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The Dissertation Introduction – Your Prologue
Many works of non-fiction have an introductory section, sometimes called just that, or perhaps a preface. Either the author or another expert in the field provides the reader with the background and the purpose for the book that has been written. These are written after the book has been completed and for good reason. Not until the book is finished is a full perspective gained. It is the same with dissertations. The introduction chapter should be written last, after the writer has finished his/her research, has analyzed it, and has had time to reflect on what that research means for his field of knowledge.
Structure of the Introduction
Every department has published guidelines for each chapter of a dissertation. These may vary in minor ways but will always have the following elements. And the importance of the introduction cannot be over-stated. While it must be “academic” in style and tone, it must also engage the reader. Finding this balance is sometimes difficult, and it is not unusual for students to seek outside help for this chapter. Essay Republic responds to numerous requests for chapter I assistance on a regular basis.
Think of your Introduction as a lengthy essay. As such, it will have an introduction, body and conclusion.
Introduction for the Introduction
In 1-3 paragraphs, you must provide the reader with a brief statement of both the general and the specific topic areas of your study. Suppose you have been conducting research on a specific water treatment process that will remove lead from water prior to it being released into a civilian water supply. Your general topic area is water treatment, and the specific focus is on lead removal. This section can include some statistical information about the dangers of lead consumption by humans.
In this section, you will need to provide a summary of some of the current literature that you have reviewed and the empirical knowledge that exists prior to your research study. Stick to the major research and confine this section to about 4 pages. Of course, this research will re-appear in your literature review chapter. Your purpose here is to show that your topic is significant enough to inspire other researchers to study it. You also want to demonstrate that your research adds something new.
Choosing which research to include in this section of the introduction can be tricky. And it is one task for which a Ph.D. consultant from Essay Republic can be invaluable. Your personal consultant can select the research and prepare this section of the introduction for you, if you are struggling with it.
The Problem Statement
This is not a statement of your research question. Let’s repeat that. This is NOT a statement of your research question. It is, rather, a very short section that explains how your research is intended to fill some gap in knowledge. Perhaps there is a need to replicate earlier research in order to confirm a lead removal treatment method as efficient and effective; perhaps there is a need to further refine an existing treatment to make it more efficient and effective. Your focus here is on a gap that exists in current knowledge.
Purpose for Your Research Study
This section will also be rather short. It describes your research methodology – is it qualitative or quantitative? What is your population? In the case of lead removal, you will want to describe the amount of lead levels in the samplings of water you treated, and, of course, your study is quantitative – numerical results.
The Importance of Your Research
Provide a justification for your research. You should refer back to your research proposal and use the same general rationale you used in that document. Who will benefit from your study? If there is no importance to your study, you cannot justify doing it.
Your Research Question/Hypothesis
You will state your research question in the same way that you stated it in your proposal. It’s that simple. If you are required by your department to develop a hypothesis, then it was included in your proposal as well. Look to that document.
Your Research Design
Here is where you provide more detail of your design without giving away the results. How will your ensure that the treatment you give to each sampling is exactly the same? What instruments will you be using and have they been validated? This section is rather a prelude to your Chapter 3. Be brief.
Scope and Limitations
You do need to speak to the scope of your study. If you are treating water for lead removal, how many different samples and from what bodies of water and what geographic locations? Are there any limitations to your study, such as other chemical components in the water samples that may impact the viability of leader, etc.?
Getting Important Help with Chapter I
You do want to introduce your study in such a way that the reader will be eager to read the entire work. This requires finding a good balance between academic and scholarly presentation and promoting some excitement about the research. You want your reader to want to find out your results.
Getting to this balance is difficult. That’s why a Ph.D. consultant from EssayRepublic.com is just what you need. Contact us today, get an expert consultant from your research field, and let him/her develop an Introduction Chapter that will do exactly what you want it to do!