Mistakes to Avoid when Choosing your Dissertation TopicSaturday, September 18th, 2010
Certain dissertation topics will make your life miserable…
You know that writing a dissertation is a long process that sometimes feels way too long and even pointless! But don’t give up before you start. You will success if you manage to organize yourself, find an interesting topic and focus on the big picture. After all, isn’t it all about getting your degree? Preparing your dissertation is hard but also rewarding. And it all begins with choosing a dissertation topic. If you do this right, you are on your way! But if you fail, you may even need to start all over again when you are half way there, so pay attention and don’t make these common mistakes when you are dealing with your first dissertation steps.
Mistake # 1: Choosing a topic which you don’t find interesting
If writing the dissertation is boring for you, reading the dissertation will be boring for readers, that is, your teachers and professors. So make sure you pick a dissertation topic that you find interesting, or at least provokes you some curiosity. Besides, you will spend a lot of time writing a thesis, so you’d better choose a good topic that can motivate you!
Mistake # 2: Not doing enough research before you start to write
With your thesis, you are actually producing new relevant knowledge within your discipline. But that doesn’t mean you should not compare what others have said before. You are, of course, expected to use and quote several sources. If you don’t do a little research before choosing your topic, you may end up repeating what others have said many years ago.
Mistake # 3: Choosing a topic too broad
If the dissertation topic you have chosen is too broad, then it will require you to deal with too much information. That is why, when trying to respect a certain extension, a broad topic will be quite superficial: you can say many things about this topic, but everything you write will be at a very basic level. For example, when writing about “Main French philosophers of all times”, your dissertation will probably be a whole encyclopedia! If you decide to write about “The early influence of Montaigne’s thought in the French Revolution”, you will be able to focus your research. The key is narrowing your topic: that is, choosing to deal with only a part of it. This way your analysis will get deeper into it.
Mistake # 4: Not checking the topic with your tutor
Speak to your tutor and hear his advice. Think about it carefully and consider your options. After all, you will spend most of your time the next year working on this project. So choose a dissertation topic that you find attractive but, at the same time, make sure you will not bump into too many difficulties.
After choosing your topic, you are ready to prepare a dissertation outline. Then, you will feel half of the work is done. Come on, you’ll make it!