Selecting a dissertation topic

It is a challenge to choose a dissertation topic, especially for researchers who have no experience. It is because the choice of the topic determines the duration of your study. This process is bothersome to doctoral students because of uncertainty around the circle.  

Techniques for selecting a dissertation topic

When selecting dissertation topics, students use dreaming in a vacuum technique. From this technique, students believe that good ideas come from inspirational moments where students take a walk in parks, mountains, or even sit on quiet sites to meditate and learn about parks, mountains, and nature in general. However, waiting for encouragement is not a good technique for coming up with the dissertation topic. Some students try to discover a topic that fits the collection of collected data. This approach is inappropriate and a sure way to annoy your supervisor. The following are the most efficient and effective ways to choose a dissertation topic.

  1. Have an understanding of relevant literature
  2. Participate actively in discussions with lecturers and scholars in your area of study
  3. Try to author about your topic to assist you in organizing and crystallizing your understanding

Looking for potential dissertation topics

Dissertation topics do not emerge anywhere; you have to search for them out in the relevant sources dutifully. The following are potential sources for your issues.

  1. Your interests: Look for what energizes and excites you.
  2. Fellow students, professional colleagues, and lecturers: Hear their recommendations and the suggested topics.
  3. The professional journals: This is where you will get current search topics and suggested topics for further research.
  4. Librarians: Request them to assist you in running database search on your topics of interests
  5. Dissertations: This where you review previously authored dissertations.
  6. Attend oral defense. Discussions that go on in the oral defense panel often suggest possible topics for further research
  7. The Internet: You will get various research topics, but you need to exercise caution on the sources you rely on the internet.

Criteria for selecting topics

The majority of the academic and faculties accept that doctoral dissertations must be original and contribute to the body of knowledge in the field of study. The interpretation of original and contribution to the body of learning differ from one faculty to another. Being original means that the dissertation should suggest new interpretations, challenge current assumptions or truths, or uncover new principles or facts. However, there are no fixed rules for choosing a dissertation topic. The following are general criteria for selecting potential topics.

  1. The selected topic should hold your interests for a long time.
  2. The scope of the topic should be manageable. The majority of the students choose a broad topic that ends up giving them challenges to finish.
  3. It should be original and contribute to the body of knowledge in your area of study.
  4. The scope of the dissertation must be achievable within budget and period.
  5. It should not have been exhaustively studied.

Replication studies

Another approach to pursue a thesis topic is to replicate previously done assignments. It merely means repeating the same studies. The majority of the students believe that repeating another study is cheating and an easy way to finish the studies. Knowledge piles up through studies that build up on top of other studies over time. Therefore, replication adds clarity and strength to research results. You can add valuable contributions by repeating a study that gets conducted sometime back. Replication studies serve the purpose of contradicting, reinforcing, and verifying the results of previous studies.

Research studies can get replicated in several ways. First, you can decide to change parts of the research design of the previously done study. You can also find it appropriate to subtract or add variables, restructure research questions, or even change the research instruments. Further, you can replicate your study in a different geographical area with a different population and utilizing different instruments.

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