The introduction to a university dissertation or thesis is an essential part of a final year project.It is the first connection you will make with your reader.It is therefore important to write a well-written introduction to your dissertation in order to

  • interest the reader or the examiner,
  • capture their attention,
  • give them a clear idea of the subject covered in the dissertation.

A reader or examiner in a hurry generally reads your thesis diagonally. In this case, they are particularly interested in the following 3 elements: the introduction to the thesis, the outline of the thesis and the conclusion of the thesis. It is therefore important to take care with these 3 elements to highlight the quality of your work. 

In this article, we present the main elements to be included in a thesis introduction, with an example of an introduction valid for different levels of study: bachelor's thesis (bac+3), master's thesis (bac+4 and bac+5), doctoral thesis, etc.


Contents : 

  1. Writing a thesis introduction at the right time
  2. The 5 main elements in the introduction to a dissertation or thesis
  3. Highlighting your thesis introduction
  4. Example of a thesis introduction
how to write a thesis introduction

1. Writing a thesis introduction at the right time

There are 2 schools of thought on the ideal time to write a thesis introduction:  

  • Write your introduction after the writing plan has been finalised (at the start of the dissertation or thesis project).
  • Write your introduction after you have finished writing your thesis (at the end of the project).

Writing a thesis introduction after finalising the outline

Drawing up a detailed outline for your dissertation or thesis is a crucial stage in the preparation of a university project.

It follows the definition of the subject, the choice of a thesis supervisor and the formulation of the problem statement

Drawing up an outline for your thesis is important, because your outline sets out your response to the problem.


As soon as you have finalised and validated your dissertation or thesis plan, you can start writing your project, particularly the introduction to your thesis or dissertation.

Be careful to adjust your dissertation or thesis introduction according to the elements you include in your dissertation as you go along.

how to write a dissertation introduction

Writing a thesis introduction after you've written your thesis

Writing your thesis introduction at the end may seem counter-intuitive, but in reality it is recommended practice for a number of reasons: 


When writing the different parts of your thesis, you usually have a vague idea of the points you want to cover. As you go along, your thoughts evolve and you refine your ideas. Writing the introduction at the end gives you an overview of the work as a whole, so that you can write a more precise and relevant introduction to your thesis.


Clarifying your objectives

At the end of your research, you will have a clearer idea of your objectives and the means and tools you will use to achieve them. Writing your introduction at the end makes it easier to explain your objectives.

Adjusting the problem

During the course of a research project, the subject may evolve. By writing the thesis introduction at the end, you can be sure that you are presenting the problem to which you are responding.


Consistency with the conclusion

Writing your thesis introduction at the same time as your conclusion ensures that they are aligned. This way, you can be sure that they are coherent and that they provide a good framework for your thesis.

How to Write a University Thesis step by step?


Even if you choose to write your thesis introduction at the end of your work, you should be aware that you can write a draft introduction at the beginning of the project. This first draft will allow you to clarify your ideas and give your dissertation or thesis a direction. You can revise and finalise it once the rest of the thesis has been completed.

thesis introduction

2. The 5 main elements of a thesis introduction

There are several elements to include in your thesis introduction, whether it's a research or professional thesis

Make sure your introduction is structured, brief and concise. The aim is to communicate the essential information to your reader in no more than one or two pages

The structure of a thesis introduction is also crucial in capturing the reader's attention. This structure may vary according to the requirements of your field of study or your institution.

Here are the 5 parts to be included in your thesis introduction and adapted according to the guidelines received:



Start with a hook (statistics, key facts or concrete examples) to draw your reader's attention to the subject. Then go on to introduce the subject in a general way, highlighting its importance in the current context and its relevance to your field of study



Clearly identify the question you wish to answer. Explain why this problematic is interesting and why you have chosen to address it. A good problematic should be simple, precise and understandable! 


Research objectives

Frame your study by presenting its objectives. What are you trying to measure? What are the main hypotheses you want to examine? Also describe your research methodology in this paragraph. 


Structure of the thesis

Give an overview of the overall structure of your dissertation or thesis by announcing your plan. Explain your choice of sections and parts to familiarise the reader with your organisation. 


Announcement of results (optional)

Finally, give a brief overview of the results you have reached at the end of your research. Indicate the main conclusions to pique the reader's interest and encourage them to want to find out more.

thesis introduction and research methodology

Focus on the presentation of research methodology


What is the research methodology for a thesis?

The choice of academic research methodology depends on the nature of the project: research dissertation, professional dissertation, doctoral thesis.

There are several academic research methods: quantitative studies, qualitative studies, empirical studies, comparative studies, etc.


Why present your research methodology in the thesis introduction?

By presenting your research methodology in your thesis introduction, you situate your work in a specific methodological context. You give the reader more information to understand your approach and assess the validity of your results.

Focus on announcing the plan in a thesis introduction


Why include the outline in the introduction to a thesis?

To orientate the reader, we strongly advise you to announce the overall plan of your thesis in your introduction. This gives them an overview and helps them to follow your argument coherently. 

By announcing the plan, you also help the reader to understand what to expect in each part. This can be particularly useful when your work is long.

introduction to a thesis

How do you announce a thesis plan in the introduction?

Here are some ideas for announcing the plan in the introduction to your thesis

  1. Simple enumeration

List the main parts of your thesis.

For example: "This thesis is divided into four main parts: Part I - Background and problematic, Part II - Review of the literature, Part III...".

  1. Explanatory sentences

To give more context to each part, you can add a brief explanatory sentence for each of them. 

For example: "This thesis is structured in four main parts. In the first part, we will examine the context and problematic of our research. The second part will be devoted to an in-depth review of the existing literature on the subject...".

3. Highlighting the thesis introduction: the layout

It is important to highlight the thesis introduction. To do this, an appropriate layout is necessary. 

The layout of the thesis introduction must be carefully thought out and well structured in order to capture the reader's attention and guide them through the text clearly and concisely. 


Here is an example of the layout for the first few pages of a thesis (including the introduction): 


Page 1: cover page of the thesis 

  • name of the university or institution,

  • title of the thesis,
  • first name and surname of the author,
  • date of submission.


Page 2: acknowledgement page 

  • Acknowledgements to all the people who contributed to the smooth running of your academic year,

  • thanks to all those who contributed to the writing of your dissertation or university thesis.


Page 3: table of contents

  • A detailed list of the sections and subsections of the thesis, with the corresponding page numbers.


Page 4: thesis introduction 

  • title of the introduction,

  • catchphrase or relevant quotation to capture the reader's attention (contextualisation),
  • context in which the research topic is justified (contextualisation),
  • problematic and research questions (problematic), 
  • research objectives and methodology used,
  • outline of the plan.
example thesis introduction

4. Example of a thesis introduction

The following is an example of a thesis introduction that can be adapted to deliverables for different levels of study: bachelor's thesis, master's thesis, doctoral thesis, etc. 

Example of a thesis introduction for a dissertation or doctoral thesis on the subject of artificial intelligence and its impact on education:


The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) has opened up new perspectives in many fields, including education. AI-based technologies have the potential to transform educational practices, improve learning processes and prepare learners for the challenges of our digital society. In this doctoral thesis, we propose to explore the impact of artificial intelligences on education, taking an in-depth look at the opportunities, challenges and implications of these emerging technologies.



The problematic of this research lies in the growing need to adapt education to the demands of the 21st century, integrating technological innovations to deliver a more effective, personalised and relevant learning experience. Artificial intelligences represent a promising response to this problematic, but their integration into the field of education raises fundamental questions about the pedagogical, ethical and social consequences of these technological advances.


Research objective

The main objective of this thesis is therefore to analyse in depth the impact of artificial intelligences on education, focusing on their applications, their potential benefits, and the challenges and concerns they raise. To achieve this aim, we will adopt a multidisciplinary approach, combining conceptual analyses, case studies and empirical investigations.


Structure of the dissertation

This thesis is structured in six main parts. In the first part, we present the context and the problematic linked to the use of artificial intelligences in education. We will raise the current educational issues and the needs that AIs can meet, identifying the research questions that guide our work.

The second part will be devoted to an in-depth literature review, where we will analyse previous work and existing research on the impact of artificial intelligences in education. We will examine the different applications of AIs, such as intelligent tutoring systems, learning data analysis, personalisation of teaching, etc.

In the third part, we will describe our research methodology, explaining how we designed our case studies and empirical investigations. We will discuss the tools and methods used to collect and analyse the data, as well as the measures taken to ensure the validity and reliability of our research.

Then, in the fourth section, we will present the results of our case studies and surveys, analysing them in the light of our research problematic. We will examine the potential benefits of AI in terms of improved learner performance, adaptation to individual needs, personalised feedback, and so on.

In the fifth part, we will address the challenges and concerns associated with the use of AI.

Write a university thesis

To sum up, the introduction is an important part of the thesis. It captures the reader's attention by presenting the context, subject, problematic and structure of the thesis. By following these few tips, you can write an effective and relevant thesis introduction to encourage your reader or your examiner to read your deliverable. 


Sources for further reading : 


Information: this informative article, which does not require any personal reflection, was written in part with the help of ChatGPT. We have reworked the automatically generated content (correcting repetitions, correcting turns of phrase, adding clarifications, adding quotations, checking the veracity of the information, etc.).

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