Slightly different to the question here which asks is it ok to put a figure in the introduction of a thesis, is it ok to start a thesis chapter with an illustration like a figure or table?

An even better answer might be give the pros and cons. An advantage I can think of is that it is nice to look at when a reader has to read through many pages of a thesis and if it also gives a summary of the whole chapter. A disadvantage I can think of is that it distracts from the chapter introductory text and might not look professional.

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    I think it is good practice to place a figure always after it's first reference in the text. So first have a verbal description, and then place the figure. If you are working with latex this might help: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/641343/…
    – BerndGit
    May 21, 2023 at 17:54

1 Answer 1


If I saw a chapter starting with a figure, I would be slightly irritated at the writer for not making it clear whether I am supposed to look at the figure first or the text.

If you want to give the reader a break from endless text, just put one or two sentences first, explaining what the figure is or introducing the chapter, and then put the figure.

  • Thanks that makes sense. Also in reponse to @BerndGit's comment, I've decided to leave the figure at the bottom of the page with a caption and text before it referencing it.
    – Dong Bang
    May 22, 2023 at 2:41

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