Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Dissertation Introduction

July 11, 2022

dissertation mistakes to avoid

In this guide, we’ll look at the mistakes to avoid when writing dissertation introduction.

To begin with, a dissertation’s introduction is the first and most critical part of the project. It serves the purpose of telling a target audience what a research project is about, why the study is important, and the approached used in conducting the investigation.

The introduction should be 10% of the project’s total work count and you have to give it your best shot or you risk losing your readers completely.

To help you stay on the right track, we’ve put together common mistakes that students make when writing their dissertation instructions. The goal is to help you avoid these pitfalls and write high quality dissertation introductions that your professor will be willing and happy to read. 

6 Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Dissertation Introduction

The following is an explanation of the sixmistakes that you MUST avoid to write the best introduction chapter for your dissertation project: 

1. The Research Aims, Objectives, and Research Questions of Your Paper Don’t Make Sense

Your study may lack focus if you don’t have defined research aims, objectives, and research questions.

So, it’s important to make sure you properly define and communicate your research goals, objectives, and research questions in your introduction.

Make sure your research goal(s) link to your research questions, and your research objectives should be concrete steps toward answering your research questions and achieving your research goals.

Detail your research targets, objectives, and questions in the opening chapter to make it clear what you’ll be looking into later in your dissertation project.

2. Your Introduction Doesn’t Justify Your Research Topic

One of the most common mistakes in the introductory chapter of a dissertation is the failure to provide adequate rationale for their research topic.

Quite too often, many students will work on this section of the project with the assumption that no one is yet to focus on their research area.

Unfortunately, getting into research with the claim that no one has looked into the issue before is not a convincing way to write an excellent introduction because it doesn’t justify your research.  

You need to write your introduction in such a way that it describes not only the project’s uniqueness but also the practical and theoretical value of your research objectives.

At the heart of it all, your introduction should clearly tell three things:

  • What your research project is all about and whether it’s original
  • Why you believe your research is important and 
  • Who will benefit from the research that you’ve conducted

3. Failing to Provide Sufficient Context for Your Study

Some students don’t provide adequate background for their study subject so it’s difficult to tell where and how their research fits into the current literature.

Don’t make this mistake.

You have to remember that the purpose of an introduction is to lay a strong foundation for the context of your research. So you should mention the what, where, who, and when factors to make it easy for your readers to understand what you’re up to.

In addition to helping your readers to get a strong background information in your field of study, an introduction that provides context lays a strong foundation for the rest of your research work.

4. You’ve Used too Much Jargon

Using too much jargon is a common mistake that many students make when writing many papers, and it doesn’t seem to be an exception with a dissertation project.

Oftentimes, students try to adopt the discipline’s jargon because they think it will make their work to stand out. Others simply use too much jargon in the project because they want to sound clever.

Don’t make this kind of mistake.

We strongly recommend that you keep your thoughts simple and save the jargon for when it’s appropriate.

5. Your Research Topic is Too Broad

Some students simply get the introduction chapter wrong because their topics aren’t specific.

While we can trace this problem back in the dissertation writing process, it usually manifests itself in the introduction chapter and serves as a warning that you will have a problem along the way.

It’s reasonable that as a researcher, you want to use your knowledge to help solve the biggest problems around you.

However, you have to remember that can’t always tackle a research problem on your own. The best you can do is to expand on the work of others, as that’s a good way to contribute to a bigger field of inquiry.

If anything, your topic can’t be too wide or you’ll only skim the surface of your research and end up with nothing useful.

A niched down, well-defined research goal, on the other hand, will allow you to dig deep in your research and write a comprehensive dissertation introduction.

6. You’ve Failed to Give a Clear Definition of Your Project’s Scope

A poorly defined and/or justified scope is another common problem we see in the introduction chapter of a dissertation. 

We understand that many of you may want to stand out with your work. But that’s just a wrong way to do things. It should be clear that the overarching goal of your research is to add to a body of knowledge.

While you may wish for your study to be generalizable and relevant to a variety of situations, this is often difficult to achieve in practice. As a result, you’ll need to reduce your focus and be more particular about the extent of your investigation.

It’s critical to discuss the where, when, and who of your research topic in the introduction chapter of your paper. What you’re attempting to achieve in this case is specificity, which can go a long way to add to existing research without making you feel overwhelmed or out of focus.

By making it clear the where, when, and who of your project, your work will become much more focused, controllable, and reproducible.

Remember that a good scope not only assists you in staying concentrated, but it also makes it easy for other researchers to replicate your study.

About the author 

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

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