First, the reader will labour to see the significance of all that they are being told.
Understanding that your thesis be explained in a compressed fashion is often a step forward, if for no other reason than it can give you the wherewithal to answer the inevitable questions about your thesis topic without the stammering and the false starts and the over-reliance on the word ‘complicated’.
I suggest that thesis writers take every possible opportunity to articulate their topic under severe space or time constraints.
As we saw above, quite how much information you present in your thesis will depend on whether you have a standalone literature review or methods chapter.
What you want to avoid is any unnecessary repetition. You need to present just enough information to contextualise your study and to be able to situate your aims, research questions an argument, but not too much that you end up confusing and bombarding the reader.
You have to find a way of giving them the big picture before the deep context. You are writing your thesis on the reappearance of thestrals in the 1980s in Mirkwood Forest in the remote country of Archenland after a devastating forest fire caused by mineral extraction in the 1950s.* How are you going to structure an introduction in such a way that your reader doesn’t have to read 10 pages of bewildering and seemingly unconnected background?
When a thesis writer attempts to give the full context before elaborating the problem, two things will happen.If you must talk about any of these in the introduction, be sure to offer clear and concise definitions.A failure to do so means that the reader is left confused.Writers—especially writers in the throes of trying to conceptualize a book length research project—often forget that the audience’s ability to engage with the topic is mediated by the text.There is a tendency to provide too much background information in the introduction.The simplest solution to this problem is to provide a quick trip through the whole project in the first few paragraphs, before beginning to contextualize in earnest.I am picturing a thesis introduction that looks something like this: What do you think about this as a possible structure for a thesis introduction?A few weeks ago, I had a post on writing introductions, in which I discussed the standard three moves of an introduction.This model works very naturally in a short space such as a research proposal or article but can be harder to realize on the bigger canvas of a thesis introduction.It's enough to say that you will contribute to X body of literature and briefly discuss its core features and shortcomings.The literature review is the place to justify that decision and elaborate upon its features.