The basic idea is to start by providing the wider scope within which your work resides.
You then focus in on your part of the field or research question through a few steps.
Basically, a reader, after reading the Introduction, should have a good idea as what the thesis is going to be about, and in what wider concept of science it fits, and this cannot be done without citing other people.
This shows that you are not doing some rubbish nobody is interested in.
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Visit Stack Exchange I am in the process of writing my Ph. thesis and struggling with the introduction chapter, what to cover, what not. The broad area is molecular simulation in statistical mechanics.When you have a lengthy introduction, you may start out by having a chapter called introduction which does what was outlined above but cuts out the backgroudn details and only summarizes what is known and identifies gaps, almost like a sumamry of the whole introduction.You then follow up with a detailed background in a separate chapter and likewise for identifying gaps and providing the outline of your research.The following material is adapted from a handout prepared by Harry Livermore for his high school English classes at Cook High School in Adel, Georgia. See, first, Writing Introductory Paragraphs for different ways of getting your reader involved in your essay.The introductory paragraph should also include the thesis statement, a kind of mini-outline for the paper: it tells the reader what the essay is about.My introduction comprised the following sections (this was also used successfully for my MSc): In my opinion, all the other answers omit a very important purpose of the Introduction: You should introduce not only the thesis, but the results of other people in the Introduction.A good introduction cites quite a handful of works of other people.The thesis statement is the sentence that states the main idea of a writing assignment and helps control the ideas within the paper. It often reflects an opinion or judgment that a writer has made about a reading or personal experience.For instance: Tocqueville believed that the domestic role most women held in America was the role that gave them the most power, an idea that many would hotly dispute today.You want the introduction to give the readers (and demonstrate to your committee) that you have a high-level understanding of the context and problem at hand.Then, you can include a section giving a full review of the state of the art in the field (i.e., what others have done so far) later in the manuscript, either as its own chapter, or as part of a “methods” chapter that is structured as such: An introduction is a funnel into your work, bei it a paper or a thesis.