Choosing a Dissertation Topic: Critical Points
Choosing a good topic for your research work, thesis, or dissertation can be a herculean task. However, it is the first step to take in ensuring a smooth and successful project. Before settling on a topic, you need to consider the following
- The requirement of your university and department
- The relevance of the topic socially, economically, scientifically, and practically
- The available time at hand
- Something you are interested in
Here are some steps to take when selecting a topic:
Follow your University or Department Requirements
To select a topic, you should be aware of your department's requirements per the course you are pursuing. You should find out
- The allowed minimum and maximum word count
- How many weeks/months or year you are allowed to work on the project
- Are there possible topic suggestions, or you need to come up with one
- The restriction or limitation to the research
- The allowed methodology of your department
- Which orientation should the research be, academic or professional?
The requirements differ from program to program, so it would be best to seek clarification when in doubt.
Choose a broad topic
If you are allowed to select your own topic, try to choose something broad with several aspects to explore. Broad topic ideas include
- Online business
- Twentieth-century literature
- Economic history
- Exploring health policies
Choosing a broad topic helps you to later narrow it down to a particular aspect of it. It gives you a lot of space to explore.
Something you have interest in
The topic you select should be something you are passionate about or has a great interest in. As you know, dissertation writing takes a long time to complete. During this period, frustration, tiredness, boredom, stress, and anxiety may set in, and if you are not passionate about what you are writing about, you may give up. Many students end up abandoning their topic in the middle of the project to select a new one.
Research the topic
Before you settle on a topic, do the necessary background research by reading research journals, books, and online sources. It helps you determine if you can meet the deadline for submission according to the topic’s scope.
The relevance of the topic
It will be a waste of time to research into something no one cares about. Before picking a dissertation topic, ask yourself how relevant it is? Does it have academic, social, or professional benefits? One way of determining how relevant a subject is is how debatable it is in the current dispensation.
The type of research to use
Considering the type of research used in collecting data and information is critical when selecting a topic. What kind of research are you seeking to do? What research method are you using, qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-method. Also, will you be using primary data, secondary data, or both? Depending on these, you can know what theme to go for.
All the above points are critical if you want a smooth and successful dissertation process. It prevents you from getting stuck in the middle of your project.