How to write my thesis: what to do if you get stuck with an introduction
In writing a thesis, the worst fear faced by many students is the fear of writer’s block. It can be even more intimidating if the writer’s block appears early on in the writing process. Those that are concerned about writer’s block are concerned with good reason. While it may not be difficult to overcome by following some tried and true strategies, it is a major problem in terms of removing a student’s motivation and that can have long term detrimental effects on the fate of the paper. When a student experiences writer’s block in the early stages of a paper, it can have a deleterious effect on their morale, and that can create a ripple effect of problems.
One point in the process which may be particularly troublesome for some students is the writing of the introduction. In writing the introduction, students must be able to state their thesis and give an overview of the topic, as well as of the supporting points which they use in their arguments. This can present some difficulties when students try writing the introduction prior to writing the body of the paper, which often results in writer’s block. One method used to avoid getting stuck when writing the introduction of a paper is to write the body of the paper first.
Students often start writing the introduction first because it seems, intuitively, like the first part of the paper they should be writing since it will be the opening of the final draft. However, this method is fraught with difficulty for those students who are prone to writer’s block. Even for those who aren’t, they often find that the paper and their arguments evolve during the writing, and a pre-written introduction will need significant rewriting and editing to be suitable for the final draft.
The best way to go about overcoming writer’s block during the introduction of the paper is to set the introduction aside and write the body of the paper, and even the conclusion, first. Once that has been done, the student can adjust their outline to reflect the final paper and use this outline to create a concise and informative introduction. This will also save them the trouble of doing extensive editing and rewriting later. By waiting until the body of the paper is complete, the student is providing themselves with plenty of material for the introduction.
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