How to write a successful dissertation/thesis

JMisiru

Member
Jun 12, 2015
72
125
The selection of a suitable topic is the first major step in writing a thesis or dissertation. For some students this is an easy task. They have known what they wanted to study from the time they entered college and perhaps even before, but for many others, selecting a thesis or dissertation topic is one of the most difficult parts of their graduate programs. The thought of developing a “completely original” idea for such a large-scale project may seem overwhelming to them.

The notion that a dissertation must be completely original is a misconception, for no research is completely original. All research is based on the work of others to some extent. In fact, the most useful kind of research simply builds on research that has already been done.

Some of the most successful theses and dissertations simply extend the knowledge base one step further in an area by examining a new variable within a well-established line of inquiry, collecting data on a different sample, testing a new methodology, or introducing a new statistical technique.

Thus, as you begin to focus progressively on a broad search for a topic, you gain a more thorough understanding of what has been done in an area and what needs to be done. The term original “implies some novel twist, fresh perspective, new hypothesis, or innovative method that makes the dissertation project a distinctive contribution” for more information

How to select a topic for a thesis or dissertation​

In selecting an appropriate topic for a thesis or dissertation, the following criteria should be considered as important:
  • Interest
  • Significance
  • Available data
  • Knowledge and skills
  • Manageability
  • Funding.

Interest​

It is the fortunate dissertation student who investigates a topic that is both professionally and personally compelling. Writing a dissertation is hard work. Try to find a topic for which you have substantial curiosity and perhaps even passion to sustain you though the process.

Significance​

Dissertation is a test of your preparation to conduct independent research and make a significant contribution to the field. Basically, a significant topic has the potential to do at least one of the following:
  • Contribute to the development of a new theory
  • Test an existing theory
  • Uncover new facts or principles
  • Challenge existing truths or assumptions
  • Suggest relationships between phenomena
  • Provide new insights into phenomena
  • Suggest new interpretations of known facts
  • Alter other people’s perceptions about phenomena
  • Extend a research methodology or statistical procedure

Available Data​

The ability to collect data needed for your study is a major consideration. Access to data is so important that you might consider identifying your research participants first and then seek to select a topic. You need to be certain the data for your dissertation will be available and accessible when you come to the collection phase of your dissertation. The timing of the data collection is just as important as the topic itself in the calculation of its research-ability.

Knowledge and Skills​

Selecting a topic consistent with your knowledge and skills is also important. First, you will save time, because you will be dealing with a familiar topic. Second, you can talk knowledgeably about your topic. Third, you are more likely to get support from your dissertation chair and committee for a topic about which you have some knowledge. Form more information>>
 

Lubengera

JF-Expert Member
Jun 21, 2019
286
500
The selection of a suitable topic is the first major step in writing a thesis or dissertation. For some students this is an easy task. They have known what they wanted to study from the time they entered college and perhaps even before, but for many others, selecting a thesis or dissertation topic is one of the most difficult parts of their graduate programs. The thought of developing a “completely original” idea for such a large-scale project may seem overwhelming to them.

The notion that a dissertation must be completely original is a misconception, for no research is completely original. All research is based on the work of others to some extent. In fact, the most useful kind of research simply builds on research that has already been done. Some of the most successful theses and dissertations simply extend the knowledge base one step further in an area by examining a new variable within a well-established line of inquiry, collecting data on a different sample, testing a new methodology, or introducing a new statistical technique. Thus, as you begin to focus progressively on a broad search for a topic, you gain a more thorough understanding of what has been done in an area and what needs to be done. The term original “implies some novel twist, fresh perspective, new hypothesis, or innovative method that makes the dissertation project a distinctive contribution” for more information>>matokeonecta.blogspot.com/2020/04/how-to-write-dissertation-writting.html
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