In the introduction of your thesis, you'll be trying to do three main things, which are You will also find examples of Introductions, divided into stages with sample. The introduction is the first chapter of your thesis or dissertation and appears right after the table of contents. It's essential to draw the reader in. When you begin to write the first draft of your thesis, try to salvage useful In the thesis body, you provide the introduction, narrative, and analysis of your work.
of a introduction format thesis
Writing for an International Audience. Abstract A good abstract explains in one line why the paper is important. It then goes on to give a summary of your major results, preferably couched in numbers with error limits. The final sentences explain the major implications of your work. A good abstract is concise, readable, and quantitative. Absrtracts generally do not have citations. Information in title should not be repeated.
Be explicit. Use numbers where appropriate. Answers to these questions should be found in the abstract: What did you do? Why did you do it? What question were you trying to answer? How did you do it? State methods. What did you learn?
State major results. Why does it matter? Point out at least one significant implication. Table of Contents list all headings and subheadings with page numbers indent subheadings it will look something like this: How do you do this? Physical separation into different sections or paragraphs. Don't overlay interpretation on top of data in figures. Careful use of phrases such as "We infer that ".
Don't worry if "results" seem short. Easier for your reader to absorb, frequent shifts of mental mode not required. Ensures that your work will endure in spite of shifting paradigms. Discussion Start with a few sentences that summarize the most important results. The discussion section should be a brief essay in itself, answering the following questions and caveats: What are the major patterns in the observations?
Refer to spatial and temporal variations. What are the relationships, trends and generalizations among the results? What are the exceptions to these patterns or generalizations? What are the likely causes mechanisms underlying these patterns resulting predictions? Is there agreement or disagreement with previous work? Interpret results in terms of background laid out in the introduction - what is the relationship of the present results to the original question?
What is the implication of the present results for other unanswered questions in earth sciences, ecology, environmental policy, etc? Multiple hypotheses: There are usually several possible explanations for results. Be careful to consider all of these rather than simply pushing your favorite one. If you can eliminate all but one, that is great, but often that is not possible with the data in hand. In that case you should give even treatment to the remaining possibilities, and try to indicate ways in which future work may lead to their discrimination.
Avoid bandwagons: A special case of the above. Avoid jumping a currently fashionable point of view unless your results really do strongly support them. What are the things we now know or understand that we didn't know or understand before the present work? Include the evidence or line of reasoning supporting each interpretation.
What is the significance of the present results: This section should be rich in references to similar work and background needed to interpret results.
Is there material that does not contribute to one of the elements listed above? If so, this may be material that you will want to consider deleting or moving. Break up the section into logical segments by using subheads. Conclusions What is the strongest and most important statement that you can make from your observations? If you met the reader at a meeting six months from now, what do you want them to remember about your paper? Refer back to problem posed, and describe the conclusions that you reached from carrying out this investigation, summarize new observations, new interpretations, and new insights that have resulted from the present work.
Include the broader implications of your results. Do not repeat word for word the abstract, introduction or discussion. Recommendations Include when appropriate most of the time Remedial action to solve the problem. Further research to fill in gaps in our understanding. Directions for future investigations on this or related topics. Simpson and Hays cite more than double-author references by the surname of the first author followed by et al.
Pfirman, Simpson and Hays would be: Pfirman et al. Hunt, S. Nature , , National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commonly asked questions about ozone. Pfirman, S. Stute, H. Simpson, and J. Pechenik, J. Harper Collins Publishers, New York, pp. Pitelka, D. Child Review of ciliary structure and function. Biochemistry and Physiology of Protozoa , Vol. Hutner, editor , Academic Press, New York, Sambrotto, R. Stute, M. Clark, P. Schlosser, W. Broecker, and G.
Bonani A high altitude continental paleotemperature record derived from noble gases dissolved in groundwater from the San Juan Basin, New Mexico. Tables where more than pages. Calculations where more than pages. You may include a key article as appendix. If you consulted a large number of references but did not cite all of them, you might want to include a list of additional resource material, etc.
List of equipment used for an experiment or details of complicated procedures. Figures and tables, including captions, should be embedded in the text and not in an appendix, unless they are more than pages and are not critical to your argument.
Order of Writing Your thesis is not written in the same order as it is presented in. Other Campuses: Search form Search Student Services. Homepage Site menu Show Search. Sections of a thesis. The Abstract The abstract is a short version of the entire thesis which should answer the following five questions not necessarily in this order or separately: What was done? Why was it done?
How was it done? What were the key findings or results? What is the significance or implications of the results? This differs from the rationale - that there is a problem which needs to be solved for example - by discussing why your solution, for example, is one that others should pay attention to is it more energy efficient, more effective, less expensive, etc than other solutions? Example abstract The most common mistake with abstracts is to write them as though they are just another form of introduction, or perhaps as "advanced advertising" where the writer doesn't want to give too much away.
In fact, some journals try to "force" authors to write them well by requiring that they put responses against a series of prompts, typically something like: The Introduction and Literature Review All theses require introductions and literature reviews, but the structure and location of these vary considerably.
Options that are used include: A brief introductory chapter with a lengthy separate literature review chapter. A lengthy introductory chapter which includes a brief "Introduction" section followed by literature review sections. A lengthy introduction which includes a literature review. A brief introductory chapter with detailed literature reviews relevant to the topic of each chapter provided separately in each chapter this is typical when each chapter is basically or literally a paper for publication.
More than one literature review chapter. For example, one chapter might review what's known in an area and identify gaps or problems to address, while another might review the methodological approaches taken to investigating questions in this area and identify the strengths and weaknesses of each of these, thus providing a justification for the approach taken in this thesis this may also occur in the first sections of a Methodology chapter.
Regardless of the approach taken, the Introduction to a thesis answers the three questions: How do the pieces of the thesis fit together? This is the "outline" or "overview". This involves showing or explaining why the area is of interest or important. Some writers also state their main findings at this point sort of like stating your thesis in the opening paragraph of an essay.
Not explaining things enough To simply say that your research will look at ways to deal with power grid instabilities indicates to the reader that you're working on solving a problem, but not why that problem is significant enough to work on. To indicate the significance of the problem, it would be necessary to briefly explain: What are power grid instabilities? What causes them? How often do they occur? Working out what should go in the Introduction and what in the Literature Review It might help here to think of your Introduction as being what you would tell an educated friend who wanted to know what your research is all about and why you are doing it, while the Literature Review is for other researchers in the field.
Writing an outline that reads like the table of contents in paragraph form See Example 6 and Dr Leslie Sage's comments on this at the end of her article. Methods The methods section should explain: How you went about collecting and analysing your data Only in enough detail that another expert in the field could repeat what you have done. For example, since the Fast Fourier Transform FFT is a standard technique for determining the frequency spectrum of digital signals, in an electrical engineering thesis it would be enough to simply say, "The spectrum of the signal output from This is done by explaining how certain types of data will help you to answer your research questions.
The thesis assessors want to be assured that you didn't simply collect as much data as you possibly could that might have been useful and then hoped for the best. Most readers will turn first to the summary or abstract. The summary should highlight the main points from your work, especially the thesis statement, methods if applicable , findings and conclusion.
However, the summary does not need to cover every aspect of your work. The main objective is to give the reader a good idea of what the thesis is about.
The summary should be completed towards the end; when you are able to overview your project as a whole. It is nevertheless a good idea to work on a draft continuously. Writing a good summary can be difficult, since it should only include the most important points of your work. But this is also why working on your summary can be so useful — it forces you to identify the key elements of your writing project.
There are usually no formal requirements for forewords, but it is common practice to thank your supervisors, informants, and others who have helped and supported you. If you have received any grants or research residencies, you should also acknowledge these. Shorter assignments do not require abstracts and forewords. Your introduction has two main purposes: It is recommended to rewrite the introduction one last time when the writing is done, to ensure that it connects well with your conclusion.
For a nice, stylistic twist you can reuse a theme from the introduction in your conclusion. For example, you might present a particular scenario in one way in your introduction, and then return to it in your conclusion from a different — richer or contrasting — perspective.
The background sets the general tone for your thesis. It should make a good impression and convince the reader why the theme is important and your approach relevant. Even so, it should be no longer than necessary. What is considered a relevant background depends on your field and its traditions. Background information might be historical in nature, or it might refer to previous research or practical considerations.
You can also focus on a specific text, thinker or problem. Academic writing often means having a discussion with yourself or some imagined opponent. To open your discussion, there are several options available. You may, for example:. If it is common in your discipline to reflect upon your experiences as a practitioner, this is the place to present them. In the remainder of your thesis, this kind of information should be avoided, particularly if it has not been collected systematically.
Do not spend too much time on your background and opening remarks before you have gotten started with the main text. Write three different opening paragraphs for your thesis using different literary devices. For example: Observe to what extent these different openings inspire you, and choose the approach most appropriate to your topic.
For example, do you want to spur emotions, or remain as neutral as possible? How important is the historical background? The exercise can be done in small groups or pairs. Discuss what makes an opening paragraph successful or not.
How does your opening paragraph shed light on what is to follow? One of the first tasks of a researcher is defining the scope of a study, i. Narrowing the scope of your thesis can be time-consuming.
Paradoxically, the more you limit the scope, the more interesting it becomes. This is because a narrower scope lets you clarify the problem and study it at greater depth, whereas very broad research questions only allow a superficial treatment. The research question can be formulated as one main question with a few more specific sub-questions or in the form of a hypothesis that will be tested.
Your research question will be your guide as your writing proceeds.
Your introduction has two main purposes: 1) to give an overview of the main points of your thesis, and 2) to awaken the reader's. You can't write a good introduction until you know what the body of the paper says. Consider writing the introductory section(s) after you have completed the rest. The structure of the thesis detailed in this template is intended to be a guide only, a line of argument across 6 chapters, namely, introduction, literature, design.