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Writing Introductions to Research Dissertations

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introduction chapter understanding the purpose
Introduction Chapter: Understanding the Purpose
  • Because the research dissertations are extensive documents for the experts in academia, an introduction chapter is included in the beginning to make the reader aware of what the entire documents consists.
  • Introduction should establish the context, validate the importance of the research topic, problem, and how the dissertation is written and organized.
  • An introduction chapter might stretch up to three or four pages (not more than 3000 words) on the basis of the necessary information to cover.
  • It doesn’t have any particular format for conveying the information, or summarizing the crucial elements of a dissertation.
  • It is advised to always write the introduction section at last when the rest of your PhD dissertation is completed.
writing introduction 4 prerequisites
Writing Introduction: 4 Prerequisites

Before you begin writing the introduction, make sure you have a draft notes for each of the following.

  • Importance of the research topic.
  • Niche research gap in existing literature.
  • Set of relevant research questions
  • Structured outline of introduction chapter

It is recommended to use the rough notes which would help you in identifying the basic necessities to cover in your introduction. If you do not have this, you can prepare it even at the last minute as it is a 4-hour job.

establish the importance of the research topic
Establish the Importance of the Research Topic

You should write critically about the importance of your research topic for the research discipline and the particular time frame . For this, you need to read a wide literature and then criticise the pre-existing researches by digging out the gap in literature.

You can use the opening sentences for establishing importance:

“There is a growing body of literature that recognises the importance of …”

However, you should not criticise or review the literature in detail throughout the introductory chapter as this is to be done in the literature review chapter of your PhD dissertation.

niche research gap in literature
Niche Research Gap In Literature

With a neutral tone and style of writing, you should highlight the existing knowledge gap in the existing research studies and literature. It might not be tough for you to write a review of literature as you have done in your literature review chapter. You only need to document the research gap in literature review in brief .

Following is an example of how you can document the niche research knowledge gap:

“To date, there has been no reliable evidence that …”

“This indicates a need to understand the various perceptions of…”

set of relevant research questions
Set of Relevant Research Questions

You should also list all the relevant research questions and introduce research hypothesis in the introduction chapter. The research questions should be relevant to the discipline and must be properly framed and introduced in writing.

Hypothesis and research questions should be written in a way that it makes them:

  • Important to investigate
  • Contributing to the knowledge of field
  • Feasible, significant, ethical in terms of understanding
structured outline of introduction chapter
Structured Outline of Introduction Chapter

It is a good technique to first prepare a defined outline or the blueprint of the introduction chapter. List out what all aspects, theories, part of PhD dissertation needs to be focused while writing introduction. If need help, you may have a look at the other dissertations kept safe in your library. Evaluate how the introduction chapters are written, what are the things that are first described, how the arguments are put forth and supported, how the significance of research topic is elaborated etc.

Following is the general outline of an introduction chapter of a PhD dissertation:

  • Statement of research topic’s importance
  • Brief overview of literature review
  • Rationale & objectives of the research study
  • Research questions
  • Terminologies defined
to remember
To Remember:

Introduction chapter should have a balance of all the things aforementioned. And that is why, the introduction chapter is called a synthesis as well as synopsis of your entire dissertation.

For more assistance, contact us at www.thesisclinic.co.uk