How To Choose An Undergraduate Dissertation Topic

Most dissertations are written in post-graduate degree programs; but, students will occasionally have an undergraduate degree that requires writing this complicated paper. Prior to writing this lengthy paper, you will need to choose a topic. This beginning step is one of the most challenging, because the choice will make or break the rest of the writing process. Here is how to choose a good topic:

Choose an Argumentative Idea

The undergraduate dissertation needs to be about something argumentative. This means that the subject of the paper needs to be controversial or opinionated. One of the best ways to build an idea for this type of project is to ask yourself questions that begin with “should” because they require yes or no answers. So, if you are writing for a literature course or and education course, you could ask yourself “Should Romeo and Juliet still be taught in the first year of high school?”

Conduct a Quick Search

After you pick the question, you should do some quick preliminary research. This step is important because you need to see if you can actually find quality sources that can support your stance on the subject. Since this project is for the first college degree, you do not need to spend hours searching for supporting material. You should be able to find things quickly or not at all.

Build a Thesis

If you can find source material that supports your preliminary idea, you can then begin to build your thesis. This large project will need to have a strong thesis statement that will control the entire structure. You can use the question to design the thesis. If you are writing about Romeo and Juliet, you could write: Due to the adult content of Shakespeare’s play The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, the play should not be taught in the first year of high school. Your reader will immediately see what your stance on the issue is and why you believe this.

If You Get Stuck

If you have difficulty creating a subject for your project, there are a few places to turn to find inspiration. A textbook index is full of subject ideas. You can also look the dissertation database at your school to see what other students have written. You can search for topic ideas from different websites, then put those ideas into questions so you can formulate your stance.


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