8 Steps to Pick a Dissertation Topic

8 Steps To Pick A Dissertation Topic​

Hey all, In this blog, we would be providing you some tips to Pick a Dissertation Topic.

The first step in ensuring that your thesis, dissertation, or research project runs as easily as possible is to choose a topic. It’s critical to think about the following factors while selecting a topic:
  1. The criteria of your institution and department
  2. Your areas of expertise and passion
  3. Relevance in terms of science, society, or practice
  4. Data and sources are readily available.
  5. Your dissertation’s duration and timeline
  6. It can be difficult to know where to begin if you don’t have any dissertation ideas. To start limiting down your options, follow these steps.

Step 1: Review the specifications.

The first step is to look over your educational program’s practical requirements. This defines the extent to which you can conduct research. What is the word count’s minimum and maximum? What is the date of the deadline? Do you have to pick a topic from a list, or do you have to come up with one on your own? Is the research to be academic or professional in nature? Are there any methodological requirements (e.g., must you perform fieldwork or use a certain type of source)? Is there anything else I should be aware of? Some programmes will have more stringent criteria than others. You may be given only a word count and a deadline, or you may be given a limited choice of themes and techniques from which to chose. Always check with your course or department coordinator if you have any questions about what is expected of you.

Step 2: Select a broad research area.

Begin by considering your areas of interest within the field of study. The following are some examples of wide concepts: Literature from the twentieth century Health policy and economic history Marketing on the internet It’s a good idea to choose a field with which you’re already knowledgeable so that you don’t have to start your study from scratch. You don’t have to be an expert on the subject, but if you’ve previously read a few articles on the subject, you’ll have an excellent place to start learning more.

Step 3: Look for books and articles on the subject.

Try scanning through a few recent issues of your field’s leading journals and looking at their most-cited papers. You can also look for ideas by searching Google Scholar, subject-specific databases, and the resources at your university library. If you’ve previously read a few papers in the topic, look through their reference lists for further information. As you read, jot down any specific concepts that pique your attention and compile a list of potential themes.

Step 4: Identify a market niche

It’s time to start narrowing down your broad area after you’ve done some preliminary reading. This can be a gradual process, with your topic becoming more detailed as time goes on. For instance, based on the preceding suggestions, you may reduce it down as follows:
  1. Literature from the twentieth century Irish literature from the twentieth century Irish poetry in the postwar period
  2. History of the economy Economic history of Europe The history of German labour unions
  3. Public health policy Policy on reproductive health South American reproductive rights.
  4. Marketing on the internet Marketing on social media engagement tactics on social media.
  5. All of these subjects are still wide enough to elicit a large number of books and articles.
Try to pick a niche that few others have looked into (such as a little-known author or period), a hot topic that’s still being contested, or a pressing practical concern. It will be more difficult to establish the significance of your work if there is already a lot of study and a strong consensus on your topic. However, you should ensure that there is sufficient literature on the subject to offer a solid foundation for your own research. Make sure you have a couple backup ideas at this point – there’s still time to shift your focus. You can attempt a different topic if your current one doesn’t make it through the following few phases. Later, in your problem statement and research questions, you’ll narrow your topic even more.

Step 5: Think about the type of study you’ll be doing.

There are many various sorts of research, so it’s a good idea to start thinking about your approach to your issue at this point. Will you primarily concentrate on:
  • Are you collecting original data (for example, from an experiment or field study)?
  • Using existing data (for example, national statistics, public records, or archives) for analysis?
  • Interpreting cultural objects (novels, films, or paintings, for example)?
  • Comparing academic approaches (for example, theories, methodologies, or interpretations)?
Several of these will be used in a dissertation. Sometimes the type of study is self-evident: if your topic is postwar Irish poetry, you’ll probably be interpreting poems the majority of the time. In other circumstances, though, there are multiple options. If you’re researching reproductive rights in South America, you may look at governmental policy documents and media coverage, or you could conduct interviews and surveys to acquire original data. You don’t have to decide your study design and techniques just yet, but the type of research you conduct will determine which elements of the issue you can examine, so keep that in mind as you narrow down your options. Keep in mind that gathering original data can take a long time. If you don’t have much time to devote to your dissertation, you should concentrate on evaluating data from primary and secondary sources.

Step 6: Assess the Significance

It’s critical that your issue piques your interest, but you must also ensure that it is academically, socially, or practically significant. Academic relevance refers to the ability of your research to fill a knowledge gap or contribute to a scholarly debate in your subject. The term “social relevance” refers to the ability of research to contribute to our understanding of society and to inform social change. The term “practical relevance” refers to the research’s ability to solve real-world problems or improve real-world procedures. Choose a topic that is clearly tied to contemporary issues or debates, either in society at large or in your academic discipline, to ensure that your study is topical. When defining your research problem, make sure to include the relevance. If your school emphasizes professional development, you should think about how your dissertation will help you in the future, such as by adopting a commercial aspect that will be valuable in your job search. If you’re writing your dissertation as part of a work or internship, your options for themes will be limited because your research must be useful to the business.

Step 7: Check to see if it’s reasonable.

Consider the length of your dissertation, the timeframe in which you must complete it, and the practicalities of performing the research before making a final selection on your topic. Will you have enough time to study all of the key academic papers on this subject? Consider restricting your attention even more if there is too much information to deal with. Will you be able to identify enough sources or acquire enough material to complete the dissertation’s requirements? Consider widening or adjusting your emphasis if you fear you’ll have trouble finding information. Do you need to go to a specific spot to collect information on the subject? Ascertain that you have sufficient funds and practical access. Last but not least, will you be interested in the issue for the duration of the research? It’s critical to find something you’re passionate about if you want to stay motivated.

Step 8: Obtain approval for your Topic

Before you are given a supervisor, most programmes will want you to submit a brief description of your topic. Before you prepare a thorough research proposal, it’s a good idea to talk to your supervisor about your thoughts. Remember that it’s usually fine to change your mind and move focus early in the dissertation process if you discover that your topic isn’t as powerful as you thought it was. Simply make sure you have adequate time to begin a new issue, and always consult with your supervisor or department. Continue to Read More On Our Blog Page. Happy Reading!  8 Steps to Pick a Dissertation Topic 

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