Selecting Your Dissertation Topic
Choosing a topic for your dissertation is the first step in ensuring your research goes smoothly. When selecting your topic, it’s important to remember your institution’s requirements, your area of interest, availability of resources and data, and the time available for your dissertation.
If you don’t have a topic yet, it would be hard to know how to start. These steps would help you choose a topic;
Step 1: Check the practical requirements
Checking the requirements of your program is the first step. It determines the scope of what you are expected to research. Some programs might have requirements stricter than others. You might not be given more than a list of topics, a word count, or a deadline. Ensure you ask your department or course coordinator if you are not sure of the requirements.
Step 2: Choose a familiar research field
Think about the areas that interest you in your field of study. Picking a field you are familiar with saves you the stress of researching from scratch. As long you have ideas about the topic, not necessarily that you are an expert, you have a starting point for more ideas.
Step 3: Find a niche
After you have done a little research, it is time you start narrowing the broad area. It is a gradual process and helps your topic get more specific. You have to find a unique niche that much research has not been done on before. It would be difficult to justify your dissertation as relevant if much research has been done on the topic before. Later on, you can narrow your focus to your research question and problem statement.
Step 4: Determine the type of research
It’s a good idea to think of the type of research that you are carrying out. There are different types of research and types of approaches to a topic. You can consider focusing on collecting original data, analyzing existing ones, or comparing methods.
Your dissertation can also be a combination of more than one. Your type of research would determine which parts of the topic that you are going to address. Rather than collecting original data that takes a lot of time, it would be advisable just to analyze the existing ones.
Step 5: Determine the topic of relevance
Your topic might interest you, but the topic must be academically, practically, and socially relevant. Choose a topic that is connected to current debates or issues, either in your academic discipline or at large, to ensure that your dissertation is relevant. The relevance of your topic must be clearly stated in your research problem.
Step 6: Make sure your topic is plausible
You have to consider the length your dissertation would take before you make the final decision on your topic. Ensure that you don’t have to struggle to gather a lot of information. You also have to stay motivated in writing the dissertation by picking a topic that interests you.
You don’t have to worry about picking a suitable topic for your dissertation. Our tips above would help you while writing your paper and choosing a dissertation topic.