How to Write Chapter One; the Introduction of Thesis

How to Write Chapter One; the Introduction of Thesis

In “Chapters of a Ph.D. and master’s thesis” we discussed every five chapters of a thesis briefly. Now we are going to talk about chapter one deeper.

Chapter one of a thesis acts as a funnel. It begins with a broad subject related to the title of thesis, then narrows down to the variables and the questions/problems which are going to be solved in the research.

Generally, in introduction you need to explain what the reader is going to read about.

The introduction chapter has some subtitles which are:

  1. Chapter One: Introduction
    1. 1 Introduction
    1. 2 Statement of the Problem
    1. 3 The Significance of the Study
    1. 4 Purpose of the Study
    1. 5 Research Questions
    1. 6 Research Hypothesis
    1. 7 Definition of the Keywords
    1. 8 Limitations and Delimitations

You should adhere to the format of numbering subtitles.

Now take a look at the content of each section:


In this section, introduce the subject you have studied. Start with the broad topic and limit it to the title of the thesis. By doing so, you establish your research territory.

Then provide some quotes or paraphrase other researches that emphasis on importance of the title. Show that according to other researches and papers there was a gap and you tried to fill that gap.

Statement of the Problem

Statement of the problem (SOP) has fiver smaller parts which are:

  • Topic: in this paragraph you need to state the problem, from theoretical and practical points of view.
  • Gap: state that this specific problem was not solved in previous researches.
  • The evidence: write one or two paragraphs on some parts of other papers that the researcher indicates that the problem exists.  
  • Deficiencies: demonstrate that how you solved the problem and how the gap was filled.
  • Audience: whom your study is precious to, and where it would be useful.

As you can see, SOP would be five to six paragraphs, and each paragraph has a clear aim.

Unlike the introduction section, you do not need to provide resources for every single statement in SOP, except for evidence section.

Note: remember that in the introduction you talked about the gap, too. There is a difference between the two gaps in SOP and in the introduction. The gap in the introduction is a broader gap, while in SOP you need to clarify it in details.

Significance of the Study

In this part, you should write in details. Prove that your study is significant for the major, other researches, and some other specific people related to the field of study (name them).

To do so, you may ask yourself these questions that how and why this study would be important.

Also usually the researchers state some gaps that they have found in the field during their research, in chapter five (conclusion) of papers and theses. You can use them as a proof of the significance of your study.

Purpose of the Study

State that by this research what you are looking for, and what you expect to reveal.

Research Questions

After a brief introduction, write down some questions which you aim to answer during your research.

In fact, the research questions are the same as the purpose of the study in the form of questions.

Research Hypothesis

In this section, answer to the research questions which are stated in the previous part.

For example, if one of the questions is “Is there any statistically significant relationship between TCK and IS of Iranian EFL learners?” then the hypothesis would be “There is no statistically significant relationship between TCK of Iranian EFL learners and their ICS.”

Only use null hypotheses.

Definition of the Keywords

Keywords are the variables of the thesis. Define them theoretically and operationally.

In order to write a theoretical definition, you need to scan related papers and find the definition of the keywords as they defined. Write several theoretical definitions quoted by several researchers.

After theoretical definition, open a new paragraph and state how the keywords are defined in your research. It would be called “empirical definition”.

Limitation and Delimitation

Every researcher face some limitation during the research process.

Limitation could be the limit number of samples, being a sample out of reach, and so on.

Limitation is out of researcher’s control, while delimitation is chosen by the researcher. For example, a researcher chooses to distribute the questionnaire among women, and not men.

Note that the explained format works in writing chapter 1 of proposals, too. The only difference is in the number of pages. Proposals have less number of pages in comparison to theses.

3 thoughts on “How to Write Chapter One; the Introduction of Thesis

  1. Thank you, bookwormlab for opening my eyes and telling me I should not limit my creative thought to just one essay, haha Since I started submitting my papers for editing and using the resulting texts as samples for my next assignments Amazing!

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