Every big project starts with the first step and your work starts with a good introduction. This should take the reader with it and give an overview of the thesis. An introduction is not only good for the reader, but also for your supervisor. The introduction can serve as an expose to make a topic palatable to the supervisor. An expose is according to the Dudens a written and explanatory summary of the facts. An introduction or an expose consists of the following building blocks:

  • introduction to the topic
  • Motivation on the subject
  • Definition and explanation
  • Current figures and reference to the topic
  • Existing knowledge on the topic
  • Criticism and Research Gap
  • Approach of the work and expected results

Download tip: Example of a good introduction

introduction to the topic

With the first sentence you pick up the reader. Imagine that the reader has just cleaned their apartment and is now reading your work. So mentally he is still on another topic. This first sentence is therefore very important.

Example 1: Agility is on everyone’s lips as a way of working in companies and it is a sustainable way of working.

Example 2: The so-called digitization is a mega-trend of the current business world and is taken into account by almost all companies in their strategy development.

Motivation on the subject

Now it is important to show the reader that your topic is also important for our world. List the potentials of the topic and motivate the reader to deal with the topic.

example : Bachelor thesis on chatbots: There are many cases in which bots can support companies. With chatbots it is possible to record data faster than anyone or to provide answers to questions from large databases. They are available 24/7 and allow unlimited customer support.

Definition and explanation

In this section you explain important terms that are necessary for your work. It is enough if you only briefly define them in one sentence so that the reader knows what you are talking about. For example, if you were working on organizational agility, you would briefly define both terms.

Example: An organization describes the functionality of an institution or similar. serving[planmäßige] Composition, structure and nature ( Gabler Lexicon ).

Current figures and reference to the topic

Now you show that your topic is also relevant and important. Have a look in the latest media or on Google: Are there current events or statistics on your topic?

Example 1: Bachelor thesis on the topic of car sharing: The topic of car sharing is currently of great importance. For example, Volkswagen recently set up its own service in Berlin with WeShare started.

Example 2: Bachelor thesis on the Scrum Master: The Scrum Master profession is becoming more and more important in Germany. Every year 60,000 to 100,000 new Scrum Masters are trained by the Scrum Alliance and a total of 245,000 Scrum Master certifications were awarded by Scrum.org this year.

Existing knowledge on the topic

Now it is important to briefly and concisely show the reader the current state of knowledge from science. They prove that their topic is relevant and that other authors are also dealing with it. To do this, look for current studies and explain them in 2-3 sentences. I recommend mentioning 3-5 studies. See my for more information Article on literature analysis.

example : There are already numerous studies on the digitization of SMEs. For example already has Lindner (2019) through five group discussions demonstrated that SMEs tend to digitize in a wait-and-see manner and gradually. Also Bley and Leyh (2016) surveyed 2,300 SMEs from the Dresden region and concluded that the focus is on internal standard processes such as accounting.

Criticism and Research Gap

Now it is time to show what you would like to research. What did the other authors forget or ignore? I have shown exactly how to proceed in another article: Find a topic for a thesis. I also recommend formulating the research question in this paragraph.

Example 1: All authors mentioned have dealt with the introduction of agile methods regardless of the industry. It can therefore not be assumed that all recommendations also apply to the banking industry. With this work I would like to close this gap and dedicate myself to the following research question: Which recommendations regarding agility can banks be given?

Important : Many of you confuse the reader in this paragraph with a different research question about the title. The title and research question should be the same. I give two examples:

  • Agility in banks – an empirical study — Which agility recommendations can banks be given?
  • Digitization of management consultancy – a case study — How can digitization look using the example of management consultancy?

You notice that the title and research question are the same. In the second example, it is even noted that the case study relates to advice and the first example gives general tips for all banks.

Procedure and result

Now explain the procedure and the result that the reader can expect. This will help the reader understand what to expect and what steps to take. Don’t forget to highlight the benefit of your results. I also like to share the advantages and show what scientists (input for further research) and practitioners (recommendations for action) get out of it.

Example procedure: In this work, the current state of knowledge is summarized with the help of a literature analysis and evaluated for relevance through interviews with experts.

Example result: The result of the work are recommendations for action for the implementation of agile methods in the company. With the help of the recommendations, work with agile methods can be made more efficient.

Conclusion

An introduction is the most important part of a paper and the reader decides whether he really wants to read the paper or not. It is therefore important to invest a little more time in this. The length of an introduction is often 2-3 pages.

Download tip: Example of a good introduction

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Author

I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

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