How to Write a Dissertation Introduction
So you’re kicking off your dissertation, that’s great! A dissertation can come off as a big deal—it even sounds bigger than a term paper, essay, or research paper—but with a simple structure as to how you should go about it, the process should go a bit more smoothly.
Sure the research for your dissertation and the actual writing of the whole thing will be bumpy and there might be many late nights involved, but at least you get a hand on the introduction! That’s something, right?
Of course it is. First let’s take a look at what you’ll need to set up.
The Main Parts of the Introduction
- The Problem: This is the spine of the introduction and will need to be explained in detail.
- Overview of the Study: Lay out the questions that occurred because of the problem.
- Importance of Your Dissertation: Why should the reader bother to…read it? Remember, the reader or readers will most likely read several dissertations. This is where you make your dissertation stand out. If it does, it might end up the backlog or not read at all.
- Lay Out The Following Chapters: Just as it says, you’ll need to explain what follows after the introduction.
Since you’ve studied your subject and know the greater problems you will address throughout the course of your dissertation. This also shows why it is important to the field of its focus.
The overview goes into the major questions brought up by the problems. You don’t want to give too much away as it would defeat the purpose of the other pages you put time in as the reader wouldn’t need to bother entertaining the rest. On the other hand, you don’t want to be vague with the problems. What you should do here is list a few of the problems, but none of the answers.
Explain to the reader why your dissertation should be read. Whereas the last part—the overview—gave the problems at hand, the importance portion of your introduction will tell how your dissertation could help solve them. Again, don’t give the answers away; just suggest that your dissertation holds answers and suggestions within its pages.
Preview of the Following Chapters
This is self-explanatory. Just explain what the next chapters in your dissertation are and give a brief description of what they touch on. As with the overview and the significance of your dissertation, don’t give too much away.