When it is time to decide on a dissertation topic, you will need to do some work. A dissertation will immerse you for several years, so it is important to be passionate about your topic. Dissertation ideas are all around you. This bounty may seem like a good thing, but narrowing several ideas to one dissertation topic can be challenging. Your dissertation advisor may be able to help you narrow down ideas, but you are responsible to do most of the work before they step in. Here are some ways that you might go about choosing a dissertation topic for your doctoral degree.
Explore Dissertation Ideas
Start to read relevant literature, make notes about the topics that have been researched and be prepared to throw out ideas that have been well covered. Also, consider the areas of study that you find the most interesting. Keep those ideas close. To move from an idea to a solid dissertation topic, consider how your interest can add to the body of current research.
Narrow Down Your Topics
After you have found a middle ground between your interests and relevant topics in your field, decide if your possible dissertation topic is has a manageable scope. Go back to the literature you read and be sure that your specific interests or questions have not already been researched. Also, look into whether or not it is relevant in your field and if other people could benefit from the research that you will conduct.
Start Over at Any Point
As you are thinking about ideas and begin to narrow them down into one dissertation topic, you may need to start the brainstorming process over several times. The more you steep yourself in the existing literature, the more you will see what direction research has gone in in the past. Either you can look for gaps in previous research that you could fill or you can search for a neglected topic in your field. All of this early work is necessary to bring your dissertation ideas into focus.
Engage With Others
Brainstorming and preparing for your research may seem like a solo effort, but this type of work does not have to happen in a vacuum. Get into the field and discuss your ideas and potential topics with faculty, professional colleagues and current doctoral learners. Interact with dissertations in your field and reach out to contemporary researchers whose work you have been studying. Talk with experts about how your work and interests could contribute to the field.
Your dissertation is the major focus of your doctoral degree. When you enroll in a doctoral degree program at Grand Canyon University, you will have a dedicated community of expert faculty and peers to help guide you through a rigorous curriculum centered on developing your dissertation. Important academic resources like the Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching provide important information and training for your research. To learn more about the College of Doctoral Studies and our programs, visit our website or click on the Request More Information button on this page.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.