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6 steps to Choosing a dissertation topic

Choosing the right topic for your research work, thesis, or dissertation propels you to an easier start to your research. Before you choose a research topic, here are some important considerations to make:

  • Requirements of your university or department
  • What interest you or knowledgeable about
  • Relevance of the topic to the scientific and social field
  • The duration of the dissertation and its length

Here are some great steps to follow when choosing a dissertation topic.

1.    Check the requirements

Before you decide on the topic, check the requirements of your subject area to determine the scope of what is possible to research on. Some programs have strict rules to follow while others have flexibility. You should also check,

  • The required word count for the research
  • Possible deadline
  • Should it be from an academic or professional perspective?
  • Restriction or limitations to the research
  • Are there possible research topics to choose from or you have develop one?
  • The methods to be used

2.    Choose a broad field of research

Your topic should be broad enough to incorporate many other sectors of your research area. Examples of such ideas are

  • Twentieth-century literature
  • Economic history
  • Health policy
  • Online marketing

Yes, you need to choose a broad subject, however, it should be something you are familiar about to make research easier.

3.    Do your research

Your research shouldn’t be limited only to internet search. A broader perspective always makes dissertation writing interesting. You therefore need to read current articles on your field of research, journals, scientific research, and books. This can inspire you in choosing a great topic.

4.    Consider the type of research

Put into perspective the type of research to be done in the topics under consideration. Would you need to do qualitative, quantitative, or mixed kind of research? Whichever applies to your chosen topic, you need to consider your capability of embarking on that research. For example, if it is a qualitative research, you will need to collect all primary data by yourself. If you think you can’t do that, then choose a topic that requires quantitative research, where you can use existing data.

5.    Relevance of the topic

Who cares about what you want to research about? It is academically, socially, or practically relevant? You answer to these will determine whether you need to go on with the chosen topic. to make things easier, choose a topic which is current or related to current issues.

6.    Achievability

Mostly, it is easier said than done. You may have big dreams but achieving it can be nearly impossible. Choose a topic you handle from start to finish and not one that can make you stuck in the middle of nowhere.

Get approval

In many universities, you would need to submit your topic for approval before been assigned a supervisor. The supervisor is there to guide your ideas and methods for a successful completion. In case you later realise your topic is unachievable, nothing stops you to change it. However, you would have to discuss this with your supervisor.

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