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Tips on selecting a right topic for a dissertation

Tips on selecting a right topic for a dissertation

Sep 19, 2012 - Posted to  Dissertation Writing
A dissertation is a lengthy essay usually given to PhD students as part of the requirements to being awarded a PhD degree. A dissertation essay can be quite difficult owing to its length and the period of time it takes to complete. A typical dissertation paper can be about 60 pages long. This can be quite a daunting task if you don't have a topic you are comfortable working on. In order to choose a good topic for your dissertation, it is important that lots of thoughts and research go into it.

RESEARCH

Before deciding on a topic for your dissertation, the first thing to do would be to research. Your research should be based on your particular areas of interest. Read widely and take notes while doing so. Take notes and try to take deep interest in areas that you feel are important to you. Consult the best books, journals, articles, online publications, newspapers and basically any source that would provide you with credible information. On a piece of paper or note book write down important points or facts pertaining to your discipline. Do not choose to write on topics that are too broad. It will be too large for you to finish in your dissertation. Broad topics have the disadvantage of not dwelling on a particular topic. It will be easy for you to get lost in a broad topic. The simple thing to do is to see if you can formulate research questions from the topics you read from reputable books.

TAKE NOTES

As stated previously, taking notes while doing your research will help put you in a better frame of mind to choose a topic. Taking notes has the advantage of bringing to your remembrance all you have learned so far during the course of your study. For the purpose of choosing a dissertation topic, go back to the note you have previously kept. Go through your notes thoroughly. Ask yourself what interests you most about the points or topic you have put to paper. Write those new topics that interest you in a separate paper. Separate them from the topics that don't interest you. Go through your new notes once again. Are there particular things that fascinate you about these new set of topics? If any of these topics, speaks to you, then this may be your new dissertation topic.

MAKE YOUR OUTLINE

By this time you must have chosen a suitable topic for your dissertation. The next thing to do would be to make your outline. A good outline gives you the skeletons or framework of what you need in your paper. It shows you a guideline to follow. It is a measure of what you are expected to cover in your dissertation paper. Your outline should include your research question, what you expect to cover in your paper, an overall idea of what the paper should contain, how you hope to accomplish your research, your dissertation methodology, your possible results and any discussion that may follow.

WRITE YOUR PAPER

Your outline at this stage must have given you the framework you need to work from. Use this framework to your advantage by following it as a guideline. Be sure to do further research in order to create more flesh for your paper.
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