Overview Dissertation

It’s fair to assume that because the abstract and introduction are the first chapters to be read by someone reading your dissertation, it means they must be written first also. You’ll actually be far better off writing your dissertation introduction, conclusion and abstract after you have written all the other parts of the dissertation. Firstly, writing retrospectively means that your dissertation introduction and conclusion will ‘match’ and your ideas will all be tied up nicely. If you write your introduction before anything else, it’s likely your ideas will evolve and morph as your dissertation develops.And then you’ll just have to go back and edit or totally re-write your introduction again.

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Your introduction must include sub-sections with appropriate headings/subheadings and should highlight some of the key references that you plan to use in the main study.

This demonstrates another reason why writing a dissertation introduction last is beneficial.

For example, some students like to add in their research questions in their dissertation introduction so that the reader is not only exposed to the aims and objectives but also has a concrete framework for where the research is headed.

Other students might save the research methods until the end of the literature review/beginning of the methodology.

Once you have identified these, write some brief notes as to why they were so influential and how they fit together in relation to your overall topic.

You may also want to think about what key terminology is paramount to the reader being able to understand your dissertation.While this is certainly an important element to any research project, and to the sanity of the researcher, the writing in the dissertation needs to go beyond ‘interesting’ to why there is a particular need for this research.This can be done by providing a background section.As you will have already written the literature review, the most prominent authors will already be evident and you can showcase this research to the best of your ability.One of the main purposes of the background section is to ease the reader into the topic.Make sure it contains the most relevant information about your research and what sets it apart from previous work.Because dissertations can change focus over the course of your research, you might find it easier to write your abstract once you have completed your writing.In terms of length, there is no rule about how long a dissertation introduction needs to be, as it is going to depend on the length of the total dissertation.Generally, however, if you aim for a length between 5-7% of the total, this is likely to be acceptable.You are going to want to begin outlining your background section by identifying crucial pieces of your topic that the reader needs to know from the outset.A good starting point might be to write down a list of the top 5-7 readings/authors that you found most influential (and as demonstrated in your literature review).

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