How to Write a Dissertation Introduction

How to Write a Dissertation Introduction

The introduction is - as the name suggests - where you introduce the reader to your work. It should provide enough information so that a layperson (meaning a person outside your field) will be able to read your dissertation and understand the scope and importance of your work.
The introduction serves two purposes: it provides an overview of what you're trying to accomplish in your dissertation and also provides the general background information the reader needs to understand your research. When the reader is done with your introduction, they should know:
  • what topic you'll be addressing,
  • how your research fits within your field,
  • why your work is important, and
  • what your research question is.
In general there's no set structure for introductions, although your school may have specific formatting requirements. Generally it's a good idea to start your introduction with a broad discussion of your research area, then narrow the discussion to your particular research question.
Below is a list of eights areas every dissertation introduction needs to be complete.

Introduce your topic

The first thing you want to accomplish with your introduction is simply to inform your reader what your research is about. Start in broad terms - you want to tell the reader the larger issues your paper will address, then narrow the focus down to your particular research subject. No matter what discipline you work in, there are likely dozens of subspecialties and areas of research, so provide the reader with a guidepost that tells them where your work will fall in the research landscape.
Keep in mind that, while most of the people reading your dissertation will be familiar with at least some aspects of your chosen field, others will likely need help locating your work within a larger framework. So while a lot of this information might seem basic to you, it still needs to be included to start the paper.

Provide background information

Once you're introduced the reader to your general topic, you want to start going more in-depth into the specific area of your research. How much of this discussion is included in the introduction will depend on the format of your paper. If your paper includes a literature review, then this section can be simply a short explanation of how you came to choose your particular research methods. Demonstrate that you're aware of the work done by others in your field and explain how that shaped your research.
If your dissertation does not include a separate Literature Review chapter, then you need to include a discussion of previous research in your introduction. This should be an overview of the work in your field that bears directly on your own research, including everything from accepted methodologies to competing theories. You want to guide the reader through all the research available so they have a clear understanding of how your work fits within your field.

Explain the importance of your research

Once you've provided background information on your field, you need to tell the reader why your particular research topic is important. How is it different than the research that's come before? What important questions will it try to answer? You should be thinking about these questions when you're writing the background information or literature review so that you can highlight the needs your work addresses. You've worked hard on this dissertation - here's your chance to explain why all that work matters.

Set your limits

Your dissertation can't possibly cover everything there is to study in your field, so let the reader know up front what the scope of your work will be. If there's a particular theory or methodology important to your topic that you don't address in your work, explain why that is. Try to think of problems readers might see and address them early so that your readers aren't left wondering when you're going to get around to them.

Define terms

Keep in mind that those reading your dissertation may not be familiar with the vocabulary used in your particular field or specialty, so take the time to explain any terminology or concepts that the reader will need to know in order to understand your work. This includes terms specific to your field as well as ambiguous terms that you may need to clarify. You want it to be as easy as possible for people to understand your research.

State your research question

After you've provided background information you need to make a clear, concise statement about your research question and your research objectives. Often this will be a standalone section of the introduction where you clearly state the problem you're are addressing and also state as succinctly as possible what question are you trying to answer.

State your hypothesis

As with your research question, you want to provide a clear statement of your hypothesis; often this will come directly from the research proposal or prospectus you submitted before your research began. Remember that it's not necessary for the final data to support your initial hypothesis - you have the entire discussion section to analyze your data, so don't worry about defending your hypothesis here.

Explain the organization of your paper

Every dissertation will be organized a little bit differently, so finish the introduction by explaining how your paper is structured. Walk the reader through your argument chapter by chapter so that they know what to expect as they go along. This might not be required in scientific dissertations, which have a fairly rigorous format, but it'll be important if you're working in the humanities since you have a lot more leeway in how your argument is structured.

And one more thing...

If you're having trouble getting started with the introduction, consider putting it off until the rest of your paper is complete. Once you've organized your argument and worked through your methodology and conclusions you'll likely have a much better idea of how to summarize your work and introduce it to your readers.

Our TOP writers

TOP 10
Writer 103589
ID 103589

Master's in Project Management, PMP, Six Sigma

Rating 97.2%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (8) about writer 103589

4103 written pages

514 orders

499 a+ papers

My Master’s degree and comprehensive writing experience allow me to complete any order fast and hit the nail on the head every time.

hire writer
TOP 10
Writer 132520
ID 132520


Rating 97.3%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (7) about writer 132520

2648 written pages

531 orders

462 a+ papers

I am experienced writer with an MBA, PMP, ITIL, that consistently delivers unique, quality papers. I take pride in my experience and quickness.

hire writer
TOP 10
Writer 99423
ID 99423

MS in Human Resource Management

Rating 98.5%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (9) about writer 99423

6106 written pages

1527 orders

1344 a+ papers

I hold a MS degree in Human Resource and my goal is to help students with flawless, unique papers, delivered on time.

hire writer
TOP 10
Writer 121526
ID 121526


Rating 99.3%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (6) about writer 121526

2266 written pages

454 orders

431 a+ papers

As Registered Nurse (RN, PCN), I can quickly deal with any medical paper. My expertise and writing skills are perfect for this job.

hire writer
TOP 10
Writer 110192
ID 110192


Rating 97.2%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (8) about writer 110192

2416 written pages

269 orders

264 a+ papers

I have MPA, MHA degrees but, most importantly, experience and skills to provide unique, well-written papers on time.

hire writer
TOP 10
Writer 127980
ID 127980


Rating 99.2%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (9) about writer 127980

3558 written pages

396 orders

364 a+ papers

I can write about multiple areas and countless topics, as I have a DNP and BA degrees. High-quality writing is my second name.

hire writer
TOP 10
Writer 47072
ID 47072

PhD in American History

Rating 99.2%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (8) about writer 47072

14095 written pages

3525 orders

3314 a+ papers

A PhD in American history comes handy. Unique papers, any topics, swift delivery — helping with academic writing is my passion.

hire writer
TOP 10
Writer 156547
ID 156547


Rating 97.9%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (7) about writer 156547

1195 written pages

399 orders

379 a+ papers

Incredibly fast PsyD writer. Efficient paper writing for college. Hundreds of different tasks finished. Satisfaction guaranteed.

hire writer
TOP 10
Writer 117750
ID 117750


Rating 97.4%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (9) about writer 117750

7135 written pages

1428 orders

1328 a+ papers

Top-ranked writer with tons of experience. Ready to take on any task, and make it unique, as well as objectively good. Always ready!

hire writer
TOP 10
Writer 124685
ID 124685


Rating 98.8%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (8) about writer 124685

1213 written pages

305 orders

281 a+ papers

Experienced Social Work expert focused on good writing, total uniqueness, and customer satisfaction. My goal — to help YOU.

hire writer

Buy your papers from the best writing service

Have your tasks done by our professionals to get the best possible results.

total: $8.51

NO Billing information is kept with us. You pay through secure and verified payment systems.


All papers we provide are of the highest quality with a well-researched material, proper format and citation style.


Our 24/7 Support team is available to assist you at any time. You also can communicate with your writer during the whole process.


You are the single owner of the completed order. We DO NOT resell any papers written by our expert


All orders are done from scratch following your instructions. Also, papers are reviewed for plagiarism and grammar mistakes.


You can check the quality of our work by looking at various paper examples in the Samples section on our website.

Special price $8.51/page
Place an order
more than 63,000 times students trusted us to write their papers
9 out of 10 customers recommend us*
92% of our customers have placed more than 7 orders
*data is based on 6,568 customers' feedback received from Jan 1, 2017 till Jan 1, 2018.
Special price $8.51/page
Place an order
Customer #3957

Just as expected. I had to write a 5 page research paper within a day, how could I if I had other plans? My writer precisely followed all my instructions and I had no reason to complain. Thank you again!

Customer #1905

I like your services and don't regret getting my papers done here. I don't need a lot of help but since I'm a working student I don't have enough time for all my papers. I always order in advance so the deadline extension was ok with me. Free revision option is great! I am always sure I would get what I wanted.

Estimated Deadline: Tuesday, Oct 18 3:26 AM in Your timezone
Total price: $8.51
Price starts from $8.51
Regular discounts and offers
Excellent results guaranteed
Professional 24/7 support

Free samples of our work

There are different types of essays: narrative, persuasive, compare\contrast, definition and many many others. They are written using a required citation style, where the most common are APA and MLA. We want to share some of the essays samples written on various topics using different citation styles.

Hey, you...Yes, you! Don’t you want to get your Discount?
Your discount will be
sent to the email!

I have read and agree to the Terms of Use, Money Back Guarantee, Privacy and Cookie Policy of

  • dmca_logo
  • safecharge
  • trustpilot

Use your opportunity to get a discount!

To get your special discount, write your email below

  • dmca_logo
  • safecharge
  • trustpilot

Best papers and best prices!

Want to get quality paper done on time cheaper?

  • dmca_logo
  • safecharge
  • trustpilot