How to Write a Dissertation Introduction

October 24, 2023

Purpose of Dissertation Introduction

Understanding the purpose of the introduction is crucial in ensuring that you write an effective dissertation introduction. The main goal of the dissertation introduction is to introduce and explain the research problem and the significance of the study. It is the first chapter of your dissertation, and it sets the stage for the rest of your research.

The introduction must provide a clear and concise overview of what to expect from your dissertation. It should briefly outline the research questions, objectives, and methodology that you will use to conduct your research. It helps your reader to understand the context of your study, its goals, and significance.

In the dissertation introduction, you should also address the research gap, which refers to the lack of adequate knowledge on a specific issue that your research aims to fill. By introducing the current state of research in the field, you are also creating a foundation for your study that reinforces the need for your research.

In summary, you should aim to achieve a balance between providing enough background information to contextualize your research and outlining your research aim, questions, and objectives within the introduction. We’ll explore how to structure your introduction in the next subheading of how to write a dissertation introduction.

Structuring Your Dissertation Introduction

Structuring your dissertation introduction is essential to ensure that your readers can easily navigate through the chapter and understand the key elements of your study. Here are some key points to consider when structuring your introduction:

  1. Start with a compelling opening
  2. Provide background information
  3. State the research problem
  4. Present the objectives and research questions.
  5. Outline the methodology
  6. Highlight the significance of the study

Remember to keep your introduction concise while conveying the necessary information. By structuring your dissertation introduction effectively, you will provide a clear roadmap for your readers and set the stage for a well-organized and coherent study.

Introducing the Research Problem

Introducing the research problem is a crucial element of your dissertation introduction. The research problem is the specific issue or gap in knowledge that you aim to address through your research. It is important to clearly state the research problem as it forms the basis for your study and helps readers understand the significance and purpose of your research.

To effectively introduce the research problem in your dissertation introduction, you should begin by providing a brief background to the research area. This will help contextualize the problem and explain why it is important to study. Once you have established the background, you can clearly and concisely state the research problem.

It is important to be specific when stating the research problem to ensure that readers understand the focus of your investigation. You can also highlight the existing knowledge gap and why it is crucial to address it through your study. This will help establish the relevance of your research and demonstrate the need for your study.

To ensure clarity and coherence, it is also essential to state the research problem in a way that is consistent with your research objectives and questions. Doing so will create a strong connection between the research problem and the overall goals of your study.

Identifying the Research Gap

Identifying the research gap is a fundamental step in writing a dissertation introduction. It involves determining the areas of knowledge or understanding that have not been adequately addressed by previous research. By identifying and clearly articulating the research gap, you demonstrate the originality and novelty of your study.

To identify the research gap, start by conducting a comprehensive review of existing literature in your field. This involves reading relevant scholarly articles, books, and other credible sources to familiarize yourself with the current state of knowledge. As you engage in this process, pay attention to recurring themes, unanswered questions, or areas where conflicting findings exist. These observations can help you identify the gap in knowledge that your research will fill.

To write your dissertation introduction, it is crucial to clearly state the research gap to guide the reader and emphasize the significance of your study. Clearly highlight the specific aspect or perspective that has not been adequately investigated and explain why it is important to address.

Moreover, when discussing the research gap, make sure to position your study as a valuable contribution to the existing body of knowledge. Emphasize how your research will extend current understanding, provide new insights, or offer a fresh perspective on the topic. This will help to establish the relevance and significance of your study and generate interest among your readers.

It is important to remember that identifying the research gap is an ongoing process. As you delve further into your research, you may uncover additional gaps or refine your understanding of the existing gaps. Therefore, it is advisable to continuously evaluate and articulate the research gap throughout your dissertation to maintain clarity and coherence in your writing.

By effectively identifying and discussing the research gap, you set the stage for your study, demonstrate your understanding of the field, and make a strong case for the importance and originality of your research.

Establishing the Significance of the Study

Establishing the significance of the study is a critical component of writing a dissertation introduction. It involves clearly communicating why your research is important and how it contributes to the broader field of study. Here are some key points to consider when establishing the significance of your study:

  1. Highlight the practical implications: Explain how your research findings can have real-world applications and make a tangible impact on society, industry, or policy-making.
  2. Emphasize theoretical contributions: Discuss how your study fills gaps in existing theories or extends current knowledge. Highlight how your research adds to the theoretical framework of the field.
  3. Address the research gap: Clearly state the specific gap in knowledge that your study addresses. Explain why this gap is significant and how filling it will advance the understanding of the topic.
  4. Discuss the potential academic contributions: Outline how your research findings could contribute to the academic literature, such as by introducing new concepts, methods, or perspectives.
  5. Consider the broader context: Assess how your research fits within the larger field of study, and explain why it is timely and relevant. Consider any social, economic, or technological factors that make your study important at this particular moment.

By establishing the significance of your study, you demonstrate the value and relevance of your research to both academic and practical audiences. This helps to capture the attention of readers and sets the stage for the rest of your dissertation.

Presenting the Research Objectives

Presenting the research objectives is a crucial aspect of writing a dissertation introduction. Research objectives guide your entire study by outlining the specific goals and aims of your research. They help to ensure that your study is focused, coherent, and meaningful. Here’s how you can effectively present your research objectives in the dissertation introduction.

Start by providing a clear and concise overview of your research objectives. Keep in mind that the objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). This will help to ensure that your research is clear and focused on achieving specific goals.

After outlining your research objectives, explain how each one contributes to the overall purpose of your study. This will help your readers understand the significance of each objective and how they work together to achieve your research goals.

It is also important to align your research objectives with your research questions, which will help you maintain consistency throughout your dissertation. By doing this, you can establish the relevance and importance of your research objectives and help readers understand the research questions that you are trying to answer.

Overall, presenting your research objectives clearly and concisely in the dissertation introduction sets the stage for the rest of your study. It can capture the reader’s attention and demonstrate the significance of your research to your field.

Describing the Methodology

Describing the methodology in your dissertation introduction is essential to outline the strategies, approaches, and techniques you will employ to conduct your research. A thorough description of your methodology helps readers understand the validity and reliability of your study. Here are some key points to consider when describing your methodology:

  1. Research design: Explain the overall design of your study, whether it is quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods. Justify your choice by explaining how it aligns with your research objectives and helps address your research questions.
  2. Data collection methods: Detail the methods you will use to gather primary or secondary data. This could include surveys, interviews, observations, experiments, or document analysis. Explain why these methods are appropriate for your research and how they will provide valuable insights.
  3. Sampling approach: Discuss your sampling strategy, including the target population and how you will select participants or sources of data. Justify your sampling choices and explain how they will ensure the representativeness and generalizability of your findings.
  4. Data analysis techniques: Outline the analytical techniques you will use to analyze your data. This may include statistical tests, content analysis, thematic analysis, or other qualitative or quantitative methods. Explain how the chosen techniques will help answer your research questions and address your objectives.
  5. Ethical considerations: Briefly mention any ethical considerations associated with your research, such as informed consent, privacy protection, and participant confidentiality. Show that you have carefully considered and planned for ethical issues that may arise during your study.

By describing your methodology in the dissertation introduction, you provide the reader with a clear understanding of how you will approach your research. This helps establish the rigor and credibility of your study and prepares readers for the upcoming chapters that delve into the methodology in greater detail.

Dissertation Introduction example: The Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity Conservation Efforts

Climate change is one of the most pressing global challenges of the twenty-first century. Its detrimental effects on ecological systems and biodiversity have raised concerns among researchers, policymakers, and conservationists. As the planet continues to warm at an alarming rate, the need to understand and mitigate the impacts of climate change on biodiversity becomes increasingly urgent. This dissertation aims to contribute to the growing body of knowledge in this field by examining the impact of climate change on biodiversity conservation efforts.

Research Gap:

Despite extensive research on climate change and its ecological implications, there remains a research gap in understanding how climate change specifically affects biodiversity conservation efforts. While there is abundant literature on the broader ecological impacts of climate change, limited attention has been given to the specific challenges faced by organizations and initiatives focused on conserving biodiversity in the context of a changing climate. Understanding these challenges is crucial for designing effective conservation strategies that can adapt and respond to the impacts of climate change.

Significance of the Study:

This study seeks to address this research gap by investigating the specific ways in which climate change poses challenges to biodiversity conservation efforts. By examining case studies from different geographic regions and various conservation initiatives, this research aims to identify common patterns, assess the effectiveness of current strategies, and propose practical recommendations for enhancing the resilience of biodiversity conservation efforts in the face of climate change. The findings of this study will not only contribute to the academic literature but also provide valuable insights for conservation practitioners, policymakers, and stakeholders involved in biodiversity conservation.

Research Objectives:

The main objectives of this study are:

  1. To assess the impacts of climate change on biodiversity in selected regions.
  2. To analyze the strategies currently employed by biodiversity conservation initiatives to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
  3. To identify barriers and challenges faced by biodiversity conservation efforts in the context of climate change.
  4. To propose practical recommendations for enhancing the effectiveness of biodiversity conservation strategies in the face of climate change.


This study will adopt a mixed-methods approach, combining qualitative and quantitative research methods. Data will be collected through a combination of case studies, interviews with key stakeholders, and the analysis of existing literature and relevant datasets. The collected data will be analyzed using thematic analysis and statistical techniques, providing a comprehensive understanding of the impacts of climate change on biodiversity conservation efforts.

Overall, this dissertation aims to contribute to the existing knowledge on climate change impacts and biodiversity conservation by providing empirical evidence, practical recommendations, and an enhanced understanding of the challenges faced by conservation initiatives. By shedding light on the specific implications of climate change for biodiversity conservation efforts, this study strives to inform conservation strategies and policies geared towards promoting the long-term protection and sustainability of biodiversity in a changing world.

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