Dissertation topics for graduate students

As a graduate student you should know this already, but prepare for the shocking truth about coming up dissertation topics:

You can’t just come up with “topics” for dissertations.

Bombshell! Breaking news! Shock and awe! To be more specific, you can’t just sit down and write a list of topics to do for your dissertation. You may ask “Why?” Well, we’re going to get into right now!

What IS a dissertation exactly?

A dissertation is essentially the most important essay you’ll do in college/university in certain fields. In more artistic fields, the equivalent is the portfolio. The purpose of the dissertation is mainly to show that you’ve actually learned something in your years and years of academia as a student. You’ll do this by presenting issues you’ve come across in your studies and utilize research as a means of solving. Essentially, it’s to show that you have a strong enough grasp of your field of study to warrant graduation and becoming an expert in the field or if you need to go back and study more.

Dissertations Are Very Different From Other Essays

Dissertations are incredibly different from other essays. You don’t simply pick a topic and write on it like you can with a research paper or an argumentative essay. Also, your instructor doesn’t assign something for you to write on. This is your show, basically.

How to come up with topics?

Oh, this again. You don’t just pick a topic. By the time you’re a graduate student, you should know exactly what your dissertation will be about or where you want to go in your field of study. You’ve had more than the initial four years to consider what concerns or interests you most in your field. Just write on that.

Using Your Proposal

Good, you know what you want to cover in your dissertation, but don’t know how to start it off. Use your proposal. Even though it’s just your passport to get your dissertation agreed upon, it’s basically the blueprint for your whole paper and essentially goes in the order you want to do your dissertation. If you need a topic for your proposal, just look at your field and see which one you feel strongly enough about. Which topic would you like to go into or teach if you had the opportunity and just build your proposal—and eventually your dissertation—around that.

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