How to Write the Introduction of a Dissertation

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How to Write the Introduction of a Dissertation


Discussing a topic and introducing it are two extremely different aspects. You might find it easy to discuss a topic, but introducing it is tricky. Introduction is the first thing that a readers reads and go through, thus it is essential that the introduction is informative, engaging and interesting. Even if one of these element is missing in the introduction, the reader will not be motivated to read more and will move on to something different.

The same rule applies when writing a dissertation introduction. You have to make sure that you explain the title, introduce the topic and present a background so that your readers understand your dissertation in a much better manner. As a standard, you might work on your dissertation a couple of times. Once when you’re working on your proposal and the second time when writing your actual dissertation. Regardless of which one you’re writing, you have to make sure that your introduction engages the readers in such a manner, that they continue reading.

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Considering its importance, a huge number of students remain unsure how to write the introduction of a dissertation. Here are some of the most essential elements that’ll offer dissertation introduction writing help.

Background of the Research

Dissertation Introduction

This is the very first section of your introduction. Building a background of your chosen topic will not only help you in understanding more about the topic, but will also help readers in knowing about the title that you’ve chosen. The background of your research should include major concepts related to your dissertation topic and title. This will give your supervisor and marker an idea that you’ve conducted your research thoroughly and are aware of the various aspects related to your topic.

Introduction to a dissertation should not talk much about other researches and studies that have been conducted on the same or similar topic as this will be discussed in the literature review section. Moreover, this section should also not include research design and data collection method(s). All about research strategy should be covered in the methodology section (Student.unsw.edu.au, 2017).

Background to the research only helps to build up your research and talk about the topic and title in general. For instance, if your research is based on job satisfaction measures of a specific country, or if your dissertation intends to compare two companies or systems, this section should only talk generally about job satisfaction and the impact it has.

Significance of the Research

This is the second part of your introduction, and this is where you explain your title. If your dissertation is based on a specific company, you need to explain why that industry and company was chosen. If you’re comparing, explain why you’re doing so and what this research will yield. Regardless of the research topic you choose, explain thoroughly in this section as to why this research is being conducted and what benefit will it serve.

Furthermore, this section will also talk about the importance of your research. The importance of dissertation topic and title that you’ve selected should be explained in this section (Www2.warwick.ac.uk, 2017). This should be convincing so that our supervisor and other readers are persuaded that the concept should be researched and that there is no room for any other dissertation title to be selected.


Research Problem

After you’ve explained the main research issue, talked about your dissertation title, you should present your research problem i.e. why this research is being conducted, what will it find out. This is one of the most essential aspects of how to write the introduction of a dissertation. Doing so will help your readers understand what you intend to do in this research, as well as, what they should expect from this study.

Presenting the research problem of your dissertation holds a lot of importance. This research problem is the crux of your dissertation i.e. it gives a direction as to why this research is being carried out, and what issues will the study take into consideration.

If your dissertation is based on measuring job satisfaction of a specific organization, your research problem should talk about the problem that the company currently faces and how your research will help the company to solve their problem. If your dissertation is not based on any specific organization, you can explain the common issues that companies face when they do not consider job satisfaction and how your research will help them realize its importance.

Research Question

Now comes the main aspect of your introduction, research question. Your research question should be based on your research problem, and also your dissertation title (Ncl.ac.uk, 2017). Combining these two aspects together will help you formulate a perfect research question for your dissertation.

Research Limitations

Your research question is the question that your research will answer and around which your whole dissertation will revolve. Research question should be specific, concise and to the point. It should be a one or two line question that you’ve set out to answer through your dissertation. For the job satisfaction example, a sample research question could be ‘how does job satisfaction have a positive impact on employee’s job performance?’ Look up dissertation introduction examples on the internet or ask your friends to get an idea how an ideal research question is formed.

Once you’ve formed your research question, pick out vital elements from it, based on which you will prepare your literature review. You will come back to your research question again when concluding your dissertation. In some cases, you might have to formulate a hypothesis in place of research question. Hypothesis is a simple statement, which you prove with your results, discussion and analysis. A sample hypothesis could be ‘job satisfaction is positively linked to employee job performance’. Results of your dissertation could be in favor of this dissertation or against it.

Research Aims and Objectives

Now come research aims and objectives. Aims and objectives are broad statements of desired results of your dissertation. They reflect the expectations of the topic and research, and also address the long-term project outcomes. These statements should use the concepts accurately, must be focused, should be able to convey your research intentions, and also serve as steps that communicate how your research question will be answered (Libguides.usc.edu, 2017).

 Based on your topic, research question or hypothesis, you should formulate your aims and objectives. These are simple statements and are an extension of your research question. Through these aims and objectives, you communicate to your readers as to what aspects you’ve taken into consideration and how do you intend to answer your research question.

Usually these statements initiate with words like, ‘to explore’, ‘to study’, ‘to assess’, ‘to critically assess’, ‘to understand’, ‘to evaluate etc. You could ask your supervisor to provide you with some thesis introduction examples to help you understand better how aims and objectives are formulated.

Your aims and objectives should be interrelated and should connect to your research question and/or research problem. If they do not, they’ll be considered vague and too broad in scope. Always make sure that your research aims and objectives are concise, brief and to the point. You have to make sense in only a few statements, thus make us of them very wisely.

Once you reach the conclusion of your dissertation, you will have to revert back in order to address whether your research aims and objectives have been met or not. You will have to reflect as to how the findings, analysis and discussion of your dissertation relate to your aims and objectives and how your research has helped in achieving them.

Also Read: How to write introductions for dissertations and theses? 

Research Limitations

This section is sometimes a part of the methodology section; however, most of the times it is included in the introduction of a dissertation. Every research has some limitations, thus it absolutely normal for you to experience certain limitations when conducting your study. You could experience research design limitations, data limitations or even financial limitations.  Regardless of which type of limitation you may experience, your dissertation would be impacted, thus you should mention them without any hesitation.

When including this section in the introduction, make sure that you clearly state the type of limitation you experience (Student.unsw.edu.au, 2017). This will help your supervisor understand what problems you went through while working on your dissertation. However, one aspect that you should take care is that your results, in no way, should be impacted due to these limitations. The results should not be compromised, or else your dissertation will not be deemed as authentic and reliable.

After you’ve mentioned your research limitations, discuss how you overcame them to produce a perfect dissertation. Also mention that your results are in no way adversely impacted by your limitations, and that you’ve produced a research with accurate results.

Structure of the Dissertation

This is the last section of your introduction. This section should be included when writing your complete dissertation, and is usually not needed in proposals. However, some tutors might demand for it to be included in your proposal, as well. They would want to glance over it to see how you plan your dissertation and what sections you’d include. Based on how what sections you include and how you intend to cover them, they’d provide their feedback for you to improve.

Usually this section talks about how you plan your research, what sections do you plan to include and what concepts and aspects would each section entail. A standard dissertation consists of five sections, also known as chapters, introduction, literature review, methodology, results and discussion and conclusion. A few researches do not use the same chapter for results and discussion, instead they split it into two different chapters, making six chapters. Different colleges and universities have different requirements and standards, thus based on your respective institution, prepare this section.

When talking about the structure of your dissertation, keep in mind that you’d have to mention what each section entails (Ncl.ac.uk, 2017). Discuss major aspects of each section to give a brief overview of what your dissertation contains.

Writing a dissertation introduction might seem difficult, but it is not. All you have to do is to understand the required elements and make sure that you focus on all of them when writing. Include all the aspects to make sure that your supervisor and other readers can easily understand how you intend to undertake your research.


If you get stuck at any stage of your dissertation introduction, get dissertation introduction writing help from us! At Research Prospect, we not only offer dissertation introduction writing service, but our qualified team of writers will also assist you in conducting in-depth research for your dissertation which will eventually help you answer the question ‘how to write the introduction of a dissertation’.

Review Our Best Dissertation Topics 2018-19 complete list.


  • Student.unsw.edu.au. (2017). Introductions | Thesis structure | UNSW Current Students. [online] Available at: https://student.unsw.edu.au/introductions [Accessed 29 Oct. 2017].
  • Www2.warwick.ac.uk. (2017). Writing an Introduction. [online] Available at: https://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/al/globalpad/openhouse/academicenglishskills/writing/moreinfo/ [Accessed 29 Oct. 2017].
  • Ncl.ac.uk. (2017). Introduction – Writing Development Centre – Newcastle University. [online] Available at: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/students/wdc/learning/theses/structure/intro.htm [Accessed 29 Oct. 2017].
  • Libguides.usc.edu. (2017). Research Guides: Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: 4. The Introduction. [online] Available at: http://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/introduction [Accessed 30 Oct. 2017].

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