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How long should a master's dissertation introduction better

May 23, 2018

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The first chapter of the dissertation is the dissertation introduction. The dissertation introduction details the purpose of the study, the research problem, offers a justification for the study and defines the research objectives.

The Introduction to your dissertation ought to do a number of things:


The dissertation introduction can be structured as follows:

Introduction Chapter # 1

Subsection # 1: Background

Subsection # 2: Research Focus

Subsection # 3: Overall Research Aim and Individual Research Objectives

Subsection # 4: Value of this Research

If you find it more convenient it is perfectly acceptable to subsume sub-section 4 within 2 and/or 3.

The Background Subsection
The Background sub-section to your dissertation introduction should place your research area in context, referring to relevant literature sources using a variety of direct and indirect referencing techniques.

The Research Focus Subsection
The Research Focus sub-section of your Introduction can be combined with the Background sub-section, or placed in a separate sub-section. It describes the subject of your research.

Overall Aim & Individual Research Objectives
The Overall Aim and Individual Research Objectives sub-section of your dissertation introduction clarifies your research focus in simple terms, where your main research aim is identified and the specific research objectives needed to complete your main aim are enumerated. Both your overall aim and your individual research objectives can be transformed into research questions. In this sub-section provide an overview of the research methods that you will use to do your research and remember to estimate the length of time to complete your major research tasks.

Value of Research Subsection
A paragraph or two placed in previous sub-sections, should be created, explaining the value of your research, i.e. why you think your research is worth doing (think in terms of the beneficiaries of your work).

An Outline Structure

Finally, create an outline structure, which you complete accumulatively as your progress through your dissertation. The outline structure highlights the main sub-sections contained in each of your chapters.

Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it. Dwight D. Eisenhower We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves. Galileo Galilei A birthday is just another day where you go to work and people give you love. Age is just a state of mind, and you are as old as you think you are. You have to count your blessings and be happy. Abhishek Bachchan

Writers Workshop: Writer Resources

Writing Tips: Thesis Statements

Defining the Thesis Statement

What is a thesis statement?

Every paper you write should have a main point, a main idea, or central message. The argument(s) you make in your paper should reflect this main idea. The sentence that captures your position on this main idea is what we call a thesis statement.

How long does it need to be?

A thesis statement focuses your ideas into one or two sentences. It should present the topic of your paper and also make a comment about your position in relation to the topic. Your thesis statement should tell your reader what the paper is about and also help guide your writing and keep your argument focused.

Questions to Ask When Formulating Your Thesis

Where is your thesis statement?

You should provide a thesis early in your essay -- in the introduction, or in longer essays in the second paragraph -- in order to establish your position and give your reader a sense of direction.

Tip: In order to write a successful thesis statement:

Is your thesis statement specific?

Your thesis statement should be as clear and specific as possible. Normally you will continue to refine your thesis as you revise your argument(s), so your thesis will evolve and gain definition as you obtain a better sense of where your argument is taking you.

Tip: Check your thesis:

Is your thesis statement too general?

Your thesis should be limited to what can be accomplished in the specified number of pages. Shape your topic so that you can get straight to the "meat" of it. Being specific in your paper will be much more successful than writing about general things that do not say much. Don't settle for three pages of just skimming the surface.

The opposite of a focused, narrow, crisp thesis is a broad, sprawling, superficial thesis. Compare this original thesis (too general) with three possible revisions (more focused, each presenting a different approach to the same topic):

Is your thesis statement clear?

Your thesis statement is no exception to your writing: it needs to be as clear as possible. By being as clear as possible in your thesis statement, you will make sure that your reader understands exactly what you mean.

Tip: In order to be as clear as possible in your writing:

These words tell the reader next to nothing if you do not carefully explain what you mean by them. Never assume that the meaning of a sentence is obvious. Check to see if you need to define your terms (”socialism," "conventional," "commercialism," "society"), and then decide on the most appropriate place to do so. Do not assume, for example, that you have the same understanding of what “society” means as your reader. To avoid misunderstandings, be as specific as possible.

Compare the original thesis (not specific and clear enough) with the revised version (much more specific and clear):

Does your thesis include a comment about your position on the issue at hand?

The thesis statement should do more than merely announce the topic; it must reveal what position you will take in relation to that topic, how you plan to analyze/evaluate the subject or the issue. In short, instead of merely stating a general fact or resorting to a simplistic pro/con statement, you must decide what it is you have to say.


Do not expect to come up with a fully formulated thesis statement before you have finished writing the paper. The thesis will inevitably change as you revise and develop your ideas—and that is ok! Start with a tentative thesis and revise as your paper develops.

Is your thesis statement original?

Avoid, avoid, avoid generic arguments and formula statements. They work well to get a rough draft started, but will easily bore a reader. Keep revising until the thesis reflects your real ideas.

Tip: The point you make in the paper should matter:

Compare the following:

Avoid formula and generic words. Search for concrete subjects and active verbs, revising as many "to be" verbs as possible. A few suggestions below show how specific word choice sharpens and clarifies your meaning.

Use your own words in thesis statements; avoid quoting. Crafting an original, insightful, and memorable thesis makes a distinct impression on a reader. You will lose credibility as a writer if you become only a mouthpiece or a copyist; you will gain credibility by grabbing the reader with your own ideas and words.

A well-crafted thesis statement reflects well-crafted ideas. It signals a writer who has intelligence, commitment, and enthusiasm.

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