- Why Introduction Matters?
- Objectives Of a Thesis Introduction
- Steps To Follow
Why Introduction Matters?
Being it’s one of the most significant concepts in college writing, you need to ensure that all the included sections are well-written. The first one comprises the thesis introduction. It is the first piece of information the reader will go through; hence you need to make it persuasive in a concise way. If you get this right, you will be laying down a strong foundation to build your thesis. Otherwise, you will have to struggle to catch up.
To start, be sure you initiate with an introductory paragraph. If you find yourself in difficulty trying to compose an effective start, a good idea would be to commence with a placeholder. A placeholder is something you can use temporarily and which you can come back to later on for editing and substituting. For example, here you can write a general introduction which can be built up later. It does not require to be as robust as you may imagine it needs to be, but you could at any time return to transform it. To have a starting paragraph that paves the way to understand your stance will be of massive aid to the writing process. The common practice of delaying the introduction until you finish with the rest is a huge mistake; frequently, it gives rise to a substandard start to an otherwise brilliant paper.
Well constructed introductory paragraphs speak for themselves by luring the reader in while simultaneously providing brief insight into the paper's entirety. There is not just one ingredient to establish a perfect start that always functions for a specific topic, but the following information undoubtedly can improve your skills in developing one that does.
Objectives Of a Thesis Introduction
An introductory paragraph plays quite a few roles in your study. Even though primary, its objective is not restricted to highlighting the area under study. All the purposes are highlighted below.
Establishing Your Study Territory
It would help if you exhibited clearly, what your research revolves around (by placing your research in a broader context). When writing this part, a primary objective is to insert general statements that highlight the topic's significance and reveal to the researcher the premise behind your research. This does because it familiarizes the reader with your research context, allowing him or her to fully understand the basis of your research. However, note that you must not delve into a detailed analysis of the literature just yet. For this, pointing at previously carried out studies is imperative.
Justification Of Your Niche
Your niche is the specialized area you have chosen to work with. Here, you are expected to justify your choice and provide logical reasoning behind it. Elucidate the necessity of your research (by going over its advantages). Your introductory paragraph should also touch on the void it is designated to fill. You point to your research questions and to the problems the study focuses on. This way, the reader understands what you were trying to achieve by sitting down, writing it, and bringing them on the same page as you.
Explaining The Importance Of Your Research
Validate your research (by discussing your methodology in carrying it out).
The introductory paragraph must hint at the importance of this research to the broader branch of study or discipline (the benefits of your involvement). It would help if you did it by elaborating on the central theme, the research's intent, the argument's structure (the logic and concepts utilized in the process), the techniques put to use, the restrictions associated with the research, and the way you designed the thesis.
Steps To Follow
What needs to be included depends entirely on the nature of your topic. However, there are a few guidelines that would be helpful in a thesis of all kinds. Follow the steps below to craft an engaging and compelling start to your study.
Identify Your Audience
Your thesis introduction should be engaging to the reader. All your hard work will waste if you do not write something that will keep them engaged. This is why you have to understand who your audience is. Try to keep it simple so they can skim it and have no trouble understanding. Your aim should be that the reviewer develops a genuine interest in your work rather than having to read it as a chore. Be straightforward and simple when explaining results and findings. Being too elaborate will divert their attention, so get to the point without beating around the bush too much.
Your writing style is significant. It should not be bland but instead, focus on being reader-centric. In your study, write in a way that will keep your researcher involved. Be convincing when providing your arguments and always support them with evidence. Depending on your examiner, alter your writing style. If someone who is an expert in your subject's field is reading it, you need to be very specific. However, if you are not an expert or new to the field, you might need a different approach. You may need to elaborate on some of the processes in more depth as well. In this case, let your supervisor guide you with the level of specificity required.
The introduction is the first part of your thesis. It sets the stage for the rest of your work. If you slack off here, then it does not matter how much effort you have put into the rest of the work, there will be a negative impression.
The introductory paragraph must be eye-catching so that when a reader reads it, they cannot look away. It should also create a sense of curiosity, which should make them want to continue reading. There is not just one specific way to achieve this. Try something that reflects your writing style as well. You can use an anecdote at the start. Something like an exciting story regarding your work: you may start with a bizarre or interesting fact that makes the reviewer think, "what is going on?". A tried and true way to grab attention is to mention a common misconception that people have. Some prefer to ask a rhetorical question; this often gets the person reading involved. Instead of just reading it, he/she is forced to think. Another popular way is to provide a background in your introduction. It creates a strong foundation. In addition to this, you can introduce the who and the whys as well.
Providing Material Background
Firstly, hold the preliminary research in the early stages of thesis formulation. It would be time to bring clarity to your thought process and understand your work's structure. It will prevent you from getting distracted while writing.
Then, to guide your study, come up with a statement or a research question. While you are at it, do not forget to note down the sources of information being utilized. You will need that at the end of the document. You can either do this manually in a diary or on your computer but keeping a tab here is essential. After going through all the content available, you should establish your stance at this point. Write that down as an authoritative statement that will enable you to conduct more specific research. Start creating relevant sections as you go. While writing the background study, try incorporating at least five sections to cover the critical issues, key findings, and controversies related to your thesis. The final section should consist of your evaluation and conclusion.
How To Structure a Thesis Introduction?
This part is undoubtedly the most crucial aspect of your entire study. Suppose the introductory paragraph is not potent enough. In that case, it will fail to arouse the intellectual curiosity of the researcher. Hence, the entirety of the thesis - no matter how intricate and insightful - will be left ignored. To this effect, a unique structure is devised, consisting of three main points-known as moves, which aim to prioritize the reviewers' needs ahead of the material's prerequisites, no matter how abstruse. With the help of this structure, you can make sure to write a beginning paragraph that has the maximum impact on the people going through your study, in that it guides them through the remainder of your work, especially the esoteric parts.
Context And Topic
Each move is concerned with multiple stages. An introduction might have one or more of these stages, depending on the thesis. The first of the three moves are concerned with choosing your topic while providing a brief background. The readers need to understand the importance of the topic so that they remain interested. The first part of the introductory paragraph can be as short as three paragraphs; its sole job is to familiarize the audience with the general topic and segue into the next section: contextualization.
In this part, the author can provide a historical or background context to the general topic. Often this takes the form of a literature review of the related topics. If there is a full-blown literature review, then this part can be concise; otherwise, the process of contextualization will have to be dealt with here in a more detailed fashion.
Scope And Focus
The last stage of the first move is concerned with the focus of your research. Here you will be explaining the scope of your work. For example, you can mention the area of your research or any particulars of your study. This can include the period or if it is related to any geographic limits. State the primary focus of your research. Also, highlight what is periphery to it and what is entirely out of the scope.
Now that the audience is aware of the research context, you can restate the problem and your topic mentioned in the first part. Now armed with the contextual knowledge, the reader's understanding of the problem will be reinforced, and this will also serve to redirect the attention towards your chosen topic.
Significance And Relevance
The second move is concerned with developing a "niche". What this means is that you have to show the audience the importance of your work. In light of your study's historical context, why is there a need to do further research? In other words, what problem will your research solutions that could not be solved by past research?
You can start this stage by providing the outline of the current situation and citing all sources from the literature review. However, this time your focus will not be to enlighten the reader of the past achievements but rather to identify the hole left by the current situation and how your research aims to plug it.
Objectives And Questions
The third move is concerned with your research. This is arguably the most critical part of the introduction and sets the tone for your work. You can start this part by reiterating your research's importance and then state the research questions or objectives of your work. It usually takes the form of several hypotheses. After stating your hypotheses, you must present an outline of the methods you will use to test the hypothesis and ultimately arrive at your conclusions and answers to the research questions.