What is a Thesis Introduction?
To write a quality thesis introduction, you must fully understand its main purpose. Going by the name introduction, you can get an idea of what it entails. Therefore we can say it is the part that informs the reader what your research is about and the problem that it seeks to solve. Your thesis introduction should be able to answer the following questions.
- What are you researching?
- Why is the research problem significant?
- What will be the extent of your research?
- What potential shortcomings do you foresee?
With that understanding, we can proceed to the details. Most universities have their requirements for a thesis introduction, but all universities require seven basic components.
Elements of a Thesis Introduction
The following are the seven basic elements of a thesis introduction
- Opening section: It is the first statement that introduces the research.
- Background section: The background is the section where you must give the relevant information around your research topic.
- Research problem section: The section requires you to explain what you think is missing in the existing research topic.
- The research aims section: It’s where you state the aims and objectives that you hope to achieve with your research.
- Significance section: You are required to explain the implications of your research to society or the topic’s field.
- Limitations: The limitation section is where you will state the shortcomings of your research and methods.
- Structural outline: It is the part where you will inform the reader of how your research is structured.
How To Write a Thesis Introduction
Your introduction should start by providing the reader with general but brief information about what you are about to discuss. This part requires the reader to be fully interested and engaged; therefore, your language should be simple enough for the reader to comprehend what you are conveying fully.
The foundation of the opening section is divided into four types of sentences.
- A maximum of two sentences describing the field on which your research problem is based.
Below is an example.
Organizational skills development is about identifying existing and future skills gaps and coming up with solutions to enable the gap to be filled. Through research in management, which includes A, B, and C, it has been established that organizational skills development is crucial in the growth of a business.
- How do you write a sentence that introduces the problem under research?
An example of this sentence is below.
However, there are two challenges that the skills development field faces. These lack a unanimous approach and insufficient research on the best management practices concerning skills development initiatives, especially in industries where knowledge keeps changing, for example, the software industry.
- How do you write a sentence that informs the reader about the aims and objectives of your research?
Check out the example below.
This research aims to look at the skills development methods in industries where knowledge keeps evolving and assess their existing methods of skills development.
- How do you write a sentence that outlines the introduction section?
Read the example below.
This section will introduce the study by beginning with a discussion of the background information, the context, the research problem, the aims, objectives, questions, significance, and limitations at the end.
Tips on writing a quality background section
This section is where you provide in-depth information about the research problem.
In-depth information may include the genesis of the topic and its developments so far and major research in that field. Therefore, the main goal of this section is to educate the reader about your field of research.
This section has to be written from the reader’s point of understanding. Means you need to consider that the reader is not a professional in this subject. Therefore, if there is a need to include some terminologies that are only familiar to the industry experts, you should explain the meaning of those terminologies to the reader.
Stating the specifics of the research problem
In this section, you are expected to be specific in talking about the research problem. While the background section provided general information concerning the research problem, this section focuses on one specific problem.
A contentious issue among the industry players can form the research problem. In other words, the research problem might arise from a situation where there is an unanswered question or questions about an issue in that field, or when something concerning the existing research is not adding up, or the existing research is simply in conflict with other existing research.
With this knowledge, you can show the reader the missing gap in the existing materials. You can also show the reader why the problem is worth researching.
The best way to present this is in three sections which are;
- -What already exists concerning the research?
- -What exactly is the missing part?
- -Why is it necessary to fill the gap?
How do you state the details of the research aims, objectives, and questions?
Here is where you are supposed to point out the research problem’s aims, objectives, and questions. In simple terms, you should explain the actions you will take to solve the problem. So what exactly are you expected to do? Start by stating the aims of the research. In simple terms, this is the end goal of the research. It is a statement that explains what you hope to achieve.
After that, you can move on to the objective of the research. The research aims are meant to answer the ‘what,’ while the research objective is about the specific steps of action that you plan to take to achieve the aims.
In the third section, you are expected to write down the questions concerning the research. These are the questions that you hope will be answered by your research. These questions should be specific instead of general, and they are expected to be answered in the conclusion section. Research questions are directly related to the objectives of the research and may at times seem too obvious, but they are very important. One thing you need to remember about this section is that you should be clear on what your research will explore and what it will not. When the research aims, objectives, and questions are not specific, you will end up side-tracking and researching a problem too broad to be solved in one dissertation.
How to state the significance of the research
By this time, you have explained what you are researching to the reader. It’s now time to explain why this problem is significant. The reader has already understood the “what?” of your research and now needs to understand the “why!” The background and research problem part gave the reader an idea of the importance of the research, and now you need to explain how your research will impact the world or the field of the topic. What value will your research add in its respective industry?
This section is your chance to convince the reader of the value of your research.
The correct way of stating limitations
Every research is considered to contain errors. In other words, perfect research does not exist. That is a fact that is especially evident in dissertations where the finances are insufficient, the completion time is limited, and the researchers are not qualified enough. The importance of mentioning the limitations is that if there is any other research on this topic, the researchers will have prior knowledge of the limitations and come up with solutions that will improve the findings.
Your limitations should either be under the methodology used, the scope of the research, or the availability of resources.
-Limitations under scope may mean that you focused on a very small niche, and you did not take into account the co-relation of all the other variables.
-Methodology is classified into two categories. It is either qualitative or quantitative. Limitations under methodology may arise due to having an over subjective methodology or having an oversimplified quantitative methodology.
-Limitations under resources may arise due to insufficient time, money, and lack of access to quality equipment.
-The limitations under generalizability mean that your research findings may not apply to another country.
Stating the limitations will demonstrate to the reader that you are well versed with the research design.
A guide to writing a clear structural outline
At this juncture, you have stated what the research is about, its importance, and its limitations. It is now time to write the structural outline. A structural outline is your dissertation’s road map. In this section, you are expected to summarize the contents of every chapter and the purpose of each chapter. Therefore briefly explain the actions you plan to perform under each chapter. Do not state too many details in this section.
Below is an example of a structural outline.
-In chapter one: The background of the study has been provided. Research objectives and questions have been stated, and the significance of the research proved. The limitations have also been described.
-In chapter two: The current literature will be assessed to identify the methods of skills development in industries that are evolving within short periods like the technology industry.
-In chapter three: The foundation of the theory will be explained. Then, there will be a discussion of the research design and the limitations included.