Please note that the formal requirements vary between different disciplines, and make sure to confer the guidelines that apply in your field. For the contents in the various sections you may also confer Organising your writing. Most readers will turn first to the summary or abstract. The summary should highlight the main points from your work, especially the thesis statement, methods if applicable , findings and conclusion. However, the summary does not need to cover every aspect of your work.
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The main objective is to give the reader a good idea of what the thesis is about. The summary should be completed towards the end; when you are able to overview your project as a whole.
It is nevertheless a good idea to work on a draft continuously. Writing a good summary can be difficult, since it should only include the most important points of your work. But this is also why working on your summary can be so useful — it forces you to identify the key elements of your writing project. There are usually no formal requirements for forewords, but it is common practice to thank your supervisors, informants, and others who have helped and supported you.
If you have received any grants or research residencies, you should also acknowledge these.
Developing A Thesis
Note : Shorter assignments do not require abstracts and forewords. It is recommended to rewrite the introduction one last time when the writing is done, to ensure that it connects well with your conclusion. Tip: For a nice, stylistic twist you can reuse a theme from the introduction in your conclusion. For example, you might present a particular scenario in one way in your introduction, and then return to it in your conclusion from a different — richer or contrasting — perspective. The background sets the general tone for your thesis.
It should make a good impression and convince the reader why the theme is important and your approach relevant. Even so, it should be no longer than necessary. What is considered a relevant background depends on your field and its traditions. Background information might be historical in nature, or it might refer to previous research or practical considerations.
You can also focus on a specific text, thinker or problem. Academic writing often means having a discussion with yourself or some imagined opponent.
How to Write a Research Introduction (with Sample Intros)
To open your discussion, there are several options available. You may, for example:. If it is common in your discipline to reflect upon your experiences as a practitioner, this is the place to present them. In the remainder of your thesis, this kind of information should be avoided, particularly if it has not been collected systematically. Write three different opening paragraphs for your thesis using different literary devices. Observe to what extent these different openings inspire you, and choose the approach most appropriate to your topic.
For example, do you want to spur emotions, or remain as neutral as possible? How important is the historical background? The exercise can be done in small groups or pairs.
Discuss what makes an opening paragraph successful or not. How does your opening paragraph shed light on what is to follow? One of the first tasks of a researcher is defining the scope of a study, i. Narrowing the scope of your thesis can be time-consuming. Paradoxically, the more you limit the scope, the more interesting it becomes. This is because a narrower scope lets you clarify the problem and study it at greater depth, whereas very broad research questions only allow a superficial treatment.
The research question can be formulated as one main question with a few more specific sub-questions or in the form of a hypothesis that will be tested.
Many questions start to crop up in your head. There are many other important things to know. Now, how will you go about this quandary?
Thesis and Purpose Statements
If you are asking some of these questions, this just means that you are not yet well-informed about your subject of inquiry. This situation requires more readings or a thorough review of literature. Thus, it makes sense that many veteran researchers prefer or opt to write the introduction later, after a thorough review of the literature. Some researchers even defer writing the introduction at the end of the study. It is during the conceptualization stage that you attempt to explain the phenomenon by presenting your hypothesis — your thesis or main argument.
The hypothesis reflects what you believe is the best explanation of the phenomenon based on what you have read so far and your own reflective, analytic thinking.
You will need to be familiar with what plausible explanations there are available that you might want to adopt or modify. The last stage is an attempt at resolution , meaning, after formulating your hypothesis to explain the phenomenon. How will you go about it? Now comes the point where you will ask the research questions that will serve as your guide in verifying your hypothesis. You must then present a systematic approach to testing your hypothesis — the method, which you will write in a separate chapter.
Should I follow introduction structures closely? How to write introductions for dissertations and theses? Download a checklist to help you edit your essays and written work. It will not always be necessary or desirable to include all of them, but they will generally be used in some combination or other, in order to introduce an academic argument. Swales and Feak , meanwhile, focus on the research paper in particular.
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They attempt to place introduction ingredients into a sequence. The above-mentioned elements of an introduction are helpful, and could be followed quite systematically to produce a reasonably acceptable introduction. However, there might be several problems associated with an attempt to follow these introduction structures too closely and to include them in every assignment you write:.
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