Structuring a thesis

The Introduction – How To Write A PhD

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This post is part of a series of guides that explain in the simplest terms possible how to structure each of the major chapters of a typical PhD thesis. If you haven't already, download our free PhD Thesis Writing Template for a simple way of visualising your entire thesis on one page. 

If you like these guides, you'll love the email based How To Write A PhD Course we've put together for you.  

The introduction serves three purposes:

  • Establish your territory
  • Establish and justify your niche
  • Explain the significance of your research
  • The reader should be able to understand the whole thesis just by reading the introduction. It should tell them all they need to know about:
  • What your thesis is about
  • Why it is important
  • How it was conducted
  • How it is laid out

Above all, you need to really nail home your contribution. Make it obvious. Put big flashing lights around it and a big arrow that says 'HEY THERE EXAMINER. LOOK HERE. THIS IS THE CONTRIBUTION. SEE HOW GOOD IT IS? GIVE ME MY PHD.'

If you want more detail on how to create a killer introduction, check out an extended guide here

Our easy to follow but detailed course on planning, structuring and writing your  PhD will help you worry less, write more and graduate sooner. 


You'll receive templates, chapter guides, cheat-sheets, checklists and more, all expertly designed to make your life easier. 

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Dr. Max Lemprière is the founder of The PhD Proofreaders. He is an expert in presenting PhD research in the best possible way and maximising students' chances of success.