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Writing an Introduction?

User: Alana212 - 17 July 2010 16:10

Hi Everyone,

After several long months of hard work, I am currently in the final two weeks of my writing my thesis. I'm doing an MA in English Literature, and have a word limit of 25,000 words. I'm well on my way to being finished (finally!) but I've hit a stumbling block at the introduction of my thesis.

Exactly how long should a good introduction be? I've found that I've really being running out of steam, and lately whenever I sit down at the computer I have to practically force the words out.

As it stands, I have about 5 pages (doubled spaced) and I feel I've pretty much said everything I need to say. I was just wondering what would be the average length of an introduction?


User: pjlu - 18 July 2010 12:47

Hi Alana,

Mine is around 2430 words or so-this includes a general background-context and intro, statement of problem, definitions, purpose of study and research questions plus two sentence link into the next chapter. It is currently just under 6 pages, 11 point font and space and a half (both fine by the Uni I study at). The supervisor seems relatively happy with this at present so I'm guessing that this length is fine. Might be a little different for a Literature thesis though- mine is in Education and follows general social science structures. However, I reckon that in general, the intro could be a little shorter and it would be still be quite adequate-I tend to go over word limit and have to edit back a bit at times.

Cheers-good luck with your timeline (not meant ironically btw)

User: helena_h - 26 July 2010 12:12

Hi Alana, how's the thesis going? I'm doing an English MA too and I'm currently writing my dissertation which is due in Sept 10 (it CANNOT come fast enough!). My intro is 3000 words exactly at the moment! I need to make a few additions once I reach the end of my conclusion and go back through to edit, so hopefully I can also delete some of that, keeping it around the 3k mark. I think that is a reasonable amount and long-enough to be thorough without babbling. after all, since this is a dissertation not an article or an essay, your intro takes on more importance: you're addressing a specific problem or 'gap' in research, for e.g., and you will need to take time to set that out in context and in relation to others' studies, as well as explaining your own approach, what you will or will not do and how you're going to do it/with what primary texts.

Right now I've had about all I can take writing the dissertation, it's been going on for so many weeks, I just want it to end. I'm dreaming of being liberated (if only for a few weeks!). ;-)

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User: sharansingh - 31 July 2016 23:45

I think it should be between 2000-2500 words. It is reasonable length for introduction. It covers approximately 6-7 pages of your thesis.