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Thesis/Dissertation Tips #2: Writing the Introduction Chapter

hi my name is Francisco and I have a few

suggestions and I can write the

introduction chapter of your thesis or

dissertation so the first thing to keep

in mind is what is the purpose of this

chapter it has to be clear for you what

is the purpose of it and as a name

shockingly suggests the main purpose is

for you to introduce the topic for the

reader so what does that mean exactly

that means showing what is the context

of your study and why that's important

and to who it's to whom it's going to

benefit what are your personal

motivations in other words why is this

topic relevant for you individually your

aims and your objectives in other words

what exactly you're going to do step by

step in your work and finally the

structure of a thesis so what would the

reader find in the following chapters so

let's discuss now one by one of these

topics so the first point is your actual

introduction and keep in mind that this

is the longest part of this chapter okay

so what I always suggest my students is

to start writing this chapter with

something catchy it can be a quote

relevant quote it can be a question it

can be a case from in the industry

something that highlights are that

brings the attention of the reader for

your topic because what you need to keep

in mind is that not necessarily the

reader will know much about your context

for example let me give you two examples

imagine that you're writing about the

implementation of facial recognition

technologies in music festivals or you

are discussing the implementation of

virtual reality in education for example

know what would the reader know about

facial recognition technologies and also

about music festivals maybe they know a

lot maybe they know of nothing if you're

writing about virtual reality and the

implementation of VR in education what

would the reader know about these two

contexts but they have to finish reading

this section of introduction or choose

your first point and have a good idea

about what this topic is about and how

do you do that you do that by explaining

basic concepts for example if you're

talking about facial recognition what

facial recognition technologies when did

it start

is it a recent thing is it an old thing

the same thing for virtual reality the

same thing if you're talking about

electric cars if you're talking about

smart phones if you're discussing robots

or whatever topic that you're talking

about yeah another thing that you can do

is you can give a lot of examples of the

maintenance stakeholders so who are the

main players who what are the main

brands what are the main companies

what are successful cases of your

context water controversial situations

that have happened and while doing so

you have to highlight why that is

important and to whom that's going to

benefit yeah so what is the contribution

of your work for the industry or for

also for academia and while you are

writing on this section and trying to

bring industry data make sure that

you're reciting relevant and reliable

sources and that's extremely important

throughout your entire work you have to

use reliable sources now in your

introduction the introduction only and

at least that's my personal suggestions

for my students you can use or I tell

them that it's okay for them to use

sources such as consulting companies

reliable sources like United Nations or

even some commercial sources like The

Economist or the New York Times for

example and then you can finish this

section by highlighting what you're

trying to achieve

after you finish contextualizing your

work the next step for you to do is your

personal motivation and that can be a

sub topic for example like a 1.1 and

this is a very short section usually one

or two paragraphs will be enough and at

least for me I tell my students that

it's okay for them to write in first

person and this is a moment that you

tell the reader why this topic is

relevant for you in other words why did

you get there so it's okay for you to

write in first person

keep it short yeah one or two paragraphs

maximum and tell them be honest why is

that relevant for you but just one

suggestion here in case your supervisors

suggested the topic for you or in case

this is

topic that is involved in your research

group don't tell the reader that just

focus on why that's relevant for you

after you introduce and contextualize

your study and you wrote about your

personal motivations the following topic

which could be your one point to that

would be your aims in your objectives

and this is something that requires a

bit more detail there's another video

for that that you will find here on the

descriptions um but this is a really

important yeah so make sure that you

highlight your aim usually the the

actual sentence of your aim you can

write that in or you can mark it in

italics for example that has to be

really clear for the reader because also

one of the things I do when I'm

reviewing the work from students is one

of the very first things is I look what

did you say you were going to do and

what did you actually do so one of the

things that you one of the first things

I do is that really quickly I just go

into your the aims of the students what

did they say they were gonna do go to

the results really quickly what did they

say what did they actually do and see if

there's a matching between those two so

make sure that your aims and objectives

are really really clear and lastly the

final thing of this chapter is the

structure of your thesis and that's

where you tell the reader what the

reader will find in the following

chapters in your lecture review and your

methodology and your results and your

conclusion in your limitations and so on

so these are my tips the first thing is

contextualized tell the reader why your

work is important make sure to support

it with industry there are lots of

examples explain basic concepts in

relation to your context following that

to tell the reader what is your personal

motivation it's ok if you write it in

first-person at least for me then after

that you're gonna tell the reader about

your aims and your objectives and this

is a really important part because

that's the essence of what your work is

about

and finally the structure of your thesis

and just one final thing in relation to

the structure of their thesis usually I

tell my students leave that for the last

thing for you to write don't write it in

the beginning because if the structure

will change anyway

so leave it as one of the final things

for you to write about yeah so these

were my suggestions for you all of this

information don't forget there's a full

article that I wrote which is also in

the description of this video there's

also a PDF there that you can download

and take it with you these are my

suggestions yeah so every supervisor

they have different expectations so

don't forget to discuss all of these

things with your supervisor don't take

just my word and just one final thing

instead of liking subscribing all these

things that you know people on YouTube

ask you all the time instead of doing

that have a nice beer and listen to one

song from Bob Dylan code it's all right

ma I'm only bleeding

it's a great song by an absolute legend

so the absolute best my friend and take

care