Writing a dissertation is no small feat. The dissertation is the culmination of years of academic work and should contribute a small bit of new information to your field of work. Here are 5 things you should consider before selecting your dissertation topic.
It can take a significant amount of time to write a dissertation. Make sure that whatever you choose to write your dissertation on you love the subject. The chances are that, by the time your dissertation is published, you will be the subject matter expert.
If your dissertation research involves you traveling to all 7 continents to do some specialized surveying, make sure that you can afford it. Unless you’ve somehow gotten a research grant that will cover all of that travel, you’re on your own financially.
You need to know what is happening in your field before you choose a dissertation topic. The best way that you can do this is to attend dissertation defenses that happen at your university or in your field. Knowing how the oral defense works and what to expect during this period of your dissertation may influence your choice of a topic.
Many dissertation students start with some wide field of research that they wish to revolutionize the entire subject. These topics are not realistic and often get thrown into the trash before the first month is over. Your dissertation should seek to ask a specific question or provide your field with information that may be missing from other research that has been completed. Leave the revolutionary research for postgraduate work.
When you propose your dissertation to the board, you give a timeframe that your research will be complete within. Make sure that whatever the type of research is you can actually complete it within that allotted time. Asking for unending extensions on your dissertation doesn’t lend you any credibility. The best thing you can do is to look at your timeline and analyze the research methods that you are good at, then select a topic that will fit well within those two parameters.
If you can do all five of these things, chances are you shouldn’t struggle too much when writing your dissertation. Remember that the goal is to research, defend and graduate. A narrow dissertation is going to be easier to defend and increase your chances of really impacting your field.