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PhD Writing: Tips And Prompts

Writing a Dissertation Introduction: 10 Helpful Suggestions

The process of writing a dissertation is a long and often tedious task. Although, it is a process that all graduate students must face. Sometimes, the most difficult part is simply getting started. The beginning of any written project (after ideas, research, and notations) is the introduction. The introduction is also one of the most important areas of a dissertation because it is what will draw the reader in and make them decide whether or not to continue reading. Because the introduction is so important, it is a good idea to gather tips and suggestions before beginning. Listed here are 10 helpful suggestions to get you started.

  1. Statement. The introduction is where the author will state their intended purpose for the research and topic choice. It is also were the direction of the dissertation is stated.
  2. Conciseness. It is very important to remain concise throughout the introduction. There is no need to be flowery or overly dramatic in the introduction for you dissertation.
  3. Subheadings. To a student that is unfamiliar with writing a dissertation, it may seem a bit odd to suggest using subheaders in the introduction. Consider, however, that the introduction to a dissertation is comprised of an entire chapter. This being said, using subheadings to break it up into sections makes it easier to write as well as to read.
  4. First and Last Introduction. What this means is that during the writing process, many students write two different introductions. The first one is used simply to get the project going and provide a starting point. The second is the one that will actually be used. It will have more information and be given greater detail.
  5. Why? This is the most important question that you can answer in the introduction. Why me? Why now? Why this topic?
  6. Context. Be sure to keep the introduction in context. Simply state what the paper is about and what the purpose of the paper is.
  7. No Jargon. It is very important to avoid using jargon in any part of the paper, but particularly the introduction.
  8. Passion. Passion is a very important part of the writing process and the introduction is the place to let the reader see how passionate you are about this topic and why.
  9. Keep the Text Clear. Make sure that there are no grammar, spelling, or structuring errors.
  10. Originality. Keep the introduction original. Express your ideas, and general point of view. Examples and quote come later. Keep everything in the intro 100% original.
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