How to Write Thesis or Dissertation Introduction: Guide and Tips

This guide will help you learn how to correctly write an introduction for your dissertation or thesis. We will focus on the purposes and the elements that must be included to make your dissertation introduction stand out and remain unique. We keep things simple and accessible to help you have a great start! Additionally, we will discuss what to avoid when writing a dissertation introduction and tips that can make your writing process easier. 

What is the dissertation introduction and its purpose? 

The dissertation introduction is one of those vital elements for a dissertation or a thesis that must be composed to help your readers understand the main aspects right away and goes directly after the dissertation title page. You should do your best to collect and provide quick background data to explain your goals and thesis elements.

The primary purpose is to clarify the research focus and your methodology for the readers.

As an author writing a dissertation introduction, you must specify and explain the value of your thesis or dissertation in simple words. Do not use anything extra complex that requires an explanation but try to keep things accessible! Specify your research aims and objectives by offering condensed and clear information.

While there is no universal set of rules for every academic subject, the key is adding various features that will inspire your readers and make things more accessible. For example, you may repeat the main research objective or even ask a question to show what objectives you are following. Such an approach helps narrow things down and set a particular framework for your research. While you do not have to copy your methodology, it's still necessary to introduce the subject and talk briefly about the challenges usually faced when dealing with your subject. 

When writing a dissertation introduction, it's important to note that it represents the first section of your dissertation or thesis and should appear after the table of contents. If an abstract is required, it should come before the introduction as part of the research writing. An abstract serves a different purpose from the introduction, providing a main overview of the entire dissertation and its work. It's recommended to complete the methodology and literature review sections before finalizing the introduction for thesis to ensure consistency and coherence.

Dissertation introduction and its vital elements 

As you start with your dissertation introduction, you must provide introductory information for your research. It should talk about the topic and context first, then continue with the main research focus and your scope. One of the key elements is to reveal the principle importance and focus on the questions, aims, and dissertation objectives. If necessary, focus on the basic analysis of your structure and include helpful information for your readers. 

  • Topic and Context. Begin by introducing your dissertation topic to your target audience. Add the context and tell why this topic is important and worth researching. In other words, show why one should continue reading by keeping things inspiring and relevant. This section should be at most two pages! 
  • Focus and Scope. This part of the introduction should narrow things down by talking about your research objectives, your budget, the methodology you have chosen, and why. The ethical issues also pose an essential point that must be mentioned. If any specific aspects must be mentioned, talk about them here and any variables. 
  • Relevance and Importance. This section discusses the possible research gap your dissertation addresses. If it is relevant, talk about how your topic addresses critical points and how it helps to understand the subject in a better way. You should also explain how your work helps to address theoretical or practical problems. 
  • Questions and Objectives. One of the most crucial elements of your dissertation introduction. Talking about research questions and aims, clarify how your goals relate to your studies. Then do your best to remain unbiased and precise. Your objectives must be achievable, so keep things distinct and viable for your readers and fellow researchers.  
  • Overview of the Structure. The final part of your dissertation introduction. It should be only about two sentences or more if there are any non-typical elements or additions to the classic dissertation structure. 

So let’s look at the dissertation introduction example. It focuses on the problems of the healthcare sector in Iceland. It offers a dissertation that aims to discover what has caused it and why the nursing crisis in the country is often ignored. Remember that it is only a sample you should consider for primary reference purposes! 

Iceland has always faced a shortage of healthcare specialists for a truly small country where the population's needs could be addressed easily. Nevertheless, the crisis has captured the entire country despite reports of the economic miracle. Most research papers addressing this subject miss the problems related to the social sphere. The primary purpose of this dissertation is to outline the healthcare crisis in Iceland and explain why the crisis has been created and what employee recession mechanisms have been involved. According to Freya Jonsdóttir (2022), the nursing personnel has been participating in peaceful protests that asked to improve the working conditions even with the same wages. Yet, it brought no positive changes and only stirred political disturbance. The other sources used for this dissertation also focus on the political aspect of the problem and showcase the changes related to the country´s unstable social situation.

7 helpful tips to write dissertation introduction 

As you evaluate your dissertation introduction structure and content, you must focus on the following: 

  • Provide a strong introduction for your research topic to address the main argument. 
  • Provide a narrowed-down context to your target audience to help them understand the scope and limitations. 
  • Specify the main focus of your dissertation and thesis.
  • Show why your topic is relevant for the research community and add a sentence about why it's important. 
  • State the problem or a question that your research seeks to address. As you learn how to write an introduction for a dissertation, you should not start with the main research question or present it “as is”. It must be done through the lens of your methodology and inspire your readers why things were addressed this way. 
  • Outline the main aims and objectives of your dissertation. 
  • Talk about the structure of a dissertation to help your readers with navigation. If there is anything extra to add, it must be mentioned in the final introduction part to keep things clear from the start. 

Read also: How you can buy dissertation online from top writers at

5 things to avoid when writing a dissertation introduction 

It is recommended to take your time and compose your introduction section once you finish the Literature review part. It is necessary to be this way because you must know what research sources you have consulted, what limitations you have met, and what approaches you have taken. The most important for the introduction of a dissertation is to narrow things down because you have to identify and evaluate things first, then adjust your dissertation's first section accordingly! Remember that you should remain specific and keep the originality factor high.  

  • Regarding the things to avoid in your dissertation introduction section, you must steer clear of the possible overlap with the next literature review. Provide background regarding your subject since most will relate to your next section.
  • The same rule applies to your work with the Methodology section of your dissertation. Refrain from mentioning the sampling methods, research data, or details about the methods in your introduction. Of course, it must be mentioned as you talk about limitations but do not go into details too much! 
  • It's recommended not to start your introduction part with the research question right away. Your readers must have an introduction from you as an author without diving into the claims or theoretical part posed by your main research question. 
  • When determining the ideal length for your dissertation, it is important to consider the average dissertation length, as this can provide a useful benchmark and help you allocate appropriate word counts to different sections. Consequently, the introduction part should be kept relatively short, depending on your final word count. It can be longer in certain disciplines like Healthcare, Law, or Sociology. Yet, your key purpose is briefly explaining things and presenting the dissertation's structural overview or thesis. 
  • It's also necessary to include at least two citations in your introduction. It can be used to support your main argument or explain the relevance of chosen subject. 

Keeping things unique and inspiring

Writing an introduction for a dissertation can be challenging, and many students find it hard as they try to collect information and achieve success. Regardless of the subject, learning how to write a dissertation introduction must include solid knowledge of the subject and the limitations encountered. It is one of the reasons we recommend always asking for help and discussing your concerns with an academic advisor as you look at the various examples. Also, using dissertation help services can greatly benefit you by providing the necessary guidance throughout the process. As you set objectives for your research, narrow things down and list helpful notes as you work. It will help you save time and ensure every important point has been noted! 

When you feel lost and do not know how to continue or edit your dissertation introduction, consider asking Edubirdie experts for guidance. Sometimes it only takes a moment to edit things or have another pair of eyes let you correct something you might be missing. The introduction for your thesis or important dissertation work is the first thing your readers and college professors see. We know what is expected and can help you handle even the most challenging and demanding subjects! 


How long should a dissertation introduction be?

According to most academic writing specialists and college professors, an introduction that you present for the dissertation or thesis should be around 10% of the total word count. Let's assume that you are going for 10,000 words. Thus, it should end up with an introduction that is 1000 words. Most introductions written for a Master's thesis usually end up being between 1,500 and 2,100 words. 

What should an introduction of a dissertation include?

An introduction section for your dissertation should include information on the importance of your research, the main aim and objectives, and a concise overview. It should be condensed as the more in-depth explanation must appear in the Literature review section and the Methodology part that follows. As the first section of your dissertation, it must provide clarity regarding your work and have a clear focus with an accessible direction. 

What comes first, abstract or introduction? 

An abstract section always comes first in the dissertation or thesis. It is roughly 150-200 words and poses a basic overview and summary for the research community and academic research specialists. It also includes keywords and has helpful information for researchers and libraries to locate relevant information and know the basic research information easily.

What are the differences between the abstract and the introduction? 

An abstract is much closer to a work summary, while the introduction section of your dissertation or thesis is typically more detailed. The introduction explains the reasons behind your study, outlines your methodology approach, and presents your hypothesis. In contrast, an abstract provides a condensed version of your research question in just a few sentences.

How do you start an introduction for a dissertation?

Start by stating the general topic of your research and provide some background. Offer a brief literature review related to your subject. Make sure to define the list of terms and the scope of your topic by narrowing things down. Outline the current situation and talk about what problems are encountered. Talk about advantages and barriers as you identify the possible research gap.

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