Many people spend a lot of time wondering how to choose a thesis or dissertation topic, but how do you know when you have the right one? Well, it can be different for everyone, including how you define “the right topic,” but there are a few ways to know you’ve picked a good topic.
So how do you know when the topic is right for you?
1. You find it interesting. If you don’t like the topic of your work, or don’t find it fascinating, there’s a glaring problem right there. This is something you’re going to be intimate with for a long, long time. You’re going to be pouring lots of energy, time, and thought into this, and if you’re not interested or kind of lackluster about the topic, you’re going to resent your work, big-time. That can impact your motivation, the quality of your work, the examination and critical thinking necessary for your work – everything.
If you’re not fascinated by your topic, maybe think about what does capture your interest. What do you want to read about, think about, and explore, and go from there.
2. There is plenty of existing work on the topic. Wait, what? This is a good thing? Yes, yes it is. The fact that others have done research and work in the area you’ll be studying is good because this provides you with information to think about, explore, build upon, and critique. Existing work can help you identify where a gap is in the research and what still needs to be explored.
3. There are boundaries. Choosing a topic can be overwhelming, especially if you have a broad range of interests. The possibilities can feel unlimited! That being said, a good topic will also be delineated and have clear limits to keep you from overreaching. Are you focused on a specific geographical area? Is there a certain time period you’re sticking to, or a certain population? Having boundaries and a very clear scope will help you know you have the right topic and make your work stronger.
4. People in your field also find it interesting. This might seem minor, and compared to the other factors listed, perhaps it is. But if your mentors and colleagues think it sounds fascinating or like a “good” topic, that’s an encouraging sign that future colleagues will be interested in it as well. Piquing the interest of others will also help if they happen to see an article or hear about some research you might appreciate – they’ll be more likely to think of you and let you know about it. If no one cares about your topic or doesn’t understand why you’d ever want to write about it, that might be a warning sign to think about the topic a bit more.
Here at Dissertation Editor, we’ve been where you are. We know what it’s like to pick a topic for a thesis or dissertation, and then commence research on it. We know what the writing process is like, and then what the editing process entails – but you don’t have to go through it alone. Contact us today to find out about the range of services we offer and how we can help you navigate your dissertation or thesis journey from start to finish – and beyond.