How to Write a Preface for a Thesis?

The preface for a thesis paper is the way an academic scholar introduces himself to the readers. A Preface is a small introduction written by the author of the thesis paper to share the basic idea and their writing experience with readers. The preface is written in the initial part of the dissertation. In your preface, start by conveying a small thanks to all those who have helped you complete your thesis.

In this blog post, you will learn how to write a Preface for your Thesis paper.

How to write a Preface for a dissertation

After defining what is a Preface, you should know about the parts of a thesis. Before writing, you must know what are the areas you should cover in a Preface. More or less, you should cover all these areas:

1.   Your personal information.

Readers are also keen to know about your details along with your writing. You should write about some of your qualifications or previous writings in two to three sentences. In this way, they will feel interested in your writings. Remember, that maybe it’s the only opportunity for the readers to know you, so, include the credentials if it helps the topic.

For example, if you are writing on healthy foods then your identity as a nutritionist will increase readers’ trust. You can make it effective in the form of anecdotes.

2.   Your motivation for the work.

There is some motivation behind all research work.  You also must have some. You should include in the preface for the thesis paper your inspiration behind the research. But don’t add much about it. Also, it’s not necessary every time to add that.

3.   Address the target group of the dissertation.

Your preface must connect with the target group. That is, you should introduce your target group in the preface section. Also, you can add shortly if anything you have noticed about the group is special.

4.   Credit to other researchers.

Often for a thesis paper, there is more than one writer. That’s why your preface for the dissertation must specifically write about the division of labor of your write-up. And you should also inform your readers about what are the parts each of these writers has written.

5.   Thanking the contributors.

The preface for the thesis paper should never hesitate in acknowledging all those who have assisted in completing the paper. Regardless of whether it’s an individual or an institution, you must introduce them in some lines.

However, never add too much of everything in your preface age. For any research paper, you should not write a preface that crosses more than five hundred words.

In this, you can thank both your personal and professional team who have helped with your research. Commonly family, research institutions, instructors, and typists are thanked in this section.

Are both acknowledgment and preface added for a dissertation?

Sometimes, within a preface, acknowledgments are added. However, remember that acknowledgment and the preface meaning are not the same things. The main intention of an acknowledgment is to thank those who have assisted you in finishing the research. And as mentioned earlier, the preface also covers the same thing.

You can read about how you can write a acknowledgement here.

That’s why, based on the criteria of your institution, you should think of merging them or not. But mostly acknowledgments and prefaces are combined for the Ph.D. dissertation. It is so because in those dissertations you will barely have extra time to separately add both in the paper. So, it’s your and the discretion of the institution you are working to merge acknowledgment with a preface or not.

Tips to write a preface for dissertation.

1.   Never write the preface beforehand.

Practically it’s quite hard to write about what is a preface requirement from your paper without completing the text. But on the contrary, if you choose to write the preface after completing your paper, you will find it much more convenient. There will be minimal chances for rework and you can take it as your last work with the thesis.

2.   Format the preface well.

If you think that formatting does not impact your research paper much, then you are wrong. Also, make a query about the correct formatting from your institution, because there are varied formatting requirements of a preface.

3.   Communicate with your readers.

The preface of the thesis is among the few parts of the paper where you can address your readers in an informal tone. Preface in the initial pages of the research paper gives you a chance to connect your readers towards your paper. If you write it down properly then clearly it’s a golden chance for you to attract the readers towards your long work.

4.   Never keep all the core information in the preface section.

Though many readers indeed read your preface page, at the same time, one can’t deny that many also skip it. So, it will be a fifty-fifty chance for your preface page. That’s why never add too much important information on that page as readers can overlook them. Or else, if it’s too necessary to add such information, repeat them in the latter part of your text.

5.   Keep it concise.

A researcher is not expected to write anything flowery in that part. So, keep your preface for thesis short and crisp. But if you have a long interesting experience related to the paper and which can also interest readers then don’t hesitate to share. In that case, keep it for one and a half pages only and not more than that.

Overall, don’t worry too much about the preface, it’s just a single page of your long thesis work. Only make it short and clear for the readers. So, readers can connect with you through this section.

How does the forward and introduction vary from a preface?

Though for beginners all these three can appear the same if you notice the write-ups then they are completely different.

●    What is a Foreword:

The foreword section of the book is not written by the scholar himself or herself but by someone else. Someone else who writes the foreword tries to convince the readers why they should read the thesis. And what is new in the research work.

●    What is a Preface:

As shared earlier, a preface for thesis is written by the researcher himself. And the section shares the experience of the writer in completing the work. This section also works like an acknowledgment.

●    What is an Introduction:

An introduction for any thesis paper is completely different from the above two. It introduces the readers to the main content or the subject of the paperwork.

Thus, for the writers of the paper, the preface for a thesis is a chance to converse with the readers about the aim of the book. It also thanked all those who have contributed to the work. However, researchers should not waste too much space on it and keep it concise.

Preface examples.

Preface example for a single writer

The desire for this research work has originally come from my long-time appetite for writing something on our country’s heritage. As the world is driving towards advancement, it is equally important to cherish our past. I have a strong belief that history creates the present and this write-up is a purpose to prove this.

Also, this lengthy work was impossible with the teamwork of our institution ( name of the institution). Their amount of hard work is truly commendable. Thanks to my family also for supporting me during the hard times.

Preface example for two or more writers

It’s never too late to know the culture we all are a part of. The intriguing aspects of my community culture made me and my co-writers complete this thesis. The thesis aims to convince readers that even in the age of science, it’s ultimately the cultural bonds that unite us. While I’ve covered the initial part of the discretion, my friend and co-writer ( name) have constructively written the later part by addressing common problems of the twenty-first century.

Thanks to our parents for never losing hope in us and ultimately all our students who always encouraged us. At the same time, we are lucky to be associated with this institution. We are grateful to all.

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