Selecting a topic for your dissertation is the first step in ensuring that your research goes as smoothly as possible. When selecting a topic, keep the following factors in mind:
- The requirements of your institution and department.
- Your areas of expertise and interest.
- The relevance in terms of science, society, or practice.
- Data and resource availability.
- The timeframe of your dissertation.
- The relevance of your topic.
The very first step is, to be honest with oneself! Do not rush to others and ask for Help with Dissertation topic. It is your job, and you are the only one who can accomplish it (bestassignmentwriter, 2019).
You can start narrowing down your selections by following these steps.
8 Easy Steps to Find a Suitable Topic for a Dissertation
Step:1 Check the requirements
The first step is to look over your program’s requirements. This decides the scope of your research.
- Is there a minimum and maximum word count?
- When does the deadline fall?
- Should the research be academic or professional?
- Are there any methodological requirements? Is it necessary to conduct fieldwork or use a specific type of source?
Some programs have more strict requirements than others. You may be given only a word count and a deadline, or you may be given a limited choice of topics and approaches. If you need clarification on what is required of you, please consult with your supervisor or department coordinator.
Step 2 Choose something unique.
It is essential to choose a unique topic for your dissertation so that you can conduct your research and draw your findings. Start by thinking about your areas of interest in your subject. Here are some examples of broad ideas:
- 20th-century literature
- History of economics
- Health care policy
Step 3: Look for books and articles
Read through a few recent issues of the top journals in your field to gain a more detailed feel of the current level of research on your potential topic. Make a point of reading their most-cited articles. You can also look for issues by searching Google Scholar, subject-specific databases, and the resources at your university library.
As you read, note down any specific concepts that catch your attention and create a list of potential topics. Consider how additional articles, such as a third-year paper or a conference paper, can be broadened into a dissertation topic.
Step 4: Find a niche
After conducting some initial research, it’s time to start narrowing down potential topics. This can be a gradual process that becomes more specific as you proceed.
For example, based on the suggestions above, you may narrow it down as follows:
- 20th-century literature-> Twentieth-century Irish literature-> Post-war Poetry from Ireland
- Economic history ->Economic history in Europe-> History of German labor unions
- Health policy-> Reproductive health policy -> Reproductive rights in South America
All these topics are still broad enough that there are several books and articles on them. Find a niche in which you can make a difference, such as something that few others have explored, a topic still being debated, or a current practical issue.
Make sure you have a couple of backup ideas at this point – there’s still time to change your focus. If your topic fails to go through the next few steps, you can try a different one.
Step 5: Think about the type of research
There are many different types of research, so it’s a good idea to start thinking about how you’ll approach your topic. Will you mainly concentrate on the following:
- Collecting original data (for example, experimental or field research)?
- Existing data analysis (e.g., national statistics, public records, or archives)?
- Interpreting cultural stuff (novels, movies, or paintings)?
- Comparing academic approaches (for example, theories, methodologies, or interpretations)?
You can decide on your research design and techniques later, but the type of research will determine which aspects of the topic you can examine, so keep this in mind as you narrow down your choices (Weaver-Hightower, 2018).
It takes a long time to collect original data. Suppose you only have a little time to dedicate to your dissertation. In that case, you should focus on analyzing existing data from primary and secondary sources, and you can also get help from UK Dissertation Writers for their dissertation topic.
Step 6: Determine the relevance
Your topic must be interesting but also academically, socially, or practically relevant to your field.
- Academic relevance is the ability of the research to close a knowledge gap or advance a scholarly discussion in your area of study.
- Social relevance refers to how well the research can influence social change and further our understanding of society.
- Practical relevance refers to the research’s ability to solve specific issues or enhance real-life processes.
Choosing a topic related to current issues or debates, either in society at large or in your academic discipline, is the easiest way to ensure that your research is relevant. The relevance must be clearly stated when you define your research problem.
Step 7: Confirm that it is plausible.
Consider the length of your dissertation, the timeframe in which you must complete it, and the feasibility of conducting the research before making a final selection on your topic.
Will you have enough time to read all the relevant scholarly literature on this topic? Consider narrowing your focus even further if there is too much information.
Can you identify enough sources or collect enough data to complete the dissertation requirements? If you need help finding information, consider broadening or shifting your focus.
Do you need to go to a specific location to collect data on the topic? Check that you have adequate funds and practical access.
Last but not least, will you be interested in the topic for the duration of the study process? It’s essential to find something you’re passionate about to stay motivated!
Step 8: Get approval for your topic.
Most programs will need you to submit a summary of your topic, known as a research prospectus or proposal.
Remember that changing your mind and moving focus early in the dissertation process is usually acceptable if you discover that your topic could be more powerful. Ensure you have enough time to start working on a new topic and always consult with your supervisor or department.
You are the champion of your dissertation topic! If you can read well and write well, you will quickly find a topic that inspires you; nevertheless, if you lack these skills, you will need to work harder on the above points to complete your dissertation!
BAW, 2019. 5 Simple Steps towards Topic Selection – DIY Dissertation Guide. Online available at https://bestassignmentwriter.co.uk/blog/5-simple-steps-towards-topic-selection-diy-dissertation-guide/ [Accessed date: 24-july-19]
Weaver-Hightower, M.B., 2018. How to write qualitative research. Routledge.