Narrowing a Dissertation Topic: Useful Tips & Tricks


You know you will ultimately have to write a thesis in order to receive the postgraduate degree you have worked so hard to achieve. It is all part of the academic life and you may as well get right to work on finding a good theme. Narrowing down the dissertation topic is not impossible, but you should follow a few tips to get to it.

  1. Think About a Number of Questions in your Discipline. You will be targeting something which can be expanded upon. The questions should not be general ones but specific queries into subject matter. You have to have something you can call you own as you begin to lay the format for the paper you will be writing.

  2. Is There Sufficient Research Available at the Present Time? The topic should be a bit narrow, but not to the point where nothing has been written on it at all. You are expanding the knowledge of the area with your paper. Perhaps later on in your career you will be able to break entirely new ground. For now do what is necessary.

  3. Consider what will be used to evaluate the question. Is the data easy to obtain or will it be time and money costly? Your area of study will need to be evaluated and measures have to be identified. Should you find nothing which can be used you may want to look for another subject for the paper.

  4. Concentrate on the Original. You need to be able to create a new avenue of thought on a particular topic. Your title must indicate the original nature of the work you will be doing.

  5. Examine the Literature One More Time. Make certain no one has already answered the question you have selected as the centerpiece of your study.

This is all a process of elimination for you. The final selection can be a difficult process, but it will make the writing much easier. If you are thinking of a career in academia this is a very good exercise for you. The efforts you make in later days will require you to perform the same pick and choose work you are doing right now. What you are currently doing will prepare you to do something comparable at another time. Don’t procrastinate but move forward in picking the all-important title and subject of your paper. The effort provides its own reward.

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