Thesis Introduction: A Step by Step Guide With Examples
For most students, getting started with the thesis introduction chapter is the scariest part. They are often not clear about the elements that should be included to make it interesting. It is the first section in thesis writing. Thus, it must be engaging enough for the readers.
Similarly, if you face trouble putting together a good introduction, it is better to start with a placeholder. However, this section doesn’t have to be the first thing that you should write. In fact, it is usually the very last thing to be completed by the writers.
If you feel stuck and have no idea how to start, this detailed guide can help. Here are some of the standard moves to help you learn how to make a thesis introduction with samples.
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What is a Thesis Introduction?
The introduction is the first chapter of your thesis paper. It narrows down a broad subject and directs its focus to a specific point.
Similarly, it also serves as a mind map highlighting the central theme, writing styles, and supporting points. These aspects set the stage for the writing process.
Moreover, a thesis introduction paragraph comes after the table of contents and provides a broader context of the research. Remember, a strong beginning is important to grab the reader’s attention.
The following are the major elements that must be included in an introduction.
- Topic and Context – What points a reader should know to understand the thesis?
- Focus and Scope – What aspects of the topic will be addressed? It can be research gaps, questions, and problems.
- Relevance and Importance – How does the research work contribute to the existing work on the topic?
- Questions and Objectives – What are the main objectives of the research work, and how they can be achieved?
- Overview of the Structure – How each chapter of the thesis will contribute to the overall objectives?
How Long Should a Thesis Introduction be?
The introduction of your thesis paper makes up roughly 10% of your total word count. Therefore, a PhD thesis paper introduction would be 8000 - 10000 words. However, a Master's thesis would be 1500 - 2000 words long.
Although the thesis introduction length can be increased if the writer includes images, diagrams, and descriptions.
Thesis Introduction Outline
A thesis introduction chapter outline follows the structure given below.
- Start with an attention-grabbing hook statement.
- Introduce the topic to the audience through a general statement.
- Describe the problem statement and the main hypothesis.
- State your main argument with the help of a thesis statement.
- Mention the research questions along with the objectives.
- Discuss the significance and the contribution of the research to the existing literature.
- State the research limitations, if there are any.
- Conclude your introduction paragraph by connecting all the ideas logically.
Have a look at the following template to understand the thesis introduction structure.
How to Start a Thesis Introduction?
Follow the below-given steps to start a thesis introduction correctly.
1. Choose a Topic
The first step to start a thesis introduction is by choosing an interesting topic. It should be introduced and defined well for the readers to understand.
You can also choose unique ideas from our compiled list of thesis topics.
2. Brainstorm and Research the Content
Brainstorm different ideas and information related to your topic. Research the content by going through previous literature regarding your subject. It will help you get maximum grip on the thesis.
3. Select the Type of Paper
Select the type of paper you are comfortable in writing. Remember, the text should never be in the first person.
Also, do not add irrelevant details and be precise by using accurate vocabulary and grammar. Strong words while writing a thesis will help you describe the research aims comprehensively.
4. Know the Target Audience
It is better to know the target audience that you are addressing. Similarly, the work techniques, processes, and literature must be introduced according to your audience.
5. Organize the Ideas
Organize and compile the main arguments, ideas, and claims in the next step. These thoughts will be helpful to describe and present the thesis statement.
6. Define the Subject and Relevant Themes
Define the subject and the relevant themes before starting your thesis introduction. It would become easier for the reader to skim and get a good idea by going through it.
How to Write a Thesis Introduction?
Here is a step by step guide for you to follow while writing a thesis introduction.
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A detailed description of the steps to write an introduction is given below.
1. Hook the Reader’s Interest
A writer should begin writing the introduction with a hook statement to draw the reader’s interest. It can be a question, quotation, or interesting transitions into your arguments.
Also, make a list of interesting, current events or controversies related to your topic. It will help in creating a strong introduction and thesis statement.
2. Identify the Research Gap
Review and evaluate the existing literature critically. It will help the researcher in finding and addressing the research gap.
3. State the Background Information
A good introduction of the thesis always states the historical background of the chosen topic. It is usually cited in the first paragraph and shows the current position of the subject.
4. Back Your Topic with Relevant Literature
The introduction is a mix of previous research and literature review. Thus, the topic should be backed with relevant resources.
It is also used to explain the context and significance of previous studies. Moreover, it further acknowledges credible sources of information to solidify your claim.
5. Mention the Hypothesis
Formulate a hypothesis of your research work. It will discuss what you aim to achieve along with the possibilities.
6. Provide Significance of Your Research
The gap will help to evaluate the situation and explain the significance of the current research. Thus, add the purpose of your paper explaining why the research is done. It will also demonstrate the possible contributions of the research work in the future.
7. Outline the Research Questions
The next step is to outline your research questions. These should be relevant to the purpose of your study. Moreover, it will also help you discuss the problems that you seek to address.
8. State Research Objectives
State the research aims and objectives to define the primary purpose of the work. It should give a direction to the research by providing an overview of what it aims to achieve.
9. Create an Outline
Create a well-structured outline to organize and compile the ideas. Also, include a table of contents at the beginning of your thesis. It serves as a mind map to discuss the layout of your thesis proposal.
10. Discuss the Research Methodology
The next step is to define the terms and methodology you are going to apply in your research. It is a good technique to make your study authentic, credible, and useful.
11. Finalize your Introduction
Ask yourself the following questions after finishing writing the introduction.
- Does your introduction discuss the problem your thesis is addressing?
- Does this section address the contribution the research work is making?
- Does it provide a detailed overview of your thesis?
- Does it end by briefly discussing the content of each chapter?
- Does it make a case for the research?
- Does it outline research questions, problems, and hypotheses clearly?
Check out the following document to get a clear idea of writing an introduction.
Thesis Introduction Examples
Here is a sample thesis introduction paragraph to help you compose perfect introductions.
Thesis Introduction Writing Tips
The following are some writing tips to help you draft perfect thesis introductions.
- The thesis introduction requires you to identify and define your parameters of research.
- It provides enough data to support your arguments.
- The topic must define the territory for the introduction along with its terms and scope.
- It also establishes a niche by narrowing the claims that you will be discussing in your thesis body.
- A good introduction defines the direction and purpose. It will guide the reader to determine which approach the writer should adopt for further exploration.
- It contains background information to give a strong foundation to your thesis.
- The introduction must introduce the current research by stating hypotheses, research questions, and objectives.
- The content of this section should be original and plagiarism free.
- It must follow a coherent thesis format by providing concise information.
- Do not use technical language as it will leave the reader confused.
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