The most challenging part of graduating from a university is writing a dissertation paper. Whether for the undergraduate level or the PhD level, this seems to blow every student’s mind. And the initial step of choosing a suitable topic is the most exhausting one. Selecting the wrong topic may take away your interest from writing the paper and the reader’s interest from reading the article. The process might seem intimidating but is crucial for getting the graduation degree, so we should pay attention to it. A research paper takes a lot of effort, some guidance, and, obviously, extensive research.
So, here are some tips to help you select the perfect topic for your research paper.
Select a Topic that you find interesting
A dissertation paper takes months to complete. Therefore, it is essential to find a topic that keeps you interested throughout the process. Brainstorm some issues and choose the one topic that you like the most. It could be about your career, some historical place that you find intriguing, or any problems you might have an opinion on. Make sure you have a wide range of information on whatever topic you choose. You can even do a book review of your choice or analyze the issues that have always been intriguing you. It is seldom possible that the idea you have chosen is entirely different, so one of the options is to find a unique approach to a picture.
It is good to have referenced from the Alumni
When writing a research paper is new, we should look up to the students who have been through that phase and might have produced successful dissertation papers. We get to know the sequence of topics, and they are easily accessible, so referring to them is profitable. Look up some well-graded pieces and analyze them to understand what a good review looks like and chosen topics. It helps us determine the range of issues that have been covered and which are yet to be covered. We get to know how original the cases are from those references. It is even essential to review the academic literature for generating a better research paper.
Make a Map
Think about how you’ll go about writing the paper. Identify the potential research questions and make a chronological order of those questions. There should be the relevance of the new topic to the previous one, so there is no conspicuous breakage between the subtopics. Ensure you have enough questions to fulfil the word limit since that is a critical aspect to consider. The topic you have chosen should not be too vague. Each sentence should contribute to the construction of the research or argument, and the overall piece must follow a clear structure. If the topic is too broad, it might become challenging to explore the issue.
The more you read about your topic, the better. It is important to research to ensure that your chosen case is the right subject for you. Try to take references from books rather than the internet. Have uncensored brainstorming sessions in which you list down whatever topics that come to your mind before searching the internet or referring to books. If you are interested in the chosen case, you might have many ideas. So, it is necessary to note all of them even if it seems to be stupid. Make sure you give an equal word count to all the sub-topics. Don’t choose the topics that one cannot elaborate upon.
Sometimes we tend to be too attached to our work. One should make sure that each sentence contributes to the construction of the research or argument, and the overall piece must follow a clear structure. The crucial part is to step away from your ideas for once and then evaluate through the reader’s perspective. Being ‘objective’ is the best way to analyze your work since sometimes we get so engrossed in it that we tend to pass over the weaknesses. Therefore, it’s essential to be realistic about the promise and scope of your idea. Try to take a step back from your topic and analyze it from an outsider’s perspective to ensure that you’re not holding onto a weak concept since it’s never too late to change the topic and start all over again.
Ask for advice from your Tutor
Your tutor is a mentor who helps and guides you throughout the process. Thus, it is vital to seek your tutor’s help when you stumble upon a problem. Sometimes, we get lost and feel like we have reached a dead-end without guidance. So, the tutor’s role is to show away when we find no other way out. A tutor has experience guiding other students on their choice of topics, so you can be sure of receiving great recommendations.
- Hamilton, Samuel. How to Choose a Topic for a Dissertation. Available at: https://classroom.synonym.com/choose-topic-dissertation-13148.html
- Rutherford (November 16, 2018). How to Choose a Topic for a Dissertation. Available at: How to choose a topic for your dissertation – Student. https://www.timeshighereducation.com/student/advice/how-choose-topic-your-dissertation