Tips for Writing a Good Thesis Introduction

Motivate the problem and state your hypothesis:

  • Tell a story, and tell it well
  • Use plenty of concrete examples (or a running example) and figures
  • Quote data sources, e.g., industry analysts, market surveys, case studies
  • People often (and naturally) make up their mind within the first few pages
  • Introduce all your terminology here – especially, acronyms you plan to use often

Do…..

  • Provide a concrete problem definition, accessible to a computer-literate person, without “dumbing down” the problem to people in your field
  • Provide a concrete list of your thesis’ contributions

Don’t…..

  • Oversell your thesis or its claims – be honest and you will be respected
  • Use hyperbole (e.g., “highly reliable”, “extremely efficient”)
  • Try to confuse the reader with big words – plain, simple English is best
  • Try to sound like your thesis covers your entire field (unless it does, of course!)

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