For years academic writing experts and experienced graduates have provided tips on how to develop a good dissertation topic for your graduate project. Here are 10 of the best quick tips we’ve gathered from writing experts around the world:
Start by simply coming up with a list of ideas relating to a subjects you think would make for great dissertation. You don’t have to get these perfect the first time around. The point of this exercise is to just get your creativity going.
If you have trouble generating a list then just go with what you have found interesting. If you are writing about military history you may find that a certain period has fascinated you more than others. Start here and develop a more focused idea.
Assuming you get a list of about half a dozen or so ideas worth consideration, go ahead and ask a few questions about the different things you would like to learn or explore. This will help you set the foundation for your dissertation proposal document.
This is the same idea as the one listed above in that it could provide you with a lot of the base content you will need for your proposal. Define your topic ideas explaining what it means to the discipline to conduct this research.
If you’ve been able to narrow your list to two or three ideas you should start bringing focus to each one. This is important so that you work on something that is manageable and not completely out of control.
Sometimes when you come up with ideas you select something that is so narrow that you will be unable to find enough research content. In these cases you should broaden your ideas a bit ensuring that material will be available.
Consider doing a simple keyword search for terms that are interested. Have a look at what the important issues surrounding your ideas.
Another great way of coming up with a really good dissertation topic is to read academic journals from within the discipline you’re studying. The university library should have plenty of past and current journals from which to get ideas.
Don’t forget that a lot of good ideas can come from looking at your syllabus and noting the subjects covered in class and through both required and recommended readings. The benefit in this is that you can cut down the amount of time spent researching.
Lastly, you can always come up with a lot of good ideas by simply brainstorming with colleagues from your course. Just sit down for an hour or two at the start of the course and go over some of the things you want to learn. Write down ideas and make sure two of you aren’t working on the same idea.