Some basic do's and don'ts you should know before selecting a thesis topic
Let's face it; a dissertation is not an overnight activity. It is something which will take you weeks, months or even years of research and writing. It is something which will stamp you with the quality of an intelligent expert in your area of expertise. Therefore it follows that your choice of topic has to be spot on. But there are a number of things you should consider before selecting your dissertation topic. Here are just a few of them.
- Has this topic been done to death?
- Is your topic specific enough?
- Are you using an interesting and appropriate methodology?
- Have you subjected your proposed topic to an examination?
It can be a situation where you make life difficult for yourself when you choose a dissertation topic which has been chosen by many other academics before you. That is not to say that you can't find a new angle on the topic and that in itself could be sufficient to separate your dissertation from others, but you are making a rod for your own back if you choose a topic which has been done to death over many years by many other students.
It is most important that you do not choose a topic which is not specific. The problem with having a general topic for your dissertation is that you invite the opportunity to write a little bit about a lot of subjects. This is a definite no-no when it comes to being a successful dissertation writer. The more specific you can make your choice of topic, the greater your chance for producing a standout piece of writing.
Of course the topic is important but so too is the way you go about tackling the topic. What is your methodology in writing your dissertation? The best and most interesting topic in the world can come undone if the methodology you use to create your dissertation is bland and predictable. The perfect combination is an interesting and specific topic which is produced using an interesting and relevant methodology.
It cannot be stressed enough that you do not rush in where angels fear to tread. By all means spend as much time as is necessary on the choice of your dissertation topic. The more people you consult on your choice the better, particularly if these people include your teachers and the supervisor. Remember that you are about to embark on a lengthy task involving a great deal of research, thinking and writing. The better your choice of topic, the easier your research and writing task and the better your finished product.