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How to Choose a Dissertation Topic: Four Pieces of Advice

dissertation topic

December 15, 2017

Answering the question “how to pick a dissertation topic” might be one of the most important aspects of writing a successful dissertation. For some people such level of importance sometimes means additional stress, because they have no right to make a mistake. On the other hand, if you fully understand the process, choosing a good dissertation topic won’t be a problem for you. Here are the top 4 pieces of advice which will make you understand how to choose a dissertation topic that will stand out:

  1. Push the envelope

    You’ve probably heard this phrase dozens of times before, but I don’t think that you have a clear understanding of what it means. It means that your research is different than research of other people and it has a different take on a researched issue. This is a research that will be useful to read for any person who is researching the selected scientific area themselves. And not because it is interesting, but because it is impossible to ignore if they want to get a broad understanding of the topic. But it’s not that difficult as it may sound. You just need to find a question that would shed new light on the matters which were already researched by others.

  2. Make sure that theory matches the methods that you use

    Let me explain what it means. When you’re choosing a method for your research (qualitative or quantitative), make sure that you ask questions which can be answered with this method. For instance, quantitative methods shouldn’t be combined with questions like “how the outlook on this matter changed from one generation to another,” and qualitative methods shouldn’t be applied for questions like “influence of vibrational frequency on person’s behavior.” You should never separate your topic from the methods that you intend to use; otherwise, you may face a serious problem.

  3. You shouldn’t put a question that can be answered with “no” or “yes”

    Because this makes a dissertation topic dull. You should think about thought-provoking questions that make people interested in finding out more.

  4. Choose a “sexy” topic. You probably haven’t heard anything like this

    What is the definition of a “sexy” topic? Well, it’s quite simple – it’s the topic after reading which you want to say “Wow! Now that’s interesting!” Sexy topics take old topics and add a twist to them so that they naturally ignite the interest of people because they haven’t thought about it this way. For instance, we can say that Einstein and Elon Musk have sexy ideas and all successful people had sexy ideas. Because other people saw their ideas and thought “Wow! That’s cool!” Try to come up with a topic like this. Think about dissertation topics that would ignite similar reaction. And remember that “sexiness” is not a requirement for your dissertation but if it has this feature your dissertation will standout among others.

Follow these 4 tips and you’re bound to choose a great dissertation topic.