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.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.
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).
Again, you want to ease the reader into your topic, so stating something like “my research focus is…” in the first line of your section might come across overly harsh.
Instead, you might consider introducing the main focus, explaining why research in your area is important, and the overall importance of the research field.
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.
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And then you’ll just have to go back and edit or totally re-write your introduction again.
One key point to remember is that your research focus must link to the background information that you have provided above.
While you might write the sections on different days or even different months, it all has to look like one continuous flow.
This should set you up well to present your aims and objectives.
The ‘value’ section really deserves its own sub-section within your dissertation introduction.