As many writers know, one of the most important elements of a thesis is the introduction. This is the case for many reasons, including the fact that the information found therein will often determine whether or not your audience chooses to read the entire work. For this reason, writers should think critically about the way they construct their introduction. Here is one important tip:
Make Sure The Introduction Contains The Thesis Statement.
This may seem obvious to some academics, but others have probably read a thesis in which the primary idea (thesis statement) is not stated in the introductory paragraph. This is very annoying to the reader because it leaves her or him wondering what the focus of the thesis really is. Moreover, if the audience cannot come to a clear conclusion early on regarding what the primary idea of the thesis is, they have few incentives to keep reading because the author has not made her or his intent plain enough to determine whether the material is worth a shot.
When I wrote the introduction to my own thesis, I made sure that the thesis statement was included. In essence, I was arguing that three of Shakespeare’s plays revealed how patriarchal attitudes regarding gender and identity gave the world of heterosexual romance shape and substance. Here is an excerpt from the opening paragraph:
“While many Renaissance texts offer valuable information regarding paradigms pertaining to gender and identity, Shakespeare’s plays contain some of the most complex and convoluted representations of women and men and, because these depictions are diverse, various comparisons and contrasts can be made. These juxtapositions reveal that while heterosexual romance can often function to generate equality and reciprocity, they more often reify a very reductionist conception of self and other. This fact becomes evident when one considers three of the most popular Shakespearean romances: The Taming of the Shrew, Othello, and Romeo and Juliet. As an analysis of these three plays makes evident, many heterosexual romances in Shakespeare’s literature worked to reinforce male power by subjugating and silencing women.”
As made plain by this excerpt, I inform the reader of the topic I will be discussing throughout the thesis in the first paragraph. In essence, the thesis will cover how patriarchal ideologies determine the course of romantic relationships between men and women in three of Shakespeare’s plays. I made this fact plain in the introductory paragraph by referencing how many of Shakespeare’s works involve the subjugation and silencing of women.
When one considers the fact that the introduction of a thesis is often where the reader’s eyes fall when she or he is trying to determine what the author’s basic ideas and topics of discussion will be, the importance of making this section clear becomes plain. Ultimately, the thesis writer should be able to sum up the entire work in a few brief yet cogent sentences that unveil the basic concept that will be explored and examined throughout the work. Good luck!