Writing the introduction and conclusion

The introduction

The introduction & abstract give information in different words and go over the same ground as the title.

You need to show that you have a story worth telling and include the following:

  • The question you answer
  • Why you studied the problem, why it is important – make it interesting
  • State of knowledge before you started. You need to show you know all the big fish in the pond. Reviewers will expect to see a few familiar faces.
  • Gap in knowledge that the paper will fill – what the literature has not looked at.
  • What you set out to do. Provide a road map for the thesis
  • Your central argument – outcome – put the conclusion in the introduction by taking the objective and putting it as outcome.

The introduction explains what you are planning to do and why. You can add information about your experience. It is a fairly factual account, that may contain some argument when you explain the rationale for what you did and possibly the choices made (Kamler &Thomson 2006, p 84).


The conclusion is a summary in which you explain what you did, what you found and possibly impacts or suggestions for further research. The conclusion has to complement the introduction.

You do not need to summarise everything – summarise only what seems to be most important, the most promising. Make sure you refer back to your research question and clearly answer it.

This is also your opportunity to clearly state your contribution to knowledge.

You have provide conclusions at the end of each chapter. These shorter conclusion show how your argument progresses. The final conclusion brings this all together.

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