, in the limitations part do you refer to the scope as the focus of the research on a specific industry/country/chronological period? I assume that in order to talk about whether or not the research could be generalized, the above would need to be already presented and described in the introduction.

Thank you again!

Jackson Lubari Wani

Phew! You have genuinely rescued me. I was stuck how to go about my thesis. Now l have started. Thank you.

Valmont Dain

This is the very best guide in anything that has to do with thesis or dissertation writing. The numerous blends of examples and detailed insights make it worth a read and in fact, a treasure that is worthy to be bookmarked.

Thanks a lot for this masterpiece!

Steve

Powerful insight. I can now take a step

Bayaruna

Thank you very much for these valuable introductions to thesis chapters. I saw all your videos about writing the introduction, discussion, and conclusion chapter. Then, I am wondering if we need to explain our research limitations in all three chapters, introduction, discussion, and conclusion? Isn’t it a bit redundant? If not, could you please explain how can we write in different ways? Thank you.

Md. Abdullah-Al-mahbub

Excellent!!! Thank you…

shahrin

Thanks for this informative content. I have a question. The research gap is mentioned in both the introduction and literature section. I would like to know how can I demonstrate the research gap in both sections without repeating the contents?

Sarah

I’m incredibly grateful for this invaluable content. I’ve been dreading compiling my postgrad thesis but breaking each chapter down into sections has made it so much easier for me to engage with the material without feeling overwhelmed. After relying on your guidance, I’m really happy with how I’ve laid out my introduction.

mahdi

Thank you for the informative content you provided

Steven

Hi Derrick and Team, thank you so much for the comprehensive guide on how to write a dissertation or a thesis introduction section. For some of us first-timers, it is a daunting task. However, the instruction with relevant examples makes it clear and easy to follow through. Much appreciated.

Raza Bukhari

It was so helpful. God Bless you. Thanks very much

beza

I thank you Grad coach for your priceless help. I have two questions I have learned from your video the limitations of the research presented in chapter one. but in another video also presented in chapter five. which chapter limitation should be included? If possible, I need your answer since I am doing my thesis. how can I explain If I am asked what is my motivation for this research?

nlc

You explain what moment in life caused you to have a peaked interest in the thesis topic. Personal experiences? Or something that had an impact on your life, or others. Something would have caused your drive of topic. Dig deep inside, the answer is within you!

Simon Musa Wuranjiya

Thank you guys for the great work you are doing. Honestly, you have made the research to be interesting and simplified. Even a novice will easily grasp the ideas you put forward, Thank you once again.

Natalie

Excellent piece!

Simon

I feel like just settling for a good topic is usually the hardest part.

Kate

Thank you so much. My confidence has been completely destroyed during my first year of PhD and you have helped me pull myself together again

Happy to help 🙂

Linda Adhoch

I am so glad I ran into your resources and did not waste time doing the wrong this. Research is now making so much sense now.

Danyal Ahmad

Gratitude to Derrick and the team I was looking for a solid article that would aid me in drafting the thesis’ introduction. I felt quite happy when I came across the piece you wrote because it was so well-written and insightful. I wish you success in the future.

ria M

thank you so much. God Bless you

Arnold C

Thank you so much Grad Coach for these helpful insights. Now I can get started, with a great deal of confidence.

Ro

It’s ‘alluded to’ not ‘eluded to’.

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How to Write a Thesis Introduction

What types of information should you include in your introduction .

In the introduction of your thesis, you’ll be trying to do three main things, which are called Moves :

  • Move 1 establish your territory (say what the topic is about)
  • Move 2 establish a niche (show why there needs to be further research on your topic)
  • Move 3 introduce the current research (make hypotheses; state the research questions)

Each Move has a number of stages. Depending on what you need to say in your introduction, you might use one or more stages. Table 1 provides you with a list of the most commonly occurring stages of introductions in Honours theses (colour-coded to show the Moves ). You will also find examples of Introductions, divided into stages with sample sentence extracts. Once you’ve looked at Examples 1 and 2, try the exercise that follows.

Most thesis introductions include SOME (but not all) of the stages listed below. There are variations between different Schools and between different theses, depending on the purpose of the thesis.

Stages in a thesis introduction

  • state the general topic and give some background
  • provide a review of the literature related to the topic
  • define the terms and scope of the topic
  • outline the current situation
  • evaluate the current situation (advantages/ disadvantages) and identify the gap
  • identify the importance of the proposed research
  • state the research problem/ questions
  • state the research aims and/or research objectives
  • state the hypotheses
  • outline the order of information in the thesis
  • outline the methodology

Example 1: Evaluation of Boron Solid Source Diffusion for High-Efficiency Silicon Solar Cells (School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering)

1. Give background about the topicP-type layers are commonly used in solar cells as they offer a wide range of applications such as a back surface field…
4. Outline current methods...Currently in the PV industry aluminium-silicon alloying using screen-printed aluminium and belt furnace firing is the prevalent method of forming p-type layers because it is relatively easy and also forms the rear electrical contact…
5. Evaluate current methods...The use of aluminium as p-type dopant has two major disadvantages, however…
6. Identify importance of proposed research…Given the limitations associated with using Al to form p-type diffusion, boron as a dopant for diffused layers is therefore more suitable for high-efficiency silicon solar cells…
8. State research aims...The goal of this thesis is to evaluate boron nitride (BN) as a potential replacement for liquid-source diffusion presently being used for p-type diffusions in the high-efficiency buried contact solar cells under development at UNSW…
10. Outline order of information in the thesis…This thesis is divided into five chapters: Chapter 2 discusses in more detail about diffusions in general and the case of boron diffusion…Chapter 3 outlines the experimental work carried out in the project…

Example 2: Methods for Measuring Hepatitis C Viral Complexity (School of Biotechnology and Biological Sciences)

Note: this introduction includes the literature review.

1. State the general topic...The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a significant human pathogen given that 3% of the world’s population are infected with the virus…
1. (2) Give some background about the topic…The HCV genome is a positive sense, single stranded RNA molecule with an approximate length of 9.5kb…
3. (2) Define the terms and scope of the topic…Quasispecies are defined as a population of closely related minor genetic variants and are a noted phenomenon of plant and RNA viruses…It has been widely recognised that treatment outcome is highly dependent on the complexity…
5. (2) Evaluate current situation…Cloning and sequencing is considered a time-consuming and laborious method and as such there exists a need for the development of simple alternative methods…
5. (2) Identify the gap in current research…At present there is no suitable method that has produced results comparable to that of cloning and sequencing which also has the additional properties of simplicity and rapidity…
6. Identify importance of proposed research…There is mounting evidence, however, that immediate treatment will result in successful eradication of HCV. Therefore studies of acute phase quasispecies will enhance the understanding of the early virological events of newly acquired HCV infection and ultimately the disease process itself.
9. State the hypothesisThe hypotheses for this study are that there exist suitable parameters to assess quasispecies complexity. Furthermore, a rapid and simpler alternative method to cloning and sequencing can be developed to accurately describe the complexity of a given quasispecies population…
8. State research aims1.Define a set of parameters to analyse quasispecies complexity. 2.Develop a simpler and rapid alternative to cloning and sequencing that would accurately assess complexity of quasispecies populations….

Now that you have read example 1 and 2, what are the differences?

Example 3: The IMO Severe-Weather Criterion Applied to High-Speed Monohulls (School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering)

…The IMO Severe Wind and Rolling (Severe-Weather) Criterion is a stability criterion that has been developed to assess the dynamic stability of a vessel…

???

The theory behind the Severe-Weather Criterion is sound, and has a lot of merit.  However, many of the new generation of high-speed monohulls are having trouble passing the criterion…

???

…As a result, it is believed that the formula used to predict the windward roll angle θ1 is flawed and over-predicts the rolling amplitude for high-speed monohulls…

???

…Thus it is desired to evaluate the actual rolling amplitude that these vessels will experience…

???

In order to evaluate how the Severe-Weather Criterion is applied to high-speed monohulls, two vessels have been used as a case study…

???

Example 4: The Steiner Tree Problem (School of Computer Science and Engineering)

The Steiner Minimal Tree (SMT) problem is about finding the minimum connecting network for a set of points.  Its minimal property implies that the network must be a tree…

???

Formally, the problem can be stated as follows: given N points in the Euclidean plane, find the minimum spanning tree that covers these N points.  Additional points besides these N points can be added to the tree as extra vertices…

???

The SMT is a very interesting problem both in theoretical computer science and many practical applications.  Like other graph problems, it is fundamental to solving many common problems, such as communication network planning and VLSI circuit design.  The following are some examples…

???

This section describes the contents of the rest of the thesis…Section 2 provides a literature survey on Steiner trees, including a number of exact and heuristic algorithms developed…

???

Introduction exercise

Example 5.1 (extract 1): The effects of Fluoride on the reproduction of three native Australian plant Species (School of Geography)

Give some background (p.1 of 17)

1.1 Fluoride in the environment

Molecular fluorine (F2) is the most electronegative of the elements and therefore is highly reactive. Due to its high reactivity it is never found in its elemental form in nature. It combines directly at both ordinary or elevated temperatures with all other elements except oxygen, nitrogen, and the lighter noble gases (Cotton & Wilkinson, 1980).

Example 5.2 (extract 2): The effects of Fluoride on the reproduction of three native Australian plant Species (School of Geography)

Provide a review of the literature related to the topic (p.2 of 17)The main source of elevated fluoride in plants comes from atmospheric industrial pollution. Because of its extensive industrial use, hydrogen fluoride is probably the greatest single atmospheric fluoride contaminant and is generally considered to be the most important plant pathogenic fluoride (WHO, 1984; Treshow, 1965)… However, fluorides can cause damage to sensitive plant species even at extremely low fluoride concentrations(Hill,1969), accumulate in large amounts within the plant and cause disease if ingested by herbivores(Weinstein, 1977).

Example 5.3

Outline the current situation; Evaluate the current situation and indicate a gap (p.12 of 17)Doley (1981) summarized several unpublished studies that compared the sensitivity rankings of 24 species according to the responses of photosynthesis and the development of visible injury symptoms. This analysis showed that for nine species, photosynthesis measurements indicated greater sensitivity than was obvious from visible assessment, and for seven species the converse applied. This indicated that, while it may generally be true that physiological responses occur at lower doses than visible injury, this does not always appear to be the case.
…This is consistent with the findings of Weinstein (1977) that the extent of foliar damage is not always correlated with the level of accumulated fluoride. Studies in Western Australia (Horne et al., 1981) have reported field injury to vines situated near to brickworks in the Swan Valley and concluded that fluoride pollution can seriously affect grapevines.

???

Thus classification of cultivars according to levels of sensitivity to airborne fluorides is considered necessary for two reasons- a)knowledge of a resistant cultivar would be of important commercial interest to the vigneron, and b) the possibility of discovering a highly sensitive cultivar to provide an indicator plant to be used to warn growers when ambient conditions were approaching threshold levels(Greenhalge & Brown, 1984).

???

Example 5.4 (extract 4): The effects of Fluoride on the reproduction of three native Australian plant Species (School of Geography)

State the research problem(p.4 of 17)In many Australian plant species, young expanding leaves appear much more severely injured by gaseous fluorides than are old leaves. This suggests, either that the young leaf tissues are more sensitive to fluoride than mature tissues, or that sufficient fluoride enters the tissues directly through the cuticle to disrupt normal leaf development before the stomata have fully developed and opened(Doley, 1986a). This question has not been resolved due to the inability to accurately localize low concentrations of fluoride(Doley, 1986a)

Example 5.5 (extract 5): The effects of Fluoride on the reproduction of three native Australian plant Species (School of Geography)

State the research aims and /or research objectives (extract p.16 of 17)Knowledge of the effects of fluoride on the reproductive processes of species within a forest community will help predict potential changes within the community following an increase in atmospheric fluoride due to additional industrial sources, such as aluminium smelters. For these reasons, this project was designed to investigate the reproductive processes of selected species in a woodland near the aluminium smelter at Tomago.
This study investigates the effects of ten years of increased atmospheric fluoride from Tomago Aluminium Smelter, New South Wales on the reproductive processes of three selected native species, Banksia aemula, Bossiaea heterophylla and Actinotus helianthi… The study aims to determine the effects of the fluoride emissions on the reproductive processes of the selected species by analyzing the differences between several of their reproductive and associated characteristics found along a fluoride gradient.

???

Example 5.6 (extract 6): The effects of Fluoride on the reproduction of three native Australian plant Species (School of Geography)

State the outline of the Methodology (extract p.17 of 17).Germination trials were performed on seeds collected from each species along the fluoride gradient to determine if fluoride has an effect on their viability and hence the regeneration fitness of each species. A density study was used to determine if there were any differences between numbers of mature and immature trees, number of trees producing seed follicles and the number of trees flowering in this season along a fluoride gradient. By using soils collected at various distances away from the smelter the study also investigated differences in germination from the natural soil seed reserve along a fluoride gradient.

Well, firstly, there are many choices that you can make. You will notice that there are variations not only between the different Schools in your faculty, but also between individual theses, depending on the type of information that is being communicated. However, there are a few elements that a good Introduction should include, at the very minimum:

  • Either Statement of general topic Or Background information about the topic;
  • Either Identification of disadvantages of current situation Or Identification of the gap in current research;
  • Identification of importance of proposed research
  • Either Statement of aims Or Statement of objectives
  • An Outline of the order of information in the thesis

Engineering & science

  • Report writing
  • Technical writing
  • Writing lab reports
  • Introductions
  • Literature review
  • Writing up results
  • Discussions
  • Conclusions
  • Writing tools
  • Case study report in (engineering)
  • ^ More support

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  • If you are writing in a new discipline, you should always make sure to ask about conventions and expectations for introductions, just as you would for any other aspect of the essay. For example, while it may be acceptable to write a two-paragraph (or longer) introduction for your papers in some courses, instructors in other disciplines, such as those in some Government courses, may expect a shorter introduction that includes a preview of the argument that will follow.  
  • In some disciplines (Government, Economics, and others), it’s common to offer an overview in the introduction of what points you will make in your essay. In other disciplines, you will not be expected to provide this overview in your introduction.  
  • Avoid writing a very general opening sentence. While it may be true that “Since the dawn of time, people have been telling love stories,” it won’t help you explain what’s interesting about your topic.  
  • Avoid writing a “funnel” introduction in which you begin with a very broad statement about a topic and move to a narrow statement about that topic. Broad generalizations about a topic will not add to your readers’ understanding of your specific essay topic.  
  • Avoid beginning with a dictionary definition of a term or concept you will be writing about. If the concept is complicated or unfamiliar to your readers, you will need to define it in detail later in your essay. If it’s not complicated, you can assume your readers already know the definition.  
  • Avoid offering too much detail in your introduction that a reader could better understand later in the paper.
  • picture_as_pdf Introductions

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Need help with how to start your thesis or dissertation?  Explore our 7-step guide to create the perfect thesis or dissertation! We’ve also included practical thesis introduction examples to help you. 

From how to explain your research topic to how to summarize important points, we’ve covered everything. Together, let’s understand how to write an introduction that hooks your readers from the start! 

Ensure a high-quality error-free thesis today! Learn more

So without wasting time, let’s begin! Firstly, let’s understand more about the thesis introduction’s length. 

How long is a thesis/dissertation introduction? 

A thesis or dissertation introduction is usually 10% of your paper’s length. For example, if your thesis or dissertation is 30,000 words, you can write an introduction of 3,000 words. However, the actual length can vary, depending on the scope of research, institutional requirements, and guidelines given. 

An empirical dissertation or thesis introduction is usually shorter than a humanities paper’s introduction. Now, let’s see how to write a thesis introduction and dissertation introduction

7 simple steps to write a thesis/dissertation introduction 

1. start with a broad context .

Begin by giving a short background about your topic and highlighting your topic’s importance. Some strategies to create an introduction are: Start with a relevant fact, quotation, question, an existing problem, important news, theories, or a debate related to your topic. 

Here is an example: 

In an age dominated by technology, the rapid spread of smartphones and computers has dramatically changed how people communicate and share information worldwide. 

2. Summarize important contributions by researchers

Mention important contributions by researchers that are relevant to your topic. This is like a mini literature review to provide background about your topic. Highlight any gap in the literature that your research covers. Here is an example: 

Key contributions include those by Rainie and Wellman (2012) who explored the concept of ‘networked individualism’ driven by personal technology; and Turkle (2015), who investigated the psychological effects of perpetual digital connectivity

However, there remains a notable gap in the literature regarding the long-term implications of technology on interpersonal skills and deep communication. 

Also read: 100+ Useful ChatGPT Prompts for Thesis Writing in 2024 : 

3. Restrict the scope

In this step, only mention the specific factors involved in your study. This can include the time, location, the communities studied, and the central themes of your study. If relevant, focus on a specific event or phenomenon that your research covers. Following is an example: 

This study narrows its focus to the past ten years (2014-2024), during which social media and mobile technology have become indispensable. It examines the impact of digital technologies on key interpersonal skills—empathetic listening and verbal expression—within the context of North American urban communities, specifically targeting the millennial and Gen Z populations in New York City and Toronto. 

4. Mention the thesis statement 

A thesis statement should concisely communicate the main argument, claim, or purpose of your research, rather than focusing on the specifics of your research methods .

The increasing reliance on renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, is not only crucial for mitigating climate change but also has the potential to create job opportunities and stimulate economic growth. This can be seen in the successful implementation of green energy policies in Germany and Denmark.  

Browse through the next step of writing a dissertation conclusion/thesis conclusion! 

5. Explain your research’s importance 

In this step, describe why your research is essential. Also, if your research has any practical implications for future research or policies, add it to your introduction. 

This research intends to uncover patterns and potential shifts in communication competencies that could inform educational approaches, mental health strategies, and technological design aimed at supporting healthy social development in an increasingly digital landscape. 

Now let us see the last step of writing a dissertation or thesis introduction. 

6. Mention any questions/objectives of your research 

This is a crucial step to establish the focus and purpose of your research. The research questions should be specific, focused, and aligned with the identified research gap you wish to address. If you’re testing a hypothesis, you can mention it in this section. 

Let’s see an example of this: 

This dissertation seeks to answer the research question: How do changes in minimum wage affect employment rates in the retail sector?

Also read: How to Write a Dissertation & Thesis Conclusion (+ Examples)

7. Briefly outline your thesis 

This is the final step where you summarize all other chapters in your thesis or dissertation. The summary for every chapter shouldn’t be more than 1-2 sentences. Here is an example: 

Reading Guide 

This introduction is followed by the theoretical chapter that provides a brief overview of the research objectives, highlighting the intent to explore how digital technology affects communication skills among young adults and the significance of educational frameworks, mental health, and technology design. After this, the next chapter presents the existing research on the intersection of technology use with empathetic listening and verbal expression, setting the context for understanding current knowledge and gaps. 

The literature review chapter is followed by the methods chapter which provides a detailed description of the mixed-methods research approach used, including survey design, participant selection, and the rationale for qualitative interviews and focus groups. After this chapter, the results chapter objectively states the results gained from interviews and focus groups, providing depth to the understanding of individual and collective experiences with digital communication. This is followed by the discussion chapter that interprets these results and finally the conclusion chapter. Several appendices are added to elaborate on some of the analyses along with technical documentation in terms of flowcharts relevant to explaining data analysis procedures. 

Let us now see another introduction example to clarify any doubts. 

Introduction example 

As cities try to fight climate change, urban green spaces like parks have become important in removing carbon from the air. Studies by Smith et al. (2020) and Johnson and Thompson (2021) show that these green spaces can help capture carbon and regulate the climate in cities. However, it’s not clear how much urban parks in North American cities with mild climates actually help to balance out the carbon emissions from those cities. This leads to the question: How well have urban parks in New York City and Vancouver helped to offset urban carbon emissions between 2010 and 2023?

To address this question, this study employs a mixed-methods research approach, focusing on New York City and Vancouver to provide a comparative look at how green spaces function within different urban infrastructures and community usage patterns. The methodology includes a temporal analysis of satellite imagery and environmental sensor data to quantify carbon sequestration, coupled with surveys and interviews with park management and visitors to assess the perceived and actualized benefits of urban greenery.

Asserting that urban parks are a substantial yet underutilized asset for climate mitigation, the importance of this work extends beyond environmental benefits, potentially influencing policy, urban design, and quality of life. It offers a nuanced perspective for city planners and policymakers to integrate green spaces into climate strategies more effectively.

Reading Guide: 

This introduction is followed by a literature review that compiles the findings on the environmental impact of urban greenery. After this, the methodology chapter provides a detailed account of the mixed-methods approach used for assessing carbon sequestration in urban parklands, including data collection and analysis techniques.

This is followed by the results chapter which presents analytical findings, after which the conclusion chapter discusses broader implications for sustainable urban planning and suggests directions for future research.

Now that you know how to write a dissertation introduction/thesis introduction, you can begin brainstorming. You can research more thesis and dissertation introduction examples related to your field to strongly introduce your topic.  

Once you write your dissertation introduction and complete your paper, the next step will be to edit it. As experts in dissertation editing and proofreading services , we’d love to help you perfect your paper. 

Here are some articles you might find interesting: 

  • Final Submission Checklist | Dissertation & Thesis
  • Thesis Editing | Definition, Scope & Standard Rates
  • The 10 Best Essential Resources for Academic Research
  • Best ChatGPT Prompts for Academic Writing (100+ Prompts!)
  • Research Methodology Guide: Writing Tips, Types, & Examples

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Writing Center

Effective introductions and thesis statements, make them want to continue reading.

Writing an effective introduction is an art form. The introduction is the first thing that your reader sees. It is what invests the reader in your paper, and it should make them want to continue reading. You want to be creative and unique early on in your introduction; here are some strategies to help catch your reader’s attention:

  • Tell a brief anecdote or story
  • As a series of short rhetorical questions
  • Use a powerful quotation
  • Refute a common belief
  • Cite a dramatic fact or statistic

Your introduction also needs to adequately explain the topic and organization of your paper.

Your  thesis statement  identifies the purpose of your paper. It also helps focus the reader on your central point. An effective thesis establishes a tone and a point of view for a given purpose and audience. Here are some important things to consider when constructing your thesis statement.

  • Don’t just make a factual statement – your thesis is your educated opinion on a topic.
  • Don’t write a highly opinionated statement that might offend your audience.
  • Don’t simply make an announcement (ex. “Tuition should be lowered” is a much better thesis than “My essay will discuss if tuition should be lowered”).
  • Don’t write a thesis that is too broad – be specific.

The thesis is often located in the middle or at the end of the introduction, but considerations about audience, purpose, and tone should always guide your decision about its placement.

Sometimes it’s helpful to wait to write the introduction until after you’ve written the essay’s body because, again, you want this to be one of the strongest parts of the paper.

Example of an introduction:

Innocent people murdered because of the hysteria of young girls! Many people believe that the young girls who accused citizens of Salem, Massachusetts of taking part in witchcraft were simply acting to punish their enemies. But recent evidence shows that the young girls may have been poisoned by a fungus called Ergot, which affects rye and wheat. The general public needs to learn about this possible cause for the hysteria that occurred in Salem so that society can better understand what happened in the past, how this event may change present opinion, and how the future might be changed by learning this new information.

By Rachel McCoppin, Ph.D. Last edited October 2016 by Allison Haas, M.A.

The PhD Proofreaders

Easily understand how to write a PhD thesis introduction

Feb 26, 2019

how to write an introduction

Have you checked out the rest of  The PhD Knowledge Base ? It’s home to hundreds more free resources and guides, written especially for PhD students. 

Get the introduction right and the rest of your dissertation will follow. 

Image of a introduction chapter cheat sheet with the text 'click here to download'

What is the purpose of a PhD thesis introduction?

1. establish your research territory (by situating your research in a broader context), 2. establish and justify your niche (by describing why your research is needed) , 3. explain the significance of your research (by describing how you conducted the research).

  • What your thesis is about
  • Why it is important
  • How it was conducted
  • How it is laid out
The introduction as a whole should outline the significance and relevance of the thesis. The main criteria for a PhD is its role as an original contribution to knowledge, so the introduction is the space in which you very clearly outline that contribution.

How to structure an PhD thesis introduction

A typical PhD thesis introduction follows the following format:

  • Introduction to the introduction: a short version (of only a few paragraphs) of the thesis’ aims, research questions, contribution, objectives and findings.
  • State the overarching topic and aims of the thesis in more detail Provide a brief review of the literature related to the topic (this will be very brief if you have a separate literature review chapter)
  • Define the terms and scope of the topic
  • Critically evaluate the current state of the literature on that topic and identify your gap
  • Outline why the research is important and the contribution that it makes
  • Outline your epistemological and ontological position
  • Clearly outline the research questions and problem(s) you seek to address
  • State the hypotheses (if you are using any)
  • Detail the most important concepts and variables
  • Briefly describe your methodology
  • Discuss the main findings
  • Discuss the layout of the thesis

Much like the abstract, the reader shouldn’t have to wait long before they understand the contribution, what you are doing and how you are doing it. So, you’ll start by presenting your research in a clear, concise way in the opening few paragraphs. These opening paragraphs should briefly summarise the aims, objectives, research questions, main argument and contribution.

The reader shouldn’t have to wait long before they understand the contribution, what you are doing and how you are doing it.

A useful exercise here is to try and write the core elements of an introduction on a Post-it note. Keep trying until they fit. When they do, use that as the basis for these first few paragraphs. This is the same technique you use when filling out the PhD Writing Template .

As you go through the chapter, you will dial down into more and more detail. That means that the next stage, after the first few paragraphs, is to provide some context (steps 2-10 above).

Here you provide all the detail necessary to situate the study and make sense of the opening few paragraphs.

But, there are two things to bear in mind.

You will need to ease into the detail gently. Don’t launch straight from your opening paragraphs into huge amounts of detail. Follow the order of the 13 steps above and you will gradually ease into your discussion.

The danger of presenting too much information too soon is that you will confuse the reader. They will struggle to understand how the information you present is relevant and will struggle to understand how it relates to your thesis aims and objectives.  

Simply follow the steps above.

You need to bear in mind that the level of detail you will go into (and therefore the length of the introduction) depends on the structure of your thesis.

If you have a standalone literature review, you will go into less detail about the current state of the literature and the gaps within it.

Similarly, if you have a dedicated theory chapter, you will not need to spend too much time on developing your theory framework.

The same is true for your methods.

The goal in any case is to present enough context to situate and make sense of your research questions but not overburden the reader with information that is superfluous to the goal of situating the research and which you will repeat at a later juncture anyhow.

what to include in an introduction thesis

Your PhD thesis. All on one page.

Use our free PhD structure template to quickly visualise every element of your thesis. 

Common problems when writing your introduction

When we proofread PhDs , we see the same mistakes again and again.

Providing too much detail

There is a tendency to provide too much background information in the introduction. As we saw above, quite how much information you present in your thesis will depend on whether you have a standalone literature review or methods chapter. What you want to avoid is any unnecessary repetition.

Sometimes there is necessary repetition though. You need to present just enough information to contextualise your study and to be able to situate your aims, research questions an argument, but not too much that you end up confusing and bombarding the reader. Keep things simple here; it’s fine to overlook some of the more technical detail at this stage. Think of a newspaper article: the first couple of paragraphs provide a brief overview of the story. The detail comes later.

Not providing enough detail

On the flip side, some students don’t provide enough detail. The danger here is that the reader is left asking questions at the end of the introduction. Remember: they should be able to understand what your thesis is about, how it was conducted and why it is important just from reading the introduction. If you present too little detail then they won’t be able to. Read through your own introduction; is it clear what your contribution is and why it is important? If not, you haven’t got enough detail.

Launching into too much detail

Make sure you introduce gently. Don’t suddenly rush into lots of detail. Instead, you should make the aims, questions and contribution clear in the opening lines and then gradually layer on more detail. That way, the reader can keep up. Present too much detail too soon and the reader will become confused. The last place you want confusion is in the introduction; if the reader can’t follow your introduction, they won’t understand the thesis.

Not following a coherent structure so that the reader is left confused

Some students don’t follow a coherent logic when they write their introductions, which means that the reader is left confused.

For example, if you present too much background information and literature review before you outline the aim and purpose of the research, the reader will struggle to follow, because they won’t know why the background information is important.

The same is true if you discuss the methods before your research questions.

What we see often is important information being spread throughout the introduction in such a way that the reader has to hunt for it. Follow our layout guide above so that each piece of vital information is contained in its own mini section. Make your reader’s job as easy as possible.

Using too much technical language not properly defined

It’s more than likely that your research relies upon lots of technical terms, concepts and techniques. If you must talk about any of these in the introduction, be sure to offer clear and concise definitions. A failure to do so means that the reader is left confused.

Conducting a literature review

Unless you are explicitly avoiding a standalone literature review chapter, the introduction is not the place to review the literature. Sure, you will need to situate your study in a body of literature, but the introduction isn’t the place to critically discuss it or justify its inclusion in that literature. It’s enough to say that you will contribute to X body of literature and briefly discuss its core features and shortcomings. The literature review is the place to justify that decision and elaborate upon its features. Read our guide to writing literature reviews and our guide to being critical when you do so.

Finalising your thesis introduction

Once you have finished your thesis, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the first line of the introduction discuss the problem that your thesis is addressing and the contribution that it is making?
  • Does the introduction provide an overview of the thesis and end with a brief discussion on the content of each chapter?
  • Does the introduction make a case for the research?
  • Have the research questions/problems/hypotheses been clearly outlined (preferably early on)?

Now you know how to present your research as clearly and concisely as possible. Your reader (and examiner) will thank you, because they’ll be able to understand exactly what your study is about just from reading the introductory pages. Keep this guide to hand, whatever stage of the writing process you are at.

Have you downloaded our free one page PhD Writing Template ? It’s a really effective way to visualise your entire thesis on one page.

If you’re still struggling to structure your introduction, or you need any other support as you write your thesis, check out our  one-on-one PhD coaching . It’s like having a personal trainer, but for your PhD. 

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12 comments.

King's sister

I was struggling with writing the introduction chapter. Really had no idea on how to organise my ideas. Completely lost and desolate. I have no one to encourage or support me. I prayed to God to give me knowledge and wisdom and guide me. After a while I found this site. Praise the Lord. I can’t thank u enough for addressing exactly what’s in my mind. Thank you. Glory be to God for directing me to this site.

Dr. Max Lempriere

All we aim to do here is to make life a little bit easier for PhD students. I know how hard I found it when I was completing mine, so I want to give something back to the community. I’m so pleased you found it useful. Good luck with writing up. If you need any support or if you have any questions at all, email me: [email protected]

reginald

Thank you very very much for your information it is resourceful. I was having a problem how to start my introduction.

It’s great to hear you found it useful. Thanks!

lilpam

Hey, this is so useful thankyou! I’m wondering does this apply broadly to all PhD’s including humanities?

Yep – it sure does.

Bless

I found this piece of information helpful. I am preparing for my proposal defense in two weeks and needed to refine my introduction. Thank you very much. God bless you richly. I wish we can have a skype conversation.

Thank you again.

Jennifer Andleeb

thank you, learned from this

Elle

Your advice and guidance has become my constant companion in what has been a very stressful time. You write with empathy and understanding. What a wonderful job you are doing for those of us who are too proud to seek advice and support from supervisors or colleagues. Sincerest thanks for taking the loneliness out of writing.

Such nice words. Thank you so much.

Nora Ovadia

this is really useful!!!

Thanks Nora! I’m glad you found it useful.

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How to Write a Compelling Thesis Introduction

what to include in an introduction thesis

The introduction to your thesis is like a first impression: you want it to be great. It is the first chapter and appears before the literature review and after the table of contents. You want the introduction to set the stage for your reader: tell them what you’re writing about, why, and what comes next. So how can you write a compelling thesis introduction?

Structure and elements of a thesis introduction

Before you write a compelling thesis introduction, you need to know what elements belong in this section and how it should be structured. A typical thesis introduction includes:

  • A clear thesis statement
  • An explanation of the context (brief background) for the study
  • The focus and scope of the paper
  • An explanation of the relevance and importance of your research
  • A description of the objectives of your research and how your methodology achieves them
  • A guide to the structure of the rest of the thesis (roadmap)

A thesis introduction is typically about 10% of the total length of your paper. If your introduction includes diagrams or figures, the length may be longer. It is critical to include all of the points above when writing a clear and compelling introduction. You may include additional elements if you feel they are essential in introducing your topic to the audience.

Thesis introduction: Getting started

If you do decide to write your introduction first, you can draw on the information in your thesis/dissertation proposal to help construct your draft.

How should you draft your thesis introduction, and when should you do it?

Despite the fact that your introduction comes first in the structure of your thesis, there is absolutely no need to write it first. Starting your thesis is often difficult and overwhelming, and many writers suffer from blank page syndrome —the paralysis of not knowing where to start. For this reason, some people advocate writing a kind of placeholder introduction when you begin, just to get something written down. You are free to write the introduction section at the beginning, middle, or end of the thesis drafting process . I personally find it preferable to write the introduction to a paper after I have already drafted a significant portion of the remainder of the paper. This is because I can draw on what I have written already to make sure that I cover all of the important points above.

However, if you do decide to write your introduction first, you can draw on the information in your thesis/dissertation proposal  to help construct your draft. Just keep in mind that you will need to revisit your introduction after you have written the rest of your thesis to make sure it still provides an accurate roadmap and summary of the paper for your readers.

Topic and background information

When you introduce your topic, you want to draw your reader in.

Your thesis introduction should begin by informing the reader what your topic is and providing them with some relevant background information. The amount of background information you provide in this step will actually depend on what type of thesis/dissertation you are writing.

If you are writing a paper in the natural sciences or some social sciences, then it will have a separate background section after the introduction. Not a lot of background information is needed here. You can just state the larger context of the research. However, if your paper is structured such that there is no separate background chapter, then this portion of your thesis will be a bit longer and that is okay.

When you introduce your topic, you want to draw your reader in. Provide them with the reasons your research is interesting and important so that they will want to keep reading. Don’t be afraid to offer up some surprising facts or an interesting anecdote. You don’t need to be sensationalist, but your writing does not have to be dry and boring also! It is encouraged that you try to connect to your reader by offering them a relevant fact or story about your topic.

Example (topic) Weaknesses in financial regulatory systems in the United States
Example (context): Highlight some news stories about banks allowing money laundering on a massive scale, which financed gangs and led to more street drugs in major American cities. You could include a story about someone personally impacted by drugs in their neighborhood and then connect the presence of drugs to the gangs who were allowed to launder their money through big banks.

Focus and scope of your thesis

Once you have introduced your reader to the broader topic and provided some background information, you might want to explain the specific focus and scope of your thesis.

Once you have introduced your reader to the broader topic and provided some background information, you might want to explain the specific focus and scope of your thesis. What aspect of your topic will you research in particular? Why? What will your research not cover, and why? While this second part is optional, it is often helpful to be very specific about the aims of your research.

Example : Regulatory capture in the Federal Reserve and how it contributes to lax enforcement of anti-money laundering regulations.

You might write about this by explaining that your study focuses on regulatory capture in the Federal Reserve because they are one of the primary regulatory bodies monitoring the financial institutions, which were caught allowing money laundering. You could further specify that you will be focusing specifically on the role the Federal Reserve plays in monitoring banks for compliance with anti-money laundering laws; however, you will not be talking about the role they play in monitoring for compliance in other areas such as loans or mergers. This prepares your reader for what they are going to read and sets their expectations for what will come next.

Explaining the relevance and importance of your research

You must explain to the reader why your research matters, and by implication, why your reader should continue reading!

This is one of the most critical parts of your introduction. You must explain to the reader why your research matters, and by implication, why your reader should continue reading! Your research does not have to be completely revolutionary or groundbreaking to have value. You don’t need to inflate the importance of the thesis/dissertation you are writing when explaining why the research you have done is worthwhile.

Example: Corruption is an increasingly important issue in the maintenance and promotion of democratic norms and good governance. Without the ability to enforce effective penalties against institutions that turn a blind eye to money laundering, democratic governments like the United States will be threatened by the increasing power of bad actors flouting regulations. With the dollar being the global reserve currency, the US must enforce anti-money laundering legislation at home to have any hopes of shutting down global networks of corrupt operators that rely on its financial institutions. Identifying the presence of regulatory capture in the Federal Reserve sounds the alarm bell for lawmakers and regulators and suggests important interventions for policymakers are needed.

The above example clearly explains the wider impact of the issue without making overly broad statements such as “this research will revolutionize financial regulation in the United States as we know it” or “this research provides a roadmap for ending corrupt financial flows.” Just focus on what made the issue important and interesting to you and clearly state it within the broader context you provided earlier on.

Giving your reader a roadmap

At the end of your thesis introduction, you will want to provide your reader with a roadmap to the rest of the thesis.

At the end of your thesis introduction, you will want to provide your reader with a roadmap to the rest of the thesis. This differs from your table of contents in that it provides more context and details for how and why you have structured your thesis the way you have. The format of “first, next, finally” is a clear and easy way to structure this section of your introduction.

Example: First , this study reviews the existing literature on regulatory capture and how it impacts enforcement actions, with a specific focus on financial institutions and the history of the Federal Reserve. Next , it discusses the materials used for this research and how analysis was performed. Finally , it explains the results of the data analysis and investigates what the results mean and implications for future policymaking.

Now your reader knows exactly what to expect and how this fits into your overall aims and objectives. They are primed with the knowledge of your topic, its background, its relevance, and your specific focus in this study.

One common problem people have when writing an introduction to a thesis is actually writing too much . Many students and young researchers fear they won’t have enough to say and then will find themselves with a super long introduction that they somehow need to cut in half. You don’t have to give too much detail in the introduction of your thesis! Remember, the substance of your paper is located in the chapters that follow. If you are struggling with how to cut down (or add to) your introduction, you might benefit from the help of a professional editor who can see your paper with fresh eyes and quickly help you revise it. The introduction is the first part of your thesis/dissertation that people will read, so use these tips to make sure you write a great one! Check out our site for more tips on how to write a good thesis/dissertation, where to find the best thesis editing services , and more about thesis editing and proofreading services .

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Checklist: Tips for writing a compelling thesis introduction

Remember the below points when you are writing a thesis introduction:

Know your audience

Refer to your thesis/dissertation proposal or notes

Make sure you clearly state your topic, aims, and objectives

Explain why your research matters

Try to offer interesting facts or statistics that may surprise your reader and draw their interest

Draw a roadmap of what your paper will discuss

Don’t try to write too much detail about your topic

Remember to revise your introduction as you revise other sections of your thesis

What are the typical elements in an introduction section? +

The typical elements in an introduction section are as follows:

  • Thesis statement
  • Brief background of the study
  • The focus and scope of the article
  • The relevance and importance of your research

Do I have to write my introduction first? +

You can write your introduction section whenever you feel ready. Many writers save the introduction section for last to make sure they provide a clear summary and roadmap of the content of the rest of the paper.

How long should my introduction be? +

Most introductions are about 10% of the total paper, but can be longer if they include figures or diagrams.

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Introductions

What this handout is about.

This handout will explain the functions of introductions, offer strategies for creating effective introductions, and provide some examples of less effective introductions to avoid.

The role of introductions

Introductions and conclusions can be the most difficult parts of papers to write. Usually when you sit down to respond to an assignment, you have at least some sense of what you want to say in the body of your paper. You might have chosen a few examples you want to use or have an idea that will help you answer the main question of your assignment; these sections, therefore, may not be as hard to write. And it’s fine to write them first! But in your final draft, these middle parts of the paper can’t just come out of thin air; they need to be introduced and concluded in a way that makes sense to your reader.

Your introduction and conclusion act as bridges that transport your readers from their own lives into the “place” of your analysis. If your readers pick up your paper about education in the autobiography of Frederick Douglass, for example, they need a transition to help them leave behind the world of Chapel Hill, television, e-mail, and The Daily Tar Heel and to help them temporarily enter the world of nineteenth-century American slavery. By providing an introduction that helps your readers make a transition between their own world and the issues you will be writing about, you give your readers the tools they need to get into your topic and care about what you are saying. Similarly, once you’ve hooked your readers with the introduction and offered evidence to prove your thesis, your conclusion can provide a bridge to help your readers make the transition back to their daily lives. (See our handout on conclusions .)

Note that what constitutes a good introduction may vary widely based on the kind of paper you are writing and the academic discipline in which you are writing it. If you are uncertain what kind of introduction is expected, ask your instructor.

Why bother writing a good introduction?

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. The opening paragraph of your paper will provide your readers with their initial impressions of your argument, your writing style, and the overall quality of your work. A vague, disorganized, error-filled, off-the-wall, or boring introduction will probably create a negative impression. On the other hand, a concise, engaging, and well-written introduction will start your readers off thinking highly of you, your analytical skills, your writing, and your paper.

Your introduction is an important road map for the rest of your paper. Your introduction conveys a lot of information to your readers. You can let them know what your topic is, why it is important, and how you plan to proceed with your discussion. In many academic disciplines, your introduction should contain a thesis that will assert your main argument. Your introduction should also give the reader a sense of the kinds of information you will use to make that argument and the general organization of the paragraphs and pages that will follow. After reading your introduction, your readers should not have any major surprises in store when they read the main body of your paper.

Ideally, your introduction will make your readers want to read your paper. The introduction should capture your readers’ interest, making them want to read the rest of your paper. Opening with a compelling story, an interesting question, or a vivid example can get your readers to see why your topic matters and serve as an invitation for them to join you for an engaging intellectual conversation (remember, though, that these strategies may not be suitable for all papers and disciplines).

Strategies for writing an effective introduction

Start by thinking about the question (or questions) you are trying to answer. Your entire essay will be a response to this question, and your introduction is the first step toward that end. Your direct answer to the assigned question will be your thesis, and your thesis will likely be included in your introduction, so it is a good idea to use the question as a jumping off point. Imagine that you are assigned the following question:

Drawing on the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass , discuss the relationship between education and slavery in 19th-century America. Consider the following: How did white control of education reinforce slavery? How did Douglass and other enslaved African Americans view education while they endured slavery? And what role did education play in the acquisition of freedom? Most importantly, consider the degree to which education was or was not a major force for social change with regard to slavery.

You will probably refer back to your assignment extensively as you prepare your complete essay, and the prompt itself can also give you some clues about how to approach the introduction. Notice that it starts with a broad statement and then narrows to focus on specific questions from the book. One strategy might be to use a similar model in your own introduction—start off with a big picture sentence or two and then focus in on the details of your argument about Douglass. Of course, a different approach could also be very successful, but looking at the way the professor set up the question can sometimes give you some ideas for how you might answer it. (See our handout on understanding assignments for additional information on the hidden clues in assignments.)

Decide how general or broad your opening should be. Keep in mind that even a “big picture” opening needs to be clearly related to your topic; an opening sentence that said “Human beings, more than any other creatures on earth, are capable of learning” would be too broad for our sample assignment about slavery and education. If you have ever used Google Maps or similar programs, that experience can provide a helpful way of thinking about how broad your opening should be. Imagine that you’re researching Chapel Hill. If what you want to find out is whether Chapel Hill is at roughly the same latitude as Rome, it might make sense to hit that little “minus” sign on the online map until it has zoomed all the way out and you can see the whole globe. If you’re trying to figure out how to get from Chapel Hill to Wrightsville Beach, it might make more sense to zoom in to the level where you can see most of North Carolina (but not the rest of the world, or even the rest of the United States). And if you are looking for the intersection of Ridge Road and Manning Drive so that you can find the Writing Center’s main office, you may need to zoom all the way in. The question you are asking determines how “broad” your view should be. In the sample assignment above, the questions are probably at the “state” or “city” level of generality. When writing, you need to place your ideas in context—but that context doesn’t generally have to be as big as the whole galaxy!

Try writing your introduction last. You may think that you have to write your introduction first, but that isn’t necessarily true, and it isn’t always the most effective way to craft a good introduction. You may find that you don’t know precisely what you are going to argue at the beginning of the writing process. It is perfectly fine to start out thinking that you want to argue a particular point but wind up arguing something slightly or even dramatically different by the time you’ve written most of the paper. The writing process can be an important way to organize your ideas, think through complicated issues, refine your thoughts, and develop a sophisticated argument. However, an introduction written at the beginning of that discovery process will not necessarily reflect what you wind up with at the end. You will need to revise your paper to make sure that the introduction, all of the evidence, and the conclusion reflect the argument you intend. Sometimes it’s easiest to just write up all of your evidence first and then write the introduction last—that way you can be sure that the introduction will match the body of the paper.

Don’t be afraid to write a tentative introduction first and then change it later. Some people find that they need to write some kind of introduction in order to get the writing process started. That’s fine, but if you are one of those people, be sure to return to your initial introduction later and rewrite if necessary.

Open with something that will draw readers in. Consider these options (remembering that they may not be suitable for all kinds of papers):

  • an intriguing example —for example, Douglass writes about a mistress who initially teaches him but then ceases her instruction as she learns more about slavery.
  • a provocative quotation that is closely related to your argument —for example, Douglass writes that “education and slavery were incompatible with each other.” (Quotes from famous people, inspirational quotes, etc. may not work well for an academic paper; in this example, the quote is from the author himself.)
  • a puzzling scenario —for example, Frederick Douglass says of slaves that “[N]othing has been left undone to cripple their intellects, darken their minds, debase their moral nature, obliterate all traces of their relationship to mankind; and yet how wonderfully they have sustained the mighty load of a most frightful bondage, under which they have been groaning for centuries!” Douglass clearly asserts that slave owners went to great lengths to destroy the mental capacities of slaves, yet his own life story proves that these efforts could be unsuccessful.
  • a vivid and perhaps unexpected anecdote —for example, “Learning about slavery in the American history course at Frederick Douglass High School, students studied the work slaves did, the impact of slavery on their families, and the rules that governed their lives. We didn’t discuss education, however, until one student, Mary, raised her hand and asked, ‘But when did they go to school?’ That modern high school students could not conceive of an American childhood devoid of formal education speaks volumes about the centrality of education to American youth today and also suggests the significance of the deprivation of education in past generations.”
  • a thought-provoking question —for example, given all of the freedoms that were denied enslaved individuals in the American South, why does Frederick Douglass focus his attentions so squarely on education and literacy?

Pay special attention to your first sentence. Start off on the right foot with your readers by making sure that the first sentence actually says something useful and that it does so in an interesting and polished way.

How to evaluate your introduction draft

Ask a friend to read your introduction and then tell you what they expect the paper will discuss, what kinds of evidence the paper will use, and what the tone of the paper will be. If your friend is able to predict the rest of your paper accurately, you probably have a good introduction.

Five kinds of less effective introductions

1. The placeholder introduction. When you don’t have much to say on a given topic, it is easy to create this kind of introduction. Essentially, this kind of weaker introduction contains several sentences that are vague and don’t really say much. They exist just to take up the “introduction space” in your paper. If you had something more effective to say, you would probably say it, but in the meantime this paragraph is just a place holder.

Example: Slavery was one of the greatest tragedies in American history. There were many different aspects of slavery. Each created different kinds of problems for enslaved people.

2. The restated question introduction. Restating the question can sometimes be an effective strategy, but it can be easy to stop at JUST restating the question instead of offering a more specific, interesting introduction to your paper. The professor or teaching assistant wrote your question and will be reading many essays in response to it—they do not need to read a whole paragraph that simply restates the question.

Example: The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass discusses the relationship between education and slavery in 19th century America, showing how white control of education reinforced slavery and how Douglass and other enslaved African Americans viewed education while they endured. Moreover, the book discusses the role that education played in the acquisition of freedom. Education was a major force for social change with regard to slavery.

3. The Webster’s Dictionary introduction. This introduction begins by giving the dictionary definition of one or more of the words in the assigned question. Anyone can look a word up in the dictionary and copy down what Webster says. If you want to open with a discussion of an important term, it may be far more interesting for you (and your reader) if you develop your own definition of the term in the specific context of your class and assignment. You may also be able to use a definition from one of the sources you’ve been reading for class. Also recognize that the dictionary is also not a particularly authoritative work—it doesn’t take into account the context of your course and doesn’t offer particularly detailed information. If you feel that you must seek out an authority, try to find one that is very relevant and specific. Perhaps a quotation from a source reading might prove better? Dictionary introductions are also ineffective simply because they are so overused. Instructors may see a great many papers that begin in this way, greatly decreasing the dramatic impact that any one of those papers will have.

Example: Webster’s dictionary defines slavery as “the state of being a slave,” as “the practice of owning slaves,” and as “a condition of hard work and subjection.”

4. The “dawn of man” introduction. This kind of introduction generally makes broad, sweeping statements about the relevance of this topic since the beginning of time, throughout the world, etc. It is usually very general (similar to the placeholder introduction) and fails to connect to the thesis. It may employ cliches—the phrases “the dawn of man” and “throughout human history” are examples, and it’s hard to imagine a time when starting with one of these would work. Instructors often find them extremely annoying.

Example: Since the dawn of man, slavery has been a problem in human history.

5. The book report introduction. This introduction is what you had to do for your elementary school book reports. It gives the name and author of the book you are writing about, tells what the book is about, and offers other basic facts about the book. You might resort to this sort of introduction when you are trying to fill space because it’s a familiar, comfortable format. It is ineffective because it offers details that your reader probably already knows and that are irrelevant to the thesis.

Example: Frederick Douglass wrote his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave , in the 1840s. It was published in 1986 by Penguin Books. In it, he tells the story of his life.

And now for the conclusion…

Writing an effective introduction can be tough. Try playing around with several different options and choose the one that ends up sounding best to you!

Just as your introduction helps readers make the transition to your topic, your conclusion needs to help them return to their daily lives–but with a lasting sense of how what they have just read is useful or meaningful. Check out our handout on  conclusions for tips on ending your paper as effectively as you began it!

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Douglass, Frederick. 1995. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself . New York: Dover.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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How to Write an Essay Introduction (with Examples)   

essay introduction

The introduction of an essay plays a critical role in engaging the reader and providing contextual information about the topic. It sets the stage for the rest of the essay, establishes the tone and style, and motivates the reader to continue reading. 

Table of Contents

What is an essay introduction , what to include in an essay introduction, how to create an essay structure , step-by-step process for writing an essay introduction , how to write an introduction paragraph , how to write a hook for your essay , how to include background information , how to write a thesis statement .

  • Argumentative Essay Introduction Example: 
  • Expository Essay Introduction Example 

Literary Analysis Essay Introduction Example

Check and revise – checklist for essay introduction , key takeaways , frequently asked questions .

An introduction is the opening section of an essay, paper, or other written work. It introduces the topic and provides background information, context, and an overview of what the reader can expect from the rest of the work. 1 The key is to be concise and to the point, providing enough information to engage the reader without delving into excessive detail. 

The essay introduction is crucial as it sets the tone for the entire piece and provides the reader with a roadmap of what to expect. Here are key elements to include in your essay introduction: 

  • Hook : Start with an attention-grabbing statement or question to engage the reader. This could be a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or a compelling anecdote. 
  • Background information : Provide context and background information to help the reader understand the topic. This can include historical information, definitions of key terms, or an overview of the current state of affairs related to your topic. 
  • Thesis statement : Clearly state your main argument or position on the topic. Your thesis should be concise and specific, providing a clear direction for your essay. 

Before we get into how to write an essay introduction, we need to know how it is structured. The structure of an essay is crucial for organizing your thoughts and presenting them clearly and logically. It is divided as follows: 2  

  • Introduction:  The introduction should grab the reader’s attention with a hook, provide context, and include a thesis statement that presents the main argument or purpose of the essay.  
  • Body:  The body should consist of focused paragraphs that support your thesis statement using evidence and analysis. Each paragraph should concentrate on a single central idea or argument and provide evidence, examples, or analysis to back it up.  
  • Conclusion:  The conclusion should summarize the main points and restate the thesis differently. End with a final statement that leaves a lasting impression on the reader. Avoid new information or arguments. 

what to include in an introduction thesis

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to write an essay introduction: 

  • Start with a Hook : Begin your introduction paragraph with an attention-grabbing statement, question, quote, or anecdote related to your topic. The hook should pique the reader’s interest and encourage them to continue reading. 
  • Provide Background Information : This helps the reader understand the relevance and importance of the topic. 
  • State Your Thesis Statement : The last sentence is the main argument or point of your essay. It should be clear, concise, and directly address the topic of your essay. 
  • Preview the Main Points : This gives the reader an idea of what to expect and how you will support your thesis. 
  • Keep it Concise and Clear : Avoid going into too much detail or including information not directly relevant to your topic. 
  • Revise : Revise your introduction after you’ve written the rest of your essay to ensure it aligns with your final argument. 

Here’s an example of an essay introduction paragraph about the importance of education: 

Education is often viewed as a fundamental human right and a key social and economic development driver. As Nelson Mandela once famously said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” It is the key to unlocking a wide range of opportunities and benefits for individuals, societies, and nations. In today’s constantly evolving world, education has become even more critical. It has expanded beyond traditional classroom learning to include digital and remote learning, making education more accessible and convenient. This essay will delve into the importance of education in empowering individuals to achieve their dreams, improving societies by promoting social justice and equality, and driving economic growth by developing a skilled workforce and promoting innovation. 

This introduction paragraph example includes a hook (the quote by Nelson Mandela), provides some background information on education, and states the thesis statement (the importance of education). 

This is one of the key steps in how to write an essay introduction. Crafting a compelling hook is vital because it sets the tone for your entire essay and determines whether your readers will stay interested. A good hook draws the reader in and sets the stage for the rest of your essay.  

  • Avoid Dry Fact : Instead of simply stating a bland fact, try to make it engaging and relevant to your topic. For example, if you’re writing about the benefits of exercise, you could start with a startling statistic like, “Did you know that regular exercise can increase your lifespan by up to seven years?” 
  • Avoid Using a Dictionary Definition : While definitions can be informative, they’re not always the most captivating way to start an essay. Instead, try to use a quote, anecdote, or provocative question to pique the reader’s interest. For instance, if you’re writing about freedom, you could begin with a quote from a famous freedom fighter or philosopher. 
  • Do Not Just State a Fact That the Reader Already Knows : This ties back to the first point—your hook should surprise or intrigue the reader. For Here’s an introduction paragraph example, if you’re writing about climate change, you could start with a thought-provoking statement like, “Despite overwhelming evidence, many people still refuse to believe in the reality of climate change.” 

Including background information in the introduction section of your essay is important to provide context and establish the relevance of your topic. When writing the background information, you can follow these steps: 

  • Start with a General Statement:  Begin with a general statement about the topic and gradually narrow it down to your specific focus. For example, when discussing the impact of social media, you can begin by making a broad statement about social media and its widespread use in today’s society, as follows: “Social media has become an integral part of modern life, with billions of users worldwide.” 
  • Define Key Terms : Define any key terms or concepts that may be unfamiliar to your readers but are essential for understanding your argument. 
  • Provide Relevant Statistics:  Use statistics or facts to highlight the significance of the issue you’re discussing. For instance, “According to a report by Statista, the number of social media users is expected to reach 4.41 billion by 2025.” 
  • Discuss the Evolution:  Mention previous research or studies that have been conducted on the topic, especially those that are relevant to your argument. Mention key milestones or developments that have shaped its current impact. You can also outline some of the major effects of social media. For example, you can briefly describe how social media has evolved, including positives such as increased connectivity and issues like cyberbullying and privacy concerns. 
  • Transition to Your Thesis:  Use the background information to lead into your thesis statement, which should clearly state the main argument or purpose of your essay. For example, “Given its pervasive influence, it is crucial to examine the impact of social media on mental health.” 

what to include in an introduction thesis

A thesis statement is a concise summary of the main point or claim of an essay, research paper, or other type of academic writing. It appears near the end of the introduction. Here’s how to write a thesis statement: 

  • Identify the topic:  Start by identifying the topic of your essay. For example, if your essay is about the importance of exercise for overall health, your topic is “exercise.” 
  • State your position:  Next, state your position or claim about the topic. This is the main argument or point you want to make. For example, if you believe that regular exercise is crucial for maintaining good health, your position could be: “Regular exercise is essential for maintaining good health.” 
  • Support your position:  Provide a brief overview of the reasons or evidence that support your position. These will be the main points of your essay. For example, if you’re writing an essay about the importance of exercise, you could mention the physical health benefits, mental health benefits, and the role of exercise in disease prevention. 
  • Make it specific:  Ensure your thesis statement clearly states what you will discuss in your essay. For example, instead of saying, “Exercise is good for you,” you could say, “Regular exercise, including cardiovascular and strength training, can improve overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.” 

Examples of essay introduction 

Here are examples of essay introductions for different types of essays: 

Argumentative Essay Introduction Example:  

Topic: Should the voting age be lowered to 16? 

“The question of whether the voting age should be lowered to 16 has sparked nationwide debate. While some argue that 16-year-olds lack the requisite maturity and knowledge to make informed decisions, others argue that doing so would imbue young people with agency and give them a voice in shaping their future.” 

Expository Essay Introduction Example  

Topic: The benefits of regular exercise 

“In today’s fast-paced world, the importance of regular exercise cannot be overstated. From improving physical health to boosting mental well-being, the benefits of exercise are numerous and far-reaching. This essay will examine the various advantages of regular exercise and provide tips on incorporating it into your daily routine.” 

Text: “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee 

“Harper Lee’s novel, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ is a timeless classic that explores themes of racism, injustice, and morality in the American South. Through the eyes of young Scout Finch, the reader is taken on a journey that challenges societal norms and forces characters to confront their prejudices. This essay will analyze the novel’s use of symbolism, character development, and narrative structure to uncover its deeper meaning and relevance to contemporary society.” 

  • Engaging and Relevant First Sentence : The opening sentence captures the reader’s attention and relates directly to the topic. 
  • Background Information : Enough background information is introduced to provide context for the thesis statement. 
  • Definition of Important Terms : Key terms or concepts that might be unfamiliar to the audience or are central to the argument are defined. 
  • Clear Thesis Statement : The thesis statement presents the main point or argument of the essay. 
  • Relevance to Main Body : Everything in the introduction directly relates to and sets up the discussion in the main body of the essay. 

what to include in an introduction thesis

Writing a strong introduction is crucial for setting the tone and context of your essay. Here are the key takeaways for how to write essay introduction: 3  

  • Hook the Reader : Start with an engaging hook to grab the reader’s attention. This could be a compelling question, a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or an anecdote. 
  • Provide Background : Give a brief overview of the topic, setting the context and stage for the discussion. 
  • Thesis Statement : State your thesis, which is the main argument or point of your essay. It should be concise, clear, and specific. 
  • Preview the Structure : Outline the main points or arguments to help the reader understand the organization of your essay. 
  • Keep it Concise : Avoid including unnecessary details or information not directly related to your thesis. 
  • Revise and Edit : Revise your introduction to ensure clarity, coherence, and relevance. Check for grammar and spelling errors. 
  • Seek Feedback : Get feedback from peers or instructors to improve your introduction further. 

The purpose of an essay introduction is to give an overview of the topic, context, and main ideas of the essay. It is meant to engage the reader, establish the tone for the rest of the essay, and introduce the thesis statement or central argument.  

An essay introduction typically ranges from 5-10% of the total word count. For example, in a 1,000-word essay, the introduction would be roughly 50-100 words. However, the length can vary depending on the complexity of the topic and the overall length of the essay.

An essay introduction is critical in engaging the reader and providing contextual information about the topic. To ensure its effectiveness, consider incorporating these key elements: a compelling hook, background information, a clear thesis statement, an outline of the essay’s scope, a smooth transition to the body, and optional signposting sentences.  

The process of writing an essay introduction is not necessarily straightforward, but there are several strategies that can be employed to achieve this end. When experiencing difficulty initiating the process, consider the following techniques: begin with an anecdote, a quotation, an image, a question, or a startling fact to pique the reader’s interest. It may also be helpful to consider the five W’s of journalism: who, what, when, where, why, and how.   For instance, an anecdotal opening could be structured as follows: “As I ascended the stage, momentarily blinded by the intense lights, I could sense the weight of a hundred eyes upon me, anticipating my next move. The topic of discussion was climate change, a subject I was passionate about, and it was my first public speaking event. Little did I know , that pivotal moment would not only alter my perspective but also chart my life’s course.” 

Crafting a compelling thesis statement for your introduction paragraph is crucial to grab your reader’s attention. To achieve this, avoid using overused phrases such as “In this paper, I will write about” or “I will focus on” as they lack originality. Instead, strive to engage your reader by substantiating your stance or proposition with a “so what” clause. While writing your thesis statement, aim to be precise, succinct, and clear in conveying your main argument.  

To create an effective essay introduction, ensure it is clear, engaging, relevant, and contains a concise thesis statement. It should transition smoothly into the essay and be long enough to cover necessary points but not become overwhelming. Seek feedback from peers or instructors to assess its effectiveness. 

References  

  • Cui, L. (2022). Unit 6 Essay Introduction.  Building Academic Writing Skills . 
  • West, H., Malcolm, G., Keywood, S., & Hill, J. (2019). Writing a successful essay.  Journal of Geography in Higher Education ,  43 (4), 609-617. 
  • Beavers, M. E., Thoune, D. L., & McBeth, M. (2023). Bibliographic Essay: Reading, Researching, Teaching, and Writing with Hooks: A Queer Literacy Sponsorship. College English, 85(3), 230-242. 

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Writing a Dissertation: The Introduction

The introduction to your dissertation or thesis may well be the last part that you complete, excepting perhaps the abstract. However, it should not be the last part that you think about.

You should write a draft of your introduction very early on, perhaps as early as when you submit your research proposal , to set out a broad outline of your ideas, why you want to study this area, and what you hope to explore and/or establish.

You can, and should, update your introduction several times as your ideas develop. Keeping the introduction in mind will help you to ensure that your research stays on track.

The introduction provides the rationale for your dissertation, thesis or other research project: what you are trying to answer and why it is important to do this research.

Your introduction should contain a clear statement of the research question and the aims of the research (closely related to the question).

It should also introduce and briefly review the literature on your topic to show what is already known and explain the theoretical framework. If there are theoretical debates in the literature, then the introduction is a good place for the researcher to give his or her own perspective in conjunction with the literature review section of the dissertation.

The introduction should also indicate how your piece of research will contribute to the theoretical understanding of the topic.

Drawing on your Research Proposal

The introduction to your dissertation or thesis will probably draw heavily on your research proposal.

If you haven't already written a research proposal see our page Writing a Research Proposal for some ideas.

The introduction needs to set the scene for the later work and give a broad idea of the arguments and/or research that preceded yours. It should give some idea of why you chose to study this area, giving a flavour of the literature, and what you hoped to find out.

Don’t include too many citations in your introduction: this is your summary of why you want to study this area, and what questions you hope to address. Any citations are only to set the context, and you should leave the bulk of the literature for a later section.

Unlike your research proposal, however, you have now completed the work. This means that your introduction can be much clearer about what exactly you chose to investigate and the precise scope of your work.

Remember , whenever you actually write it, that, for the reader, the introduction is the start of the journey through your work. Although you can give a flavour of the outcomes of your research, you should not include any detailed results or conclusions.

Some good ideas for making your introduction strong include:

  • An interesting opening sentence that will hold the attention of your reader.
  • Don’t try to say everything in the introduction, but do outline the broad thrust of your work and argument.
  • Make sure that you don’t promise anything that can’t be delivered later.
  • Keep the language straightforward. Although you should do this throughout, it is especially important for the introduction.

Your introduction is the reader’s ‘door’ into your thesis or dissertation. It therefore needs to make sense to the non-expert. Ask a friend to read it for you, and see if they can understand it easily.

At the end of the introduction, it is also usual to set out an outline of the rest of the dissertation.

This can be as simple as ‘ Chapter 2 discusses my chosen methodology, Chapter 3 sets out my results, and Chapter 4 discusses the results and draws conclusions ’.

However, if your thesis is ordered by themes, then a more complex outline may be necessary.

Drafting and Redrafting

As with any other piece of writing, redrafting and editing will improve your text.

This is especially important for the introduction because it needs to hold your reader’s attention and lead them into your research.

The best way to ensure that you can do this is to give yourself enough time to write a really good introduction, including several redrafts.

Do not view the introduction as a last minute job.

Continue to: Writing a Literature Review Writing the Methodology

See also: Dissertation: Results and Discussion Dissertation: Conclusions and Extra Sections Academic Referencing | Research Methods

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How to write an introduction chapter for a thesis

Louisa Hill is a Senior Teaching Fellow and delivers workshops for Postgraduate Researchers who want to teach.

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When writing a thesis, you will need to write an introductory chapter. This chapter is critical as it is the first thing that the examiner will read and it is therefore important to make a good first impression. 

A good introduction chapter should incite the reader to read the rest of the thesis by establishing the context of your topic, the motivation for undertaking your work and the importance of your research.

As a lecturer and supervisor, I have read many introductory chapters for research projects such as theses. Here is my advice to those undertaking a research project and writing a thesis.

Capture the reader’s interest

Initially you need to capture the reader’s attention with a discussion of a broader theme relating to your research. To add impact draw on research, data and quotations from international or national professional bodies, governmental organisations or key authors on the topic of study.

Give an overview of your research topic

Your discussion should then begin by detailing the broader aspects of the topic more, before focussing on the specific topic of your research. It is a good idea when you do this to assume that the reader knows nothing about your topic. Therefore definitions, drawing on key research, need to be clarified and explained. Alternatively, if having read key literature for the literature review chapter, you are not satisfied with existing definitions, then draw on these, to devise your own (but make it clear you have done this).

Detail how your research is going to make a contribution

You must then sell your idea for undertaking the research topic, demonstrating the main reasons why the research will make a significant contribution to the current body of research. This can be achieved by demonstrating a gap or limitation with existing research, then showing how your research will resolve this. There are different types of contribution (see  Constructing Research Questions: Doing Interesting Research ).

Explain what your interest is in the topic

Next you need to demonstrate your personal reasons for choosing the topic. These could relate to your previous research, work or experiences.

List your research objectives

You need to include your three or four overarching research objectives. Also include corresponding research questions if it is a qualitative piece of research or hypotheses if it is quantitative-based. The former are usually derivatives of the research objectives. Note though that these objectives and questions or hypotheses are fluid in nature and can be tweaked as you undertake the research.

Give a forthcoming chapter overview

The final part of the introduction is an overview of the rest of the chapters in the thesis. The other sections can go in any order, providing it is a logical sequence.

Learn from others

Look at other theses for example from  White Rose etheses  or your university library’s website. The majority of journal articles that you will read in the content of your topic will also provide useful insights.

Speak with your supervisor

Remember to always speak with your supervisor and have regular catch-ups. They will be able to offer guidance and encouragement, and steer you in the right direction.

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It’s the roadmap to your essay, it’s the forecast for your argument, it’s...your introduction paragraph, and writing one can feel pretty intimidating. The introduction paragraph is a part of just about every kind of academic writing , from persuasive essays to research papers. But that doesn’t mean writing one is easy!

If trying to write an intro paragraph makes you feel like a Muggle trying to do magic, trust us: you aren’t alone. But there are some tips and tricks that can make the process easier—and that’s where we come in.

In this article, we’re going to explain how to write a captivating intro paragraph by covering the following info:  

  • A discussion of what an introduction paragraph is and its purpose in an essay
  • An overview of the most effective introduction paragraph format, with explanations of the three main parts of an intro paragraph
  • An analysis of real intro paragraph examples, with a discussion of what works and what doesn’t
  • A list of four top tips on how to write an introduction paragraph

Are you ready? Let’s begin!

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What Is an Introduction Paragraph? 

An introduction paragraph is the first paragraph of an essay , paper, or other type of academic writing. Argumentative essays , book reports, research papers, and even personal  essays are common types of writing that require an introduction paragraph. Whether you’re writing a research paper for a science course or an argumentative essay for English class , you’re going to have to write an intro paragraph. 

So what’s the purpose of an intro paragraph? As a reader’s first impression of your essay, the intro paragraph should introduce the topic of your paper. 

Your introduction will also state any claims, questions, or issues that your paper will focus on. This is commonly known as your paper’s thesis . This condenses the overall point of your paper into one or two short sentences that your reader can come back and reference later.

But intro paragraphs need to do a bit more than just introduce your topic. An intro paragraph is also supposed to grab your reader’s attention. The intro paragraph is your chance to provide just enough info and intrigue to make your reader say, “Hey, this topic sounds interesting. I think I’ll keep reading this essay!” That can help your essay stand out from the crowd.

In most cases, an intro paragraph will be relatively short. A good intro will be clear, brief, purposeful, and focused. While there are some exceptions to this rule, it’s common for intro paragraphs to consist of three to five sentences . 

Effectively introducing your essay’s topic, purpose, and getting your reader invested in your essay sounds like a lot to ask from one little paragraph, huh? In the next section, we’ll demystify the intro paragraph format by breaking it down into its core parts . When you learn how to approach each part of an intro, writing one won’t seem so scary!

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Once you figure out the three parts of an intro paragraph, writing one will be a piece of cake!

The 3 Main Parts of an Intro Paragraph

In general, an intro paragraph is going to have three main parts: a hook, context, and a thesis statement . Each of these pieces of the intro plays a key role in acquainting the reader with the topic and purpose of your essay. 

Below, we’ll explain how to start an introduction paragraph by writing an effective hook, providing context, and crafting a thesis statement. When you put these elements together, you’ll have an intro paragraph that does a great job of making a great first impression on your audience!

Intro Paragraph Part 1: The Hook

When it comes to how to start an introduction paragraph, o ne of the most common approaches is to start with something called a hook. 

What does hook mean here, though? Think of it this way: it’s like when you start a new Netflix series: you look up a few hours (and a few episodes) later and you say, “Whoa. I guess I must be hooked on this show!” 

That’s how the hook is supposed to work in an intro paragrap h: it should get your reader interested enough that they don’t want to press the proverbial “pause” button while they’re reading it . In other words, a hook is designed to grab your reader’s attention and keep them reading your essay! 

This means that the hook comes first in the intro paragraph format—it’ll be the opening sentence of your intro. 

It’s important to realize  that there are many different ways to write a good hook. But generally speaking, hooks must include these two things: what your topic is, and the angle you’re taking on that topic in your essay. 

One approach to writing a hook that works is starting with a general, but interesting, statement on your topic. In this type of hook, you’re trying to provide a broad introduction to your topic and your angle on the topic in an engaging way . 

For example, if you’re writing an essay about the role of the government in the American healthcare system, your hook might look something like this: 

There's a growing movement to require that the federal government provide affordable, effective healthcare for all Americans. 

This hook introduces the essay topic in a broad way (government and healthcare) by presenting a general statement on the topic. But the assumption presented in the hook can also be seen as controversial, which gets readers interested in learning more about what the writer—and the essay—has to say.

In other words, the statement above fulfills the goals of a good hook: it’s intriguing and provides a general introduction to the essay topic.

Intro Paragraph Part 2: Context

Once you’ve provided an attention-grabbing hook, you’ll want to give more context about your essay topic. Context refers to additional details that reveal the specific focus of your paper. So, whereas the hook provides a general introduction to your topic, context starts helping readers understand what exactly you’re going to be writing about

You can include anywhere from one to several sentences of context in your intro, depending on your teacher’s expectations, the length of your paper, and complexity of your topic. In these context-providing sentences, you want to begin narrowing the focus of your intro. You can do this by describing a specific issue or question about your topic that you’ll address in your essay. It also helps readers start to understand why the topic you’re writing about matters and why they should read about it. 

So, what counts as context for an intro paragraph? Context can be any important details or descriptions that provide background on existing perspectives, common cultural attitudes, or a specific situation or controversy relating to your essay topic. The context you include should acquaint your reader with the issues, questions, or events that motivated you to write an essay on your topic...and that your reader should know in order to understand your thesis. 

For instance, if you’re writing an essay analyzing the consequences of sexism in Hollywood, the context you include after your hook might make reference to the #metoo and #timesup movements that have generated public support for victims of sexual harassment. 

The key takeaway here is that context establishes why you’re addressing your topic and what makes it important. It also sets you up for success on the final piece of an intro paragraph: the thesis statement.

Elle Woods' statement offers a specific point of view on the topic of murder...which means it could serve as a pretty decent thesis statement!

Intro Paragraph Part 3: The Thesis

The final key part of how to write an intro paragraph is the thesis statement. The thesis statement is the backbone of your introduction: it conveys your argument or point of view on your topic in a clear, concise, and compelling way . The thesis is usually the last sentence of your intro paragraph. 

Whether it’s making a claim, outlining key points, or stating a hypothesis, your thesis statement will tell your reader exactly what idea(s) are going to be addressed in your essay. A good thesis statement will be clear, straightforward, and highlight the overall point you’re trying to make.

Some instructors also ask students to include an essay map as part of their thesis. An essay map is a section that outlines the major topics a paper will address. So for instance, say you’re writing a paper that argues for the importance of public transport in rural communities. Your thesis and essay map might look like this: 

Having public transport in rural communities helps people improve their economic situation by giving them reliable transportation to their job, reducing the amount of money they spend on gas, and providing new and unionized work .

The underlined section is the essay map because it touches on the three big things the writer will talk about later. It literally maps out the rest of the essay!

So let’s review: Your thesis takes the idea you’ve introduced in your hook and context and wraps it up. Think of it like a television episode: the hook sets the scene by presenting a general statement and/or interesting idea that sucks you in. The context advances the plot by describing the topic in more detail and helping readers understand why the topic is important. And finally, the thesis statement provides the climax by telling the reader what you have to say about the topic. 

The thesis statement is the most important part of the intro. Without it, your reader won’t know what the purpose of your essay is! And for a piece of writing to be effective, it needs to have a clear purpose. Your thesis statement conveys that purpose , so it’s important to put careful thought into writing a clear and compelling thesis statement. 

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How To Write an Introduction Paragraph: Example and Analysis

Now that we’ve provided an intro paragraph outline and have explained the three key parts of an intro paragraph, let’s take a look at an intro paragraph in action.

To show you how an intro paragraph works, we’ve included a sample introduction paragraph below, followed by an analysis of its strengths and weaknesses.

Example of Introduction Paragraph

While college students in the U.S. are struggling with how to pay for college, there is another surprising demographic that’s affected by the pressure to pay for college: families and parents. In the face of tuition price tags that total more than $100,000 (as a low estimate), families must make difficult decisions about how to save for their children’s college education. Charting a feasible path to saving for college is further complicated by the FAFSA’s estimates for an “Expected Family Contribution”—an amount of money that is rarely feasible for most American families. Due to these challenging financial circumstances and cultural pressure to give one’s children the best possible chance of success in adulthood, many families are going into serious debt to pay for their children’s college education. The U.S. government should move toward bearing more of the financial burden of college education. 

Example of Introduction Paragraph: Analysis

Before we dive into analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of this example intro paragraph, let’s establish the essay topic. The sample intro indicates that t he essay topic will focus on one specific issue: who should cover the cost of college education in the U.S., and why. Both the hook and the context help us identify the topic, while the thesis in the last sentence tells us why this topic matters to the writer—they think the U.S. Government needs to help finance college education. This is also the writer’s argument, which they’ll cover in the body of their essay. 

Now that we’ve identified the essay topic presented in the sample intro, let’s dig into some analysis. To pin down its strengths and weaknesses, we’re going to use the following three questions to guide our example of introduction paragraph analysis: 

  • Does this intro provide an attention-grabbing opening sentence that conveys the essay topic? 
  • Does this intro provide relevant, engaging context about the essay topic? 
  • Does this intro provide a thesis statement that establishes the writer’s point of view on the topic and what specific aspects of the issue the essay will address? 

Now, let’s use the questions above to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of this sample intro paragraph. 

Does the Intro Have a Good Hook? 

First, the intro starts out with an attention-grabbing hook . The writer starts by presenting  an assumption (that the U.S. federal government bears most of the financial burden of college education), which makes the topic relatable to a wide audience of readers. Also note that the hook relates to the general topic of the essay, which is the high cost of college education. 

The hook then takes a surprising turn by presenting a counterclaim : that American families, rather than students, feel the true burden of paying for college. Some readers will have a strong emotional reaction to this provocative counterclaim, which will make them want to keep reading! As such, this intro provides an effective opening sentence that conveys the essay topic. 

Does the Intro Give Context?

T he second, third, and fourth sentences of the intro provide contextual details that reveal the specific focus of the writer’s paper . Remember: the context helps readers start to zoom in on what the paper will focus on, and what aspect of the general topic (college costs) will be discussed later on. 

The context in this intro reveals the intent and direction of the paper by explaining why the issue of families financing college is important. In other words, the context helps readers understand why this issue matters , and what aspects of this issue will be addressed in the paper.  

To provide effective context, the writer refers to issues (the exorbitant cost of college and high levels of family debt) that have received a lot of recent scholarly and media attention. These sentences of context also elaborate on the interesting perspective included in the hook: that American families are most affected by college costs.

Does the Intro Have a Thesis? 

Finally, this intro provides a thesis statement that conveys the writer’s point of view on the issue of financing college education. This writer believes that the U.S. government should do more to pay for students’ college educations. 

However, the thesis statement doesn’t give us any details about why the writer has made this claim or why this will help American families . There isn’t an essay map that helps readers understand what points the writer will make in the essay.

To revise this thesis statement so that it establishes the specific aspects of the topic that the essay will address, the writer could add the following to the beginning of the thesis statement:

The U.S. government should take on more of the financial burden of college education because other countries have shown this can improve education rates while reducing levels of familial poverty.

Check out the new section in bold. Not only does it clarify that the writer is talking about the pressure put on families, it touches on the big topics the writer will address in the paper: improving education rates and reduction of poverty. So not only do we have a clearer argumentative statement in this thesis, we also have an essay map!  

So, let’s recap our analysis. This sample intro paragraph does an effective job of providing an engaging hook and relatable, interesting context, but the thesis statement needs some work ! As you write your own intro paragraphs, you might consider using the questions above to evaluate and revise your work. Doing this will help ensure you’ve covered all of your bases and written an intro that your readers will find interesting!

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4 Tips for How To Write an Introduction Paragraph

Now that we’ve gone over an example of introduction paragraph analysis, let’s talk about how to write an introduction paragraph of your own. Keep reading for four tips for writing a successful intro paragraph for any essay. 

Tip 1: Analyze Your Essay Prompt

If you’re having trouble with how to start an introduction paragraph, analyze your essay prompt! Most teachers give you some kind of assignment sheet, formal instructions, or prompt to set the expectations for an essay they’ve assigned, right? Those instructions can help guide you as you write your intro paragraph!

Because they’ll be reading and responding to your essay, you want to make sure you meet your teacher’s expectations for an intro paragraph . For instance, if they’ve provided specific instructions about how long the intro should be or where the thesis statement should be located, be sure to follow them!

The type of paper you’re writing can give you clues as to how to approach your intro as well. If you’re writing a research paper, your professor might expect you to provide a research question or state a hypothesis in your intro. If you’re writing an argumentative essay, you’ll need to make sure your intro overviews the context surrounding your argument and your thesis statement includes a clear, defensible claim. 

Using the parameters set out by your instructor and assignment sheet can put some easy-to-follow boundaries in place for things like your intro’s length, structure, and content. Following these guidelines can free you up to focus on other aspects of your intro... like coming up with an exciting hook and conveying your point of view on your topic!

Tip 2: Narrow Your Topic

You can’t write an intro paragraph without first identifying your topic. To make your intro as effective as possible, you need to define the parameters of your topic clearly—and you need to be specific. 

For example, let’s say you want to write about college football. “NCAA football” is too broad of a topic for a paper. There is a lot to talk about in terms of college football! It would be tough to write an intro paragraph that’s focused, purposeful, and engaging on this topic. In fact, if you did try to address this whole topic, you’d probably end up writing a book!

Instead, you should narrow broad topics to  identify a specific question, claim, or issue pertaining to some aspect of NCAA football for your intro to be effective. So, for instance, you could frame your topic as, “How can college professors better support NCAA football players in academics?” This focused topic pertaining to NCAA football would give you a more manageable angle to discuss in your paper.

So before you think about writing your intro, ask yourself: Is my essay topic specific, focused, and logical? Does it convey an issue or question that I can explore over the course of several pages? Once you’ve established a good topic, you’ll have the foundation you need to write an effective intro paragraph . 

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Once you've figured out your topic, it's time to hit the books!

Tip 3: Do Your Research

This tip is tightly intertwined with the one above, and it’s crucial to writing a good intro: do your research! And, guess what? This tip applies to all papers—even ones that aren’t technically research papers. 

Here’s why you need to do some research: getting the lay of the land on what others have said about your topic—whether that’s scholars and researchers or the mass media— will help you narrow your topic, write an engaging hook, and provide relatable context. 

You don't want to sit down to write your intro without a solid understanding of the different perspectives on your topic. Whether those are the perspectives of experts or the general public, these points of view will help you write your intro in a way that is intriguing and compelling for your audience of readers. 

Tip 4: Write Multiple Drafts

Some say to write your intro first; others say write it last. The truth is, there isn’t a right or wrong time to write your intro—but you do need to have enough time to write multiple drafts . 

Oftentimes, your professor will ask you to write multiple drafts of your paper, which gives you a built-in way to make sure you revise your intro. Another approach you could take is to write out a rough draft of your intro before you begin writing your essay, then revise it multiple times as you draft out your paper. 

Here’s why this approach can work: as you write your paper, you’ll probably come up with new insights on your topic that you didn’t have right from the start. You can use these “light bulb” moments to reevaluate your intro and make revisions that keep it in line with your developing essay draft. 

Once you’ve written your entire essay, consider going back and revising your intro again . You can ask yourself these questions as you evaluate your intro: 

  • Is my hook still relevant to the way I’ve approached the topic in my essay?
  • Do I provide enough appropriate context to introduce my essay? 
  • Now that my essay is written, does my thesis statement still accurately reflect the point of view that I present in my essay?

Using these questions as a guide and putting your intro through multiple revisions will help ensure that you’ve written the best intro for the final draft of your essay. Also, revising your writing is always a good thing to do—and this applies to your intro, too!

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What's Next?

Your college essays also need great intro paragraphs. Here’s a guide that focuses on how to write the perfect intro for your admissions essays. 

Of course, the intro is just one part of your college essay . This article will teach you how to write a college essay that makes admissions counselors sit up and take notice.

Are you trying to write an analytical essay? Our step-by-step guide can help you knock it out of the park.

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Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

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What should I include in the introduction of my thesis?

what to include in an introduction thesis

It is considered that the introduction of your thesis is the section that sets the stage for your whole research. Below mention are some of the key elements that need to be included in the chapter:

1. Background Information: Make sure that you provide background information in place to help readers understand the significance of the topic. It includes a brief overview of relevant literature along with the other concepts.

2. Research Problem: Ensure that you clearly state the research problems that are going to be addressed by your thesis. It is good to explain why this issue is important for investigating.

3. Thesis Statement: It is advised to present a clear thesis statement that makes sure to outline all the main arguments of your research.

4. Objectives: Properly specify the objectives of the study that you aim to test. It provides a clear focus for your research.

5. Significance of the Study: Ensure to explain the significance of your research. Thesis help  discuss the potential contributions that your thesis is going to make to your field.

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  • How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples

How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples

Published on January 11, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on August 15, 2023 by Eoghan Ryan.

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . It usually comes near the end of your introduction .

Your thesis will look a bit different depending on the type of essay you’re writing. But the thesis statement should always clearly state the main idea you want to get across. Everything else in your essay should relate back to this idea.

You can write your thesis statement by following four simple steps:

  • Start with a question
  • Write your initial answer
  • Develop your answer
  • Refine your thesis statement

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Table of contents

What is a thesis statement, placement of the thesis statement, step 1: start with a question, step 2: write your initial answer, step 3: develop your answer, step 4: refine your thesis statement, types of thesis statements, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about thesis statements.

A thesis statement summarizes the central points of your essay. It is a signpost telling the reader what the essay will argue and why.

The best thesis statements are:

  • Concise: A good thesis statement is short and sweet—don’t use more words than necessary. State your point clearly and directly in one or two sentences.
  • Contentious: Your thesis shouldn’t be a simple statement of fact that everyone already knows. A good thesis statement is a claim that requires further evidence or analysis to back it up.
  • Coherent: Everything mentioned in your thesis statement must be supported and explained in the rest of your paper.

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The thesis statement generally appears at the end of your essay introduction or research paper introduction .

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts and among young people more generally is hotly debated. For many who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education: the internet facilitates easier access to information, exposure to different perspectives, and a flexible learning environment for both students and teachers.

You should come up with an initial thesis, sometimes called a working thesis , early in the writing process . As soon as you’ve decided on your essay topic , you need to work out what you want to say about it—a clear thesis will give your essay direction and structure.

You might already have a question in your assignment, but if not, try to come up with your own. What would you like to find out or decide about your topic?

For example, you might ask:

After some initial research, you can formulate a tentative answer to this question. At this stage it can be simple, and it should guide the research process and writing process .

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Now you need to consider why this is your answer and how you will convince your reader to agree with you. As you read more about your topic and begin writing, your answer should get more detailed.

In your essay about the internet and education, the thesis states your position and sketches out the key arguments you’ll use to support it.

The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education because it facilitates easier access to information.

In your essay about braille, the thesis statement summarizes the key historical development that you’ll explain.

The invention of braille in the 19th century transformed the lives of blind people, allowing them to participate more actively in public life.

A strong thesis statement should tell the reader:

  • Why you hold this position
  • What they’ll learn from your essay
  • The key points of your argument or narrative

The final thesis statement doesn’t just state your position, but summarizes your overall argument or the entire topic you’re going to explain. To strengthen a weak thesis statement, it can help to consider the broader context of your topic.

These examples are more specific and show that you’ll explore your topic in depth.

Your thesis statement should match the goals of your essay, which vary depending on the type of essay you’re writing:

  • In an argumentative essay , your thesis statement should take a strong position. Your aim in the essay is to convince your reader of this thesis based on evidence and logical reasoning.
  • In an expository essay , you’ll aim to explain the facts of a topic or process. Your thesis statement doesn’t have to include a strong opinion in this case, but it should clearly state the central point you want to make, and mention the key elements you’ll explain.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:

  • It gives your writing direction and focus.
  • It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.

Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.

Follow these four steps to come up with a thesis statement :

  • Ask a question about your topic .
  • Write your initial answer.
  • Develop your answer by including reasons.
  • Refine your answer, adding more detail and nuance.

The thesis statement should be placed at the end of your essay introduction .

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A Theory of Composition for Proofs of Knowledge

 In 1985, Goldwasser, Micali, and Rackoff introduced a compelling new notion of a proof, known as a proof of knowledge, in which a verifier interactively checks that a prover knows a satisfying witness for a claimed mathematical statement. For example, a verifier may check that a prover knows a witness solution for a prescribed Sudoku problem (and more generally any problem in NP). Interestingly, interaction affords seemingly paradoxical properties. For instance a prover can interactively demonstrate knowledge of a witness without revealing any information about it. Moreover, the demonstration itself can can be significantly shorter than the witness. For the past four decades, we have made significant progress in theoretical computer science by studying the time complexity, space complexity, and communication complexity of these interactions. Remarkably, we are also seeing proofs of knowledge being used in cryptographic applications to secure billions of dollars worth of assets. 

Today, however, in search of practical efficiency, a growing body of work challenges the traditional paradigm by describing interactions in which the verifier does not fully resolve the prover’s statement to true or false but rather reduces it to a simpler statement to be checked. Such interactive reductions, although central to modern proofs of knowledge, lack a unifying theoretical foundation. Towards a common language, we introduce reductions of knowledge, which reduce the task of checking knowledge of a witness in one relation to the task of checking knowledge of a witness in another (simpler) relation. We show that reductions of knowledge can be composed naturally, and thus serve as both a unifying abstraction and a theory of composition. As such, reductions of knowledge formalize a simple, but subtly powerful new perspective that proofs of knowledge are maps between propositions of knowledge. 

We demonstrate that this is not merely a theoretical insight. In a very tangible sense, this perspective is becoming increasingly important for developing modern proofs of knowledge. We show that large swathes of the extant literature can be expressed crisply in our framework, as well as develop new techniques that cannot be expressed in preexisting models. Indeed, one of the early successes of our framework is the introduction of folding schemes, which are a particular type of two-to-one reduction of knowledge. We show that folding schemes have become an important tool for developing recursive proofs of knowledge, that is, proofs that demonstrate knowledge of other proofs. Recursive proofs have the potential to significantly scale decentralized computation due to their unique ability to handle stateful computation with dynamic control flow. As a result, recursive proofs (and the underlying folding schemes) have received significant recent interest in both industry and academia. 

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Introduction to standardization in business reporting.

Posted on June 27, 2024 by Numbers around us in R bloggers | 0 Comments

Why Standardization Matters

what to include in an introduction thesis

Hey there! Thanks for joining me on this exciting journey into the world of International Business Communication Standards (IBCS). Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of the SUCCESS acronym, let’s take a step back and chat about why standardization in business reporting is such a game-changer. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by messy reports with inconsistent formatting, you’re not alone. I’ve been there too, staring at a sea of numbers that don’t quite add up.

Standardization in business reporting ensures that data is presented in a consistent manner, enhancing comprehensibility and comparability across different reports. Imagine flipping through different reports where each one tells its story in its own unique language — confusing, right? Standardization is like translating all those languages into one that everyone can understand easily.

Consistency is Key

Think of standardized reports as a well-organized bookshelf. You know exactly where to find what you’re looking for, and every book (or in this case, piece of data) is presented in a way that makes sense. This consistency is crucial for making informed business decisions quickly and accurately. No more wasting time trying to figure out what’s what!

I remember a time when I was working on a project that involved analyzing sales data across multiple brands. Each region had its own way of reporting — different formats, different terminologies, and different visualization styles. It was a nightmare to compile all this information into a coherent report. That’s when I discovered the power of standardization. By applying consistent formats and visual styles, the report not only became easier to read but also revealed insights that were previously hidden in the chaos.

Time-Saving and Efficiency

Let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to save time? Standardization not only reduces the risk of misinterpretation but also enhances the efficiency of report generation and review processes. Once you have a standardized template, creating new reports becomes a breeze. You can focus more on analyzing the data rather than formatting the report.

Understanding IBCS Standards

Now that we’ve established why standardization is so important, let’s get to know IBCS. The International Business Communication Standards provide a comprehensive framework for the design of business communication, particularly in the context of reports, presentations, and dashboards. The goal of IBCS is to improve the clarity, efficiency, and effectiveness of business communications.

The SUCCESS Formula

The heart of IBCS is the SUCCESS formula:

  • SAY : Convey a clear message.
  • UNIFY : Apply consistent semantic notation.
  • CONDENSE : Increase information density.
  • CHECK : Ensure visual integrity.
  • EXPRESS : Choose proper visualization.
  • SIMPLIFY : Avoid clutter.
  • STRUCTURE : Organize content logically.

Let’s break down each component briefly:

  • SAY : It’s all about making your key message unmistakably clear. Your audience should be able to grasp the main point at a glance. This involves using clear titles, highlighting key figures, and ensuring that the message is front and center.
  • UNIFY : Consistency is key. This principle ensures that all visual elements (like colors, shapes, and fonts) are used consistently throughout your reports. This helps in creating a familiar look and feel, making it easier for readers to navigate and understand.
  • CONDENSE : More information doesn’t necessarily mean more clutter. This principle focuses on presenting data in a compact and dense format, without overwhelming the reader. Think of using small multiples, sparklines, and condensed tables that pack a lot of information in a small space.
  • CHECK : Accuracy and integrity are paramount. This involves verifying the data, ensuring that scales and labels are accurate, and avoiding any visual misrepresentations. It’s about being honest and precise with your visuals.
  • EXPRESS : Choosing the right type of visualization for your data is crucial. This principle guides you on selecting the most effective chart types to convey your message clearly, whether it’s bar charts, line charts, scatter plots, or more advanced visualizations.
  • SIMPLIFY : Less is more. Avoiding unnecessary elements and focusing on what’s important helps in reducing cognitive load on the reader. This means removing gridlines, reducing colors, and using white space effectively.
  • STRUCTURE : Organize your content logically. This involves structuring your reports in a way that guides the reader through the data naturally. Sections, subsections, and a logical flow of information are essential here.

Clarity and Comprehension

I’ve been standardizing reports in my previous roles for quite some time. But I only came across IBCS recently, and let me tell you, I’m absolutely loving it as a framework. It has transformed the way I think about presenting data. Suddenly, my reports are not just a collection of numbers but a coherent story that my audience can easily understand and act upon. Each element of the SUCCESS formula plays a critical role in achieving this clarity.

Practical Steps to Implement Standardization

Alright, let’s get practical. How can you start standardizing your reports? Here’s a step-by-step guide that I’ve found incredibly useful:

  • Evaluate Current Practices : Start by evaluating your current reporting practices. Identify inconsistencies and areas for improvement. Trust me, you’ll find plenty of “aha!” moments here.
  • Educate and Train : Educate your team about the importance of standardization and the principles of IBCS. Knowledge is power, after all. Conduct workshops or training sessions to get everyone on the same page.
  • Develop Templates and Tools : Develop standardized templates and tools that align with IBCS guidelines. This step is crucial for ensuring consistency across all reports. Tools like Quarto can be incredibly helpful here.
  • Monitor and Collect Feedback : Regularly review your reports for compliance with the standards and gather feedback from users. Continuous improvement is the name of the game. Set up a feedback loop where users can suggest improvements and share their experiences.

Personal Experience in Implementation

In my previous role, we initiated a project to standardize our sales reports. Initially, there was some resistance — change is always hard. But after a few training sessions and some hands-on practice, the team started to see the benefits. The reports were not only easier to produce but also much more impactful. We even started receiving positive feedback from our clients who appreciated the clarity of our presentations.

Here’s a personal tip: Start small. Implement standardization in one type of report first. This approach allows you to refine the process and make adjustments before rolling it out across all reports.

Challenges and Solutions

Of course, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. We faced challenges like getting everyone to adopt the new standards and ensuring consistency across all reports. But with persistent effort and open communication, we overcame these hurdles. The key was to make everyone understand the long-term benefits of standardization.

One challenge we faced was with custom reports requested by different departments. These reports often deviated from the standard format. Our solution was to create a flexible template that allowed for some customization while still adhering to the core IBCS principles. This compromise ensured that the reports remained standardized but could still meet the specific needs of each department.

Types of Data Analysis

Before we dive deeper into reporting, let’s quickly touch on the different types of data analysis. Understanding these will help you tailor your reports to your specific needs.

Descriptive Analysis: The What

Descriptive analysis is all about summarizing past data to understand what happened. Think of it as the “what” of your data. It’s like looking at your car’s speedometer to see how fast you went. This type of analysis uses statistics like mean, median, and mode to describe the data.

For instance, if we look at the nycflights13 R dataset, a descriptive analysis might involve calculating the average delay time for flights, the total number of flights, or the distribution of flight delays across different months. This helps to paint a clear picture of historical performance.

Diagnostic Analysis: The Why

Diagnostic analysis moves us to the “why.” This type of analysis examines data to understand why something happened. It’s like figuring out why your car’s speed dropped suddenly — maybe there was a traffic jam? Diagnostic analysis involves looking at correlations and potential causal relationships to uncover the reasons behind certain trends or anomalies.

In the context of nycflights13, we might investigate why certain flights are delayed more frequently. This could involve examining variables like weather conditions, carrier performance, or airport congestion. Understanding these factors can help pinpoint the causes of delays.

Predictive Analysis: The What Might Happen

Predictive analysis uses statistical models and forecasting techniques to predict future outcomes based on historical data. It’s like forecasting whether you’ll hit traffic on your next trip based on past experiences. This type of analysis helps in anticipating future trends and making proactive decisions.

Using nycflights13, a predictive analysis might involve forecasting future flight delays based on historical delay patterns and upcoming weather forecasts. This can help airlines and passengers plan better and mitigate potential issues.

Prescriptive Analysis: The What Should We Do

Finally, prescriptive analysis provides recommendations for actions based on predictive analysis. It’s like your GPS suggesting an alternate route to avoid that predicted traffic jam. This type of analysis uses algorithms to suggest various courses of action and their potential outcomes.

For nycflights13, prescriptive analysis could recommend optimal flight schedules or routes to minimize delays. It might also suggest operational changes, like adjusting staffing levels during peak hours or implementing new maintenance protocols.

Reporting Delivery Platforms

Not all reports are created equal, and neither are the platforms we use to deliver them. Let’s break down the different platforms and how they impact standardization:

Interactive Dashboards

Interactive dashboards are dynamic and allow users to explore data in real-time. Standardization here ensures consistency across various views and interactions. Think of platforms like Power BI or Tableau. These dashboards are great for providing an overview and enabling detailed drill-downs.

Using the nycflights13 dataset, an interactive dashboard might include various widgets and filters that allow users to view flight performance by date, carrier, or destination. Ensuring that these elements are standardized makes the dashboard intuitive and user-friendly.

Presentations

Presentations are typically used for communicating key findings to stakeholders. Standardized slides enhance clarity and ensure that key messages are consistently communicated. PowerPoint or Google Slides are your friends here.

Imagine preparing a quarterly review using nycflights13 data. A standardized presentation template would include consistent slide layouts, color schemes, and fonts, making it easier for the audience to follow along and understand the insights.

Static Reports

Static reports provide a fixed snapshot of data. Standardization in static reports ensures that all necessary information is included and presented clearly. PDF reports or printed documents often fall into this category.

For example, a static report using nycflights13 data could be a detailed monthly performance report. Standardized headers, footers, and table formats ensure that the report is easy to read and understand.

How Different Types and Delivery Points Affect Standardization

Alright, let’s tie it all together. Different types of analysis and delivery platforms influence how you apply standardization:

  • Descriptive Analysis on Dashboards : Ensure that interactive elements are standardized so users can easily compare past performance across different metrics.
  • Diagnostic Analysis in Presentations : Use consistent visuals to explain why certain trends occurred. This helps stakeholders grasp the insights quickly.
  • Predictive Analysis in Static Reports : Present forecasts in a standardized format to make it easier for readers to understand and trust the predictions.
  • Prescriptive Analysis Across Platforms : Whether it’s a dashboard, presentation, or report, standardized recommendations ensure that the suggested actions are clear and actionable.

Tools for Standardizing Reports in R

In this chapter, we’ll discuss the tools I’ll be using in R to ensure our reports adhere to IBCS standards. Standardizing reports involves a combination of data manipulation, visualization, and documentation tools. Here are the main tools and packages we’ll be using throughout this series:

Data Manipulation with dplyr and tidyr

To start, we need robust tools for data manipulation. The dplyr and tidyr packages from the tidyverse suite are indispensable for cleaning, transforming, and organizing our data.

  • dplyr : This package is perfect for data wrangling. With functions like select(), filter(), mutate(), summarize(), and arrange(), we can easily manipulate our data frames to get them into the right shape for analysis.
  • tidyr : This package helps in tidying data, ensuring that it follows the tidy data principles. Functions like pivot_longer(), pivot_wider(), unite(), and separate() make it straightforward to reshape data as needed.

Data Visualization with ggplot2

Visualization is a cornerstone of effective reporting, and ggplot2 is the go-to package for creating high-quality graphics in R. It follows the grammar of graphics, which makes it highly flexible and powerful.

  • Consistent Themes : We’ll use ggplot2's theming capabilities to apply consistent colors, fonts, and layouts across all our visualizations. This aligns with the UNIFY principle of IBCS.
  • Custom Visuals : We’ll create custom visuals that not only look good but also convey the right message clearly, adhering to the EXPRESS principle.

Enhancing ggplot2 with Extensions

There are several extensions to ggplot2 that can help enhance its capabilities and ensure our visualizations are both informative and aesthetically pleasing:

  • ggthemes : Provides additional themes and scales that help in standardizing the look and feel of plots.
  • gghighlight : Allows us to highlight specific data points in a plot, making it easier to draw attention to key information.
  • ggrepel : Helps in adding labels to plots without overlapping, ensuring that our visualizations remain clear and readable.
  • patchwork : Facilitates the combination of multiple ggplot2 plots into a single cohesive layout, supporting the CONDENSE principle by increasing information density.

Reporting with Quarto

For generating and maintaining our reports, we’ll use Quarto, a new, powerful tool for creating dynamic documents in R.

  • Dynamic Reports : Quarto allows for the integration of R code and markdown, enabling us to create reports that are both reproducible and interactive.
  • Standardized Templates : We can create standardized templates that ensure consistency across all reports.

Table Formatting with kableExtra

Tables are a crucial part of any report, and kableExtra is an excellent package for creating well-formatted tables in R.

  • Enhanced Tables : kableExtra provides functionality to produce beautiful tables within Quarto documents. It supports various table styling options, including striped rows, column alignment, and more.
  • Interactive Tables : This package also supports the creation of interactive tables, making it easier for readers to explore data.

Supplementary Tools

  • scales : This package works with ggplot2 to ensure that our scales are appropriately formatted, enhancing readability and accuracy.
  • lubridate : Useful for handling date-time data, ensuring our time series data is properly formatted and easy to manipulate.
  • stringr : Helps with string manipulation, making it easier to clean and prepare text data for reporting.

So, there you have it — a comprehensive introduction to the importance of standardization in business reporting and an overview of how IBCS can help you achieve it. In the next episodes, we’ll dive deep into each component of the SUCCESS formula, starting with SAY: Convey a Message . We’ll explore how to clearly and effectively communicate the main message in your reports, using practical examples and the nycflights13 dataset to illustrate these principles in action.

Remember, the goal here is to make your reports not just informative but also engaging and easy to understand. Let’s embark on this journey together and transform your business reporting skills!

Stay tuned, and happy reporting!

what to include in an introduction thesis

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  1. How to write an introduction for a research paper

    what to include in an introduction thesis

  2. How to write an academic introduction / Academic English UK

    what to include in an introduction thesis

  3. How To Write a Thesis Introduction

    what to include in an introduction thesis

  4. How to write the introduction for scientific writing: The Ultimate

    what to include in an introduction thesis

  5. How to Write an Introduction For an Essay: Guide With Examples

    what to include in an introduction thesis

  6. Academic introductions

    what to include in an introduction thesis

VIDEO

  1. How To Write A Perfect Dissertation Introduction (Essentials)

  2. Write an introduction Of thesis by following three simple step (part -5)

  3. Ph.D. Chapter two Literature Review for a Thesis| HOW TO WRITE CHAPTE TWO for Ph.D

  4. What is Thesis Paper?

  5. Components of a Thesis Statement #thesisstatement #thesis

  6. Mastering Your Introduction

COMMENTS

  1. How to write a fantastic thesis introduction (+15 examples)

    The thesis introduction, usually chapter 1, is one of the most important chapters of a thesis. It sets the scene. It previews key arguments and findings. And it helps the reader to understand the structure of the thesis. In short, a lot is riding on this first chapter. With the following tips, you can write

  2. How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Introduction

    To help guide your reader, end your introduction with an outline of the structure of the thesis or dissertation to follow. Share a brief summary of each chapter, clearly showing how each contributes to your central aims. However, be careful to keep this overview concise: 1-2 sentences should be enough. Note.

  3. How to Write a Thesis Introduction (With Examples)

    An example of a thesis statement in an introduction could be: "This thesis examines how social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly Twitter) have reshaped how individuals interact and form relationships in the digital age, with an emphasis on interpersonal communication."Clearly state the main focus and purpose of your research and provide a roadmap for the reader to ...

  4. How to write a good thesis introduction

    2. Hook the reader and grab their attention. 3. Provide relevant background. 4. Give the reader a sense of what the paper is about. 5. Preview key points and lead into your thesis statement. Frequently Asked Questions about writing a good thesis introduction.

  5. How to Write the Thesis Or Dissertation Introduction

    3. Research Problem. Once you've described the main research problem and the importance of your research, the next step would be to present your problem statement, i.e., why this research is being conducted and its purpose. This is one of the essential aspects of writing a dissertation's introduction.

  6. How To Write A Dissertation Introduction Chapter

    Craft an enticing and engaging opening section. Provide a background and context to the study. Clearly define the research problem. State your research aims, objectives and questions. Explain the significance of your study. Identify the limitations of your research. Outline the structure of your dissertation or thesis.

  7. How to Write a Thesis Introduction

    Most thesis introductions include SOME (but not all) of the stages listed below. There are variations between different Schools and between different theses, depending on the purpose of the thesis. Stages in a thesis introduction. state the general topic and give some background; provide a review of the literature related to the topic

  8. How to Write an Essay Introduction

    Table of contents. Step 1: Hook your reader. Step 2: Give background information. Step 3: Present your thesis statement. Step 4: Map your essay's structure. Step 5: Check and revise. More examples of essay introductions. Other interesting articles. Frequently asked questions about the essay introduction.

  9. Developing A Thesis

    A good thesis has two parts. It should tell what you plan to argue, and it should "telegraph" how you plan to argue—that is, what particular support for your claim is going where in your essay. Steps in Constructing a Thesis. First, analyze your primary sources. Look for tension, interest, ambiguity, controversy, and/or complication.

  10. Introductions

    In general, your introductions should contain the following elements: When you're writing an essay, it's helpful to think about what your reader needs to know in order to follow your argument. Your introduction should include enough information so that readers can understand the context for your thesis. For example, if you are analyzing ...

  11. Writing a Research Paper Introduction

    Table of contents. Step 1: Introduce your topic. Step 2: Describe the background. Step 3: Establish your research problem. Step 4: Specify your objective (s) Step 5: Map out your paper. Research paper introduction examples. Frequently asked questions about the research paper introduction.

  12. How to Write a Strong Dissertation & Thesis Introduction

    7 simple steps to write a thesis/dissertation introduction. 1. Start with a broad context. Begin by giving a short background about your topic and highlighting your topic's importance. Some strategies to create an introduction are: Start with a relevant fact, quotation, question, an existing problem, important news, theories, or a debate ...

  13. Effective Introductions and Thesis Statements

    Cite a dramatic fact or statistic. Your introduction also needs to adequately explain the topic and organization of your paper. Your thesis statement identifies the purpose of your paper. It also helps focus the reader on your central point. An effective thesis establishes a tone and a point of view for a given purpose and audience.

  14. Easily understand how to write a PhD thesis introduction

    An effective PhD thesis introduction does three things: 1. Establish your research territory (by situating your research in a broader context) One of the first things the introduction should do is to provide general statements that outline the importance of the topic and provide enough background information so that the reader can understand ...

  15. How to Write a Compelling Thesis Introduction

    Before you write a compelling thesis introduction, you need to know what elements belong in this section and how it should be structured. A typical thesis introduction includes: A clear thesis statement. An explanation of the context (brief background) for the study. The focus and scope of the paper.

  16. Introductions

    1. The placeholder introduction. When you don't have much to say on a given topic, it is easy to create this kind of introduction. Essentially, this kind of weaker introduction contains several sentences that are vague and don't really say much. They exist just to take up the "introduction space" in your paper.

  17. How to Write an Essay Introduction (with Examples)

    Introduction: The introduction should grab the reader's attention with a hook, provide context, and include a thesis statement that presents the main argument or purpose of the essay. Body: The body should consist of focused paragraphs that support your thesis statement using evidence and analysis. Each paragraph should concentrate on a ...

  18. Writing a Dissertation: The Introduction

    Top Tip: Your introduction is the reader's 'door' into your thesis or dissertation. It therefore needs to make sense to the non-expert. Ask a friend to read it for you, and see if they can understand it easily. At the end of the introduction, it is also usual to set out an outline of the rest of the dissertation.

  19. How to write an introduction chapter for a thesis

    The final part of the introduction is an overview of the rest of the chapters in the thesis. The other sections can go in any order, providing it is a logical sequence. Learn from others. Look at other theses for example from White Rose etheses or your university library's website. The majority of journal articles that you will read in the ...

  20. How to Write an Introduction Paragraph in 3 Steps

    The 3 Main Parts of an Intro Paragraph. In general, an intro paragraph is going to have three main parts: a hook, context, and a thesis statement. Each of these pieces of the intro plays a key role in acquainting the reader with the topic and purpose of your essay. Below, we'll explain how to start an introduction paragraph by writing an ...

  21. What Is a Thesis?

    A thesis statement is a very common component of an essay, particularly in the humanities. It usually comprises 1 or 2 sentences in the introduction of your essay, and should clearly and concisely summarize the central points of your academic essay. A thesis is a long-form piece of academic writing, often taking more than a full semester to ...

  22. What should I include in the introduction of my thesis?

    It is considered that the introduction of your thesis is the section that sets the stage for your whole research. Below mention are some of the key elements that need to be included in the chapter:1. Background Information: Make sure that you provide background information in place to help readers understand the significance of the topic. It includes a brief overview of relevant literature ...

  23. An RDoC Approach to Perinatal Affective Disorders: The Role of

    Perinatal depression affects 6.5-12.9% of mothers, with comorbid perinatal anxiety occurring in as many as 50% of cases. In low-income, minoritized women, rates of these perinatal affective disorders (PNADs) are even higher. It is important to further our understanding of PNADs to more efficaciously identify and treat women, especially in at-risk populations, while also considering the ...

  24. Developing and Piloting an Online Intervention to Promote Resilience to

    This approach will allow for early refinement and optimization of the SunnysideFlex intervention to increase the odds of success in a larger-scale clinical trial. The SunnysideFlex intervention adapted an existing web-based platform for postpartum depression, "Sunnyside for Moms," to include revised, trauma-focused content.

  25. Uncertainty-Aware Predictions in Real Time: A Missing Link in Edge

    The thesis begins with the introduction of "Lightweight, Uncertainty-Aware Conformalized Visual Odometry," a novel study detailing embedding of uncertainty estimation within visual odometry, a common computer vision task for autonomous navigation. The work settles on an optimal UQ method called Conformalized Joint Prediction (CJP).

  26. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    Step 2: Write your initial answer. After some initial research, you can formulate a tentative answer to this question. At this stage it can be simple, and it should guide the research process and writing process. The internet has had more of a positive than a negative effect on education.

  27. A Theory of Composition for Proofs of Knowledge

    In 1985, Goldwasser, Micali, and Rackoff introduced a compelling new notion of a proof, known as a proof of knowledge, in which a verifier interactively checks that a prover knows a satisfying witness for a claimed mathematical statement. For example, a verifier may check that a prover knows a witness solution for a prescribed Sudoku problem (and more generally any problem in NP ...

  28. Temporal Dynamics of Gene Regulation in Human Tissue Repair

    Findings from this work should be applicable to tissue injuries in multiple organ systems as cutaneous wounds are a generalized model of wound repair. Chapter I provides an introduction to cutaneous and oral wound healing, transcription factors and gene regulation, network biology, and the PANDA and LIONESS algorithms used in this thesis.

  29. Introduction to Standardization in Business Reporting

    A standardized presentation template would include consistent slide layouts, color schemes, and fonts, making it easier for the audience to follow along and understand the insights.Static ReportsStatic reports provide a fixed snapshot of data. Standardization in static reports ensures that all necessary information is included and presented ...