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Tips in Choosing a Dissertation Topic

Students report that choosing a dissertation topic can be either easy or agonizing. Students are supposed to be able to select one research topic, from among thousands of possibilities. From a topic, they must develop a scholarly question and research method to answer it; and above all else, students must be creative and original after years of being rewarded for parroting professors.

Whats your own style?

Your own needs and working style should influence your own choice of dissertation topic. Think about what excites you most in your field and what the master’s or doctoral degree means to you.

Pick a topic you can manage

Feasibility is a buzz word that actually makes the sense when you’re narrowing down your dissertation topic. If you choose an uncharted topic you must be very sure you have a good adviser. Someone who would have some idea of how to shape order out of chaos and be relatively demanding and rigorous.

For professional students in field placements, feasibility often comes from the job. A sponsor, a study group, or equiptment you need may make the difference in whether your dissertation topic is possible.

Think about your career

This is what it’s all about for most graduate students, isn’t it? Aside from the few who are really only interested in knowledge for its own sake, most students do care about their job prospects.

The thesis or dissertation certainly has an impact on that future. Trying to figure out how your dissertation topic will help or hurt is the most time-consuming part of narrowing down the choices.

“There are certain topics that are discouraged, because they won’t get you jobs,”. “Faculty don’t want to say you can?t do it, but on the other hand everyone knows you won’t get hired. So they try to get us to stick to literature, but people generally end up doing what they want to do. What most people do is write a thesis or dissertation about whatever they want, but they’ll make sure at least one chapter is eminently marketable. When they go on the market, they send out that chapter. No one has time to read your whole thesis or dissertation anyway”.

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