How can a professor know that you have understood everything you had to in this course? In most cases, you are supposed to reveal your knowledge in a serious research project or even a dissertation. Writing always implies having a lot of challenges, but dissertation writing stands apart from all other kinds of writing. It is extremely sophisticated, and the first major issue for a writer is how to choose the best subject for the dissertation. If you manage to do that it will not be difficult for you to work on the paper. Otherwise, a wrong dissertation topic will make you depressed and uncertain throughout the process of writing. Most doctoral students worry whether the field is already researched properly. It is essential to make sure that the chosen subject deserves further investigation. It has to be both manageable and unique. If you feel that it will be not easy for you to select the area that will best suit your aspiration, interests, and objective necessity, have a look at the tips we have prepared for you.
Is It Really So Important to Choose a Proper Topic for Your Dissertation?
Your work on a postgraduate dissertation will start with providing a proposal to your professor to show that you have mastered all the skills and knowledge you had to. Naturally, the focus of the proposal will be on the right choice made out of a variety of topics for dissertation and how well you can justify it.
What are the main features of the chosen topic?
- • It makes it possible to reveal all developed research skills and knowledge acquired in the course of undergraduate studies.
- • It ensures having a solid platform for questioning the already available research and applying all analytical abilities.
- • It can give a strong argument that can be contrasted to the ones already presented in the previous academic publications.
You have to justify the choice of the subject and demonstrate that it enables the researchers to show an understanding of the subject of this field. If a researcher has chosen an original and relevant subject matter, it will be possible to show an appropriate level of expertise.
When you work on your dissertation, you get an opportunity to show your academic progress and hint at how far you can go. You have to know really well how to pick a dissertation topic to be able to work on the subject that can excite your acute interest and produce a strong impact on your overall performance.
- • A typical dissertation at the Master’s level has an average length of 15,000 - 20,000 words as it is a sufficient quality to present different perspectives on the theme of your discussion. From the point of view of your degree grade, a dissertation makes up approximately one-third.
- • Working on a doctoral thesis or a Ph.D. dissertation, you will have to produce approximately 80,000 words. Your successful writing is a guarantee that you will get a good grade, so the research results you get should be valid.
Your potential employers will be interested in your academic performance, so the efficiency of your dissertation writing will significantly impact your future career as well. It will show that you can give complicated information and apply research methodologies to making decisions based on proven facts.
Overall, it is essential to pay attention to choosing a topic for your dissertation as it will determine the success of your entire work.
Essential Factors to Be Taken into Account while Selecting the Topic
There is a wide range of topics for dissertation, and you will choose the one that can motivate you to do profound research and be engaged. This theme should appeal to your interests as it will take a lot of your time and commitment in the long-term perspective. Besides, do not forget that the topic should be manageable, otherwise it will require too much of your budget or time to pursue. If you have concluded that the chosen issue is out of appropriate scope, it is much better to get an alternative option. You should realize that you have limited time to give a completed dissertation and your graduation date will set a deadline for this writing task.
The topic which has already been researched exhaustively will not be beneficial for you. It is much better if it has sufficient data to process. Some topics can be too innovative and you will find it difficult to gather the required materials for them. The ones that have been researched too much will not let you contribute anything new to the research. Learning how to choose a dissertation topic, you have probably got to know that it is recommended to base your research on studies not older than two years. Your own research will also take time and it can happen that the sources will appear outdated when you finalize.
If you believe that the theme you have chosen matches your interests and your needs, then you can get it approved by the members of the committee and get down to work.
How to Select the Right Title for Your Dissertation: Easy Steps
Have a look at the procedure that can lead to choosing your first-rate research topic. If you follow these steps carefully, it will be easy for you to make a research question that is well-suited to your aims. What you need is to find a debated issue that still requires further analysis. You need not a research topic but a question!
Step 1: Study all the guidelines and requirements
First of all, you have to check which instructions are given in the educational program of your university to see the potential scope of your research. Check the answers to the following questions:
- ⦁ What is the minimum word count?
- ⦁ What is the maximum word count?
- ⦁ When is the dissertation date for submission?
- ⦁ Who should give you a theme to research? Do you choose it yourself? Is there a list of options?
- ⦁ Is your research focused more on professional or academic purposes?
- ⦁ Has the university provided any strict methodological terms? Are there any particular resources to be used?
- ⦁ Which limitations should be taken into account, if any?
You will notice that the requirements in various programs may significantly differ in terms of deadlines, word count specifications, topics, and even approaches to writing. It is better to check on every detail and get it confirmed in advance.
Step 2: Opt for a broad research field
When you choose a dissertation topic, you have to take into account the peculiarities of your subject under question. Have a look at the typical broad fields of study:
- ⦁ Health policy
- ⦁ Literature of the nineteenth century
- ⦁ Online marketing
- ⦁ History of economics
It is recommended to choose a familiar field as starting research from scratch can be complicated. Even if you do not have much expertise in this matter, you should have some knowledge that will be a starting point for your work.
Step 3: Search for the sources (articles and books)
Check the most reliable journals in the field of your studies, choosing a dissertation topic for yourself. Check out various reliable databases, Google Scholar, and resources of the university library. Write down the ideas that may be useful for you.
Step 4: Determine your niche
After you have got a broad idea, try to narrow it down gradually. For example:
- ⦁ Health policy Reproductive rights in the third world countries
- ⦁ Literature of the nineteenth century Literature of Europe in the nineteenth century
- ⦁ Online marketing Principles of marketing in social media
- ⦁ History of economics History of labor unions in Europe
There are multiple sources in these subjects, but it is a matter of crucial importance to get into a niche that is not fully researched yet. The topic without any debatable question cannot be relevant. So, it is important to have enough sources for research but have a gap in the previous research to fill in.
It is still possible to amend the focus at this stage. So, selecting dissertation topic options can go on and you can try something different. Later on, having the research questions and a problem statement, you will be able to narrow the subject even more.
Step 5: Determine the research type
Which approach will be most appropriate for your research? What will be your primary focus?
- ⦁ Gathering original information, which implies field or experimental research.
- ⦁ Analysis of the available data, such as archives, public records, or official statistics.
- ⦁ Contrasting the scholarly approaches with their interpretations, methods, and theories.
- ⦁ Giving new interpretations to movies, art objects, novels, or any other objects of culture.
It is allowed to take a mix of those approaches, and change the methods and design of your research later on. Still, you will have to make sure that you have selected an appropriate research type. It will produce a serious impact on the topic aspects to be addressed. Narrowing down the selected ideas, it is essential to consider the mentioned aspects.
Do not forget that gathering data from primary and secondary sources is a time-consuming process, so you have to apply your time management skills here.
Step 6: Specify the topic relevance
You should know what makes a good dissertation topic and ensure that it is relevant in terms of practicality, social impact, and academic value.
- ⦁ Practical relevance implies that the results of the research can be useful for certain improvements in particular processes and resolving problems.
- ⦁ Social relevance implies the ability of the research to reveal the social transformations and an insight into the processes inside the society.
- ⦁ Academic relevance implies that this paper can make a valuable contribution to the relevant scholarly debate and expand the existing knowledge.
Your dissertation topic should be interesting to student and professor audience. More than that, it should be related to current debates or events in society. What is more, your research problem should demonstrate that the research is relevant.
In case your educational program has a focus on some professional training, the subject under discussion should be relevant in terms of professional value as well. Working on a dissertation related to your internship, for instance, you will have to choose a topic with practical value for this particular company.
Step 7: Plausibility is a must
Take into account the number of pages, the urgency of your dissertation, and its practical value before you decide on the topic to cover.
Consider the time you have for gathering data and studying the materials. Narrow the focus if the theme seems to be too broad.
Are there many sources of information for your research? Shift the focus a bit if it seems you will not find enough details.
Will you have practical access to the data you need? Will you have to travel somewhere to get the information? Is your funding sufficient?
Finally, will you be motivated to work exactly on this topic? Will it stay relevant even in two years?
If you are enthusiastic about your research, it will be successful!
Step 8: Get the approval of your topic
Your supervisor will expect to get a short description of the topic you have chosen. You may discuss all the details before you start working on the research proposal as it will save your time and effort.
You may request help with dissertation topic if you believe that the one you have chosen is not strong enough. It is allowed to switch the focus in the writing process if that is done timely. Check on the remaining time to be sure that you will manage to start everything all over again if you want to change the topic for a better one.