Chapter introductions

Your overall thesis objectives or questions can be distinguished from specific objectives of each chapter, however, it should be broad enough to embody the latter. So whenever you have difficulty deciding what information to include in the thesis introduction and what to include in the introductory sections of individual chapters, remember it's primarily a matter of scale (see the table below).

Thesis and chapter introductions

Thesis introduction

Chapter introductions

The purpose of the thesis introduction is to orient the reader to the research presented in the body of your thesis.


The introduction should include all information necessary to prepare the reader, to put the reader in the picture in terms of the specifics of your research project: what the thesis focuses on; the context of the study, the research questions or objectives driving the investigation, perhaps theory or methodology applied, the argument you intend to present, thesis structure, etc.


It may be necessary at times to reserve more detailed discussion of issues for specific chapters and signal where these will be discussed in greater depth.

Chapter introductions perform a similar orientation function in that they introduce the reader to the foci, aims, procedure and argument of each specific chapter, and provide any other necessary reader-information for that chapter.



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