Introduction Chapter Literature Review Chapter Help - Doctoral Thesis Sample Style Service - Master's Dissertations Subjects for Masters Writers
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Introduction Chapter
 

The purpose of the introduction chapter of a dissertation is to give the reader an overview of the contents of all the chapters to follow. A successful introduction chapter will tell the reader briefly: what the state of existing knowledge has been prior to the writing of this dissertation, what gaps in the existing knowledge the research reported in this dissertation is designed to fill, and how the research was conducted and on whom. The introduction chapter will also give a broad overview of the results and the writer's interpretation of them. Each element of this broad overview will then be expanded into a series of other chapters that will make up the dissertation.

It is common in an introduction chapter to state explicitly how the dissertation is to be structured. In effect, then, each subsequent chapter of the dissertation will be introduced in turn. The writer might say, "the literature review will examine prior studies made on this topic and describe to two major opposing schools of thought highlighted in the literature so far." A brief discussion of the literature will lead the writer to introduce the methodology chapter, noting that the research being reported covers research questions not yet answered by the existing literature. It is often helpful to state a hypothesis in the introduction chapter. A hypothesis is an educated guess which the writer will test and prove or disprove through the research.

The introduction chapter will also briefly discuss the results and the interpretation the writer has developed regarding the results. Specific data and statistical information is left out of the introduction chapter for the most part, and the writer focuses on highlighting the interpretation of his or her results, with specific reference to whether or not they tend to support the hypothesis.

The writer may conclude the introduction chapter by stating his or her overall goal about useful contributions he or she wishes to make to the field through the completion of the dissertation. This serves to tie together the introduction chapter and give the whole dissertation a unifying theme.

 
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