Helping students find good dissertation topics

When a topic needs to be created from scratch, it can often be a brain-draining experience to come up with something that’s catchy and original. But topic selection is a simple process of understanding the various factors that are contained in a dissertation title. Once you’ve identified these factors and know how to implement them into your topic, the selection process is a lot easier.

Make sure the following factors feature in the topic you decide on, or use these factors to construct a custom topic:

The main subject

Of course your topic has to be within the context of your subject. You may think that this is a no-brainer, but actually a lot of students make the mistake of veering off their main subject. For instance, if your subject is economics, and you opt to write a dissertation on the history of a certain financial system, then you run the risk of ignoring the main point of your dissertation. Be careful to stay within the perimeters of the subject when coming up with your topic.

The area of the subject

Students should always take the narrow road when choosing a dissertation topic. This means that you should never take a topic that is too broad, even if you’re worried about not having enough material to write about. Students who make their topics too broad will never create a compelling paper, simply because they have failed to focus on a core area. Narrow your topic down to specifics and dissect everything out of it that you can to fill the pages of your dissertation.

The problem

A good topic must contain a problem that needs solving. Avoid choosing topics that have no substance, or ones that have been explored by others. Keep your topic original and try to contribute to your subject arena.

Wherever possible, try to promise a solution to the problem within your title too. Let the reader know that there is a problem, and then tell them that the solution lies within your study.

The direction

A topic needs a starting point, as well as a place to go. Let your topic be one that offers a clear indication of where it’s going. If you tell your reader through your title that a dissertation is about one thing, but then fail to deliver on that promise, your dissertation will end up lacking integrity. Be clear about what areas you are delving into and provide your reader with the confidence that you will supply what you have promised.