Choosing a Great Dissertation Topic: Part 2
A Guide for Developing Dissertation Topics & Ideas
1. There will be detours
Be aware that there will be detours when searching for a dissertation topic. For many doctoral candidates, choosing a dissertation topic is the first time they have had to conceptualize a large scale project. The dissertation topic search can take you in many directions. Plan on exploring these topics as potential dissertations, but donít get so bogged down that you push your dissertation proposal date too far in the future. Choosing a dissertation topic takes time, but if you follow some of these dissertation pointers, you will be defending your proposal before you know it.
2. Avoid too many opinions
Everyone, including your mother, will be giving you advice about your dissertation topic. It is good to get advice from different sources about choosing a dissertation topic. However, in terms of your specific dissertation topic, rely only on people who you trust know the topics and areas of research you are investigating. Just as too many cooks spoil the pot, too many "dissertation advisors" spoil the dissertation topic. Trust your instincts about which dissertation topic is right for you.
3. Donít get too stressed out
Even though the dissertation topic choice is a very important task, and can be overwhelming at times, it is not the end of the world. A little bit of stress during the dissertation process is good, but too much stress is not useful. The one thing that holds up dissertation candidates more than anything else is the stress about choosing the dissertation topic. The dissertation topic has a lot of pressures attached to it, but choosing a dissertation topic is just another hurdle on your way to post-doctoral life. The moral of the story: it is good to have a bit of stress about your dissertation topic, but if youíve made it this far, the dissertation topic is only one of many hurdles that you will face throughout your professional career.
4. Have fun with it
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"Fun" is not a word most people associate with choosing a dissertation topic, but if you take it too seriously, your dissertation will be boring and not creative. Boredom with your dissertation topic can lead to a dry dissertation proposal. Being bored with your dissertation can also lead to your dissertation taking longer to complete than originally anticipated. Many of the best dissertation topics are developed by mixing and matching different dissertation topics. A lot of great dissertation topics are also developed by accident while having fun with the material. So work hard and try to have fun!