How not to get in trouble with an inappropriate dissertation topic?


Your dissertation topic can get you into trouble if it is inappropriate. That is not to say that it is naughty or morally unsound but rather that it doesn’t suit your niche or academic study well. If you pick a topic that is not related to your field it will be inappropriate and not serve its purpose. If you pick a topic that is too broad you won’t be able to cover it adequately in your limited amount of space and therefore you will get into trouble because it is inappropriate.

So pick a topic that is related to your previous studies and narrow it down time and time again until you have something poignant which can be argued in your limited space.

As you write your dissertation, remember that you do not want to save your best argument until the end. This is a common mistake. Many students want to “wow” or “shock” the reader at the very end, leaving them something that resonates for days after. But the problem is, you need to present this killer argument at the beginning. It has to be there in the very first paragraph. Why? Because if you wait until the end, chances are most readers will have stopped reading long ago. You need to look at this from the point of view of the reader: would you get bored if no solid argument was made anywhere in the first few pages?

Think of your paper as a movie rather than a documentary. You want to start it off on a bang, start with an opening scene that immediately grabs the reader.

Your argument needs to be something that is coherent and strong. It does not matter if your argument is right or not, it needs to be strong. Your argument is what holds your entire essay together. If your core argument is strong, you can literally make any stand. You can digress a bit here or there. You can go off in many directions. You can do any of this, so long as your argument is strong. The argument is the recurrent melody in a song. It is restated throughout the piece.

And as you write it is important to remember not to recycle something that is already on the internet and perhaps most importantly: don’t stop writing until it is done.