Writing a dissertation is perhaps one of the most daunting tasks for students. Most students are usually expected to generate an interesting topic, plan and investigate it and present their findings. Some important stages in the dissertation writing process include:
- Choosing an interesting topic
- Building an effective research question
- Planning and researching
- Conducting surveys if required and reporting your results
- Structuring your dissertation
While some students know exactly what their research question they need to address, a few find themselves struggling with the question of what topic to choose. With the pressure of meeting their deadline building up, they usually end up panicking. Following are a few tips to avoid such situations:
– Discuss topics with other students. Get an idea of what factors they are considering when deciding on a topic. Welcome comments of other students on your topic as this will help you refine your focus. Question yourself if the topic that you have chosen sparks an interest in others? Is it something related to a current problem in time? Will the research that you conduct on it be an addition to the existing research available?
– Study the work of other students via journals and periodicals. You can either get online access to them or visit your university library for this. Going through what others have done in the field that you have chosen for the past five years is going to be extremely helpful for you.
– When deciding on a topic, think about your interests. Working on a topic that you are most interested in is always going to help you stay motivated when writing your dissertation. You will be writing the next 20,000 – 40,000 on this same topic, hence it only makes sense to choose a topic you are really fond of.
– While you are doing your topic research and skimming through the articles you find most interesting, try being critical of the topic. Ask the question “why does the author assumes so”, etc. this might give you help in deciding on your own research question.
– Always remember that your research should explore an under-researched area, be a source of addition in the existing literature and develop or test a methodology.
– Last, but not least, discuss your topic with your supervisor and see if they will be able to assist with it.
Once you keep the above points in mind, you will certainly choose an interesting topic for your dissertation. Best of luck!