The introductory chapter, as the name implies How to Write a Good Thesis Introduction? informs a reader or evaluator about the thesis’ contents, main argument(s), and scope. It follows the table of contents and is the first formal chapter of your thesis. Consider it a preview into the entire thesis, a glimpse into the scope of the project.
To put it another way, an introduction chapter should
- Introduce your research topic and place it in context.
- Clearly describe the focus of your research.
- Define the research aims, objectives, and methodology.
- Justify the research’s importance and value on a broader scale.
- Give an overview of the chapters to come.
When Should the Thesis Introduction Section be Written?
Despite the fact that the introduction is the first chapter that will be read, it is usually written at the end of the writing process. This is because your study will evolve over time—the methods you use may change, your hypothesis or original research topic may broaden or narrow, or you may change the conceptual framework entirely.
Since the purpose of this chapter is to introduce your project (of course), you’ll want to be accurate in describing what the project involves.
Writing the introduction chapter in the end, along with the abstract and conclusion, guarantees that the ideas and arguments in all three sections, as well as the thesis itself, are consistent.
Moreover, this saves time. If you write an introduction ahead of time, you’ll be forced to make changes or rewrite it entirely.
If you want to, you may start by writing an outline to keep you on track and then modify it as you go. (This is also a great method to keep track of how your project is progressing.)
As the components of the two proposals will overlap, keep the original proposal you created as a reference.
An Introduction to a Thesis Consists of the Following Elements
Background Information and Context
Your goal is to arouse the reader’s interest in your research topic and explain why it’s important or relevant to study it. Begin with a current or historically important incident or news statement. As an introduction, cite important literature so that your reader may connect to established (possibly even seminal) work in the subject.
You’re easing a reader into your field of study and gradually guiding them to the core of your research by establishing a context with this.
So don’t go crazy; you’ve got the rest of the thesis to do.
At this point, all you need to do is provide some basic information about your topic and field, just enough for the reader to have a sense of what’s coming next. To make them more understandable, use terms and phrases that are relevant to your field.
The Research Problem
After you’ve set the mood for the reader, explain how this background relates to your research topic. In other words, describe where the research problem lies inside the context you’ve created.
This will lead you to write about the specific focus, topic, or questions you’ve chosen inside this broader research area. After you’ve done that, describe clearly what your main argument or hypothesis that you’re testing as part of the study.
Write up the exact parameters you set out to answer or evaluate the issue or problem after that. This will inform the reader about the project’s scope, including time frames, geographical areas covered, specific themes, and disciplines your research falls under, among other things.
You should be clear about what your thesis will not include as you define the scope of your research. Examine the weaknesses in your existing study. This clarifies the scope even further, allowing future researchers to build on what you’ve begun.
List your Research Objectives
Your three or four overarching research objectives must be included. If it’s a qualitative study, provide corresponding research questions; if it’s a quantitative study, offer hypotheses.
The former is frequently derived from the research goals. However, keep in mind that these goals, questions, and hypotheses are all fluid in nature and may be changed as you do your research.
The Relevance of your Research
Given that you’ve previously established the background for your thesis, now is a good opportunity to explain the reasons behind it.
Original research is valued in academics since it is one of the most dependable methods to increase knowledge in a particular field. That is why it is essential for you to argue its importance right away. What purpose does your study serve (apart from finally obtaining that long-awaited degree)?
Why might future researchers and the academic community be interested in this research? What implications does your finding have in terms of larger societal, political, or scientific significance? Why is your research important?
These are some of the questions you should try to respond to.
Show a connection between the logic and the context you’ve established till this point. Based on this information, a reader should be able to comprehend how your project has progressed thus far.
A Summary of the Thesis
Explain how you’ll do the research once you’ve introduced the context, the research topic, the specific research question, your study hypothesis, and the explanation for that choice. Declare what you want to do and the goals you want to achieve.
Describe the research methodologies you utilized and a brief summary of the results.
Always communicate with your supervisor and schedule regular catch-ups. They’ll be able to provide you with guidance and support, as well as point you in the correct path.
If your study is more complicated or does not follow a standard framework, each chapter may require up to a paragraph.
For example, rather than separating the study into methods/results/discussion, a humanities thesis may build an argument thematically. Make it apparent how everything goes together if your structure is unconventional.
This structure, as you may have seen, is essentially a summary of the complete thesis. Well done if you’ve made it this far! Anyone reading your thesis will have a good idea of what to expect next.