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Choosing Among Dissertation Topics

Are you finding it a struggle to come up with a good dissertation topic? Don't worry if you are; many students have trouble with this. It's just one of the things that sets dissertations apart from the papers required earlier in a student's career; before, you'd usually be given a topic to write on, whereas now you have to come up with it yourself (and usually do the research to support it, too.) It certainly isn't easy, but on the bright side you have the freedom to choose something that interests you and suits your abilities. What does it matter if you need a bit of advice to get it right? Luckily it's easy to get advice; at we specialize in helping Masters and PhD students with their dissertations, and topic selection is one of the things we're often asked to assist with. To make things easier we thought we'd release some of our top tips; hopefully they'll help you find the perfect topic. If not, though, don't worry! Just contact us for some personalized advice.

What makes a good topic?

The perfect topic for you will depend on many things. Luckily you have a huge range to choose from. At the graduate degree level research is usually quite tightly focused, so your ideal topic will be looking at one small area in a lot of detail. Unlike broad, general topics that lets you avoid things that you're not so good at and concentrate on areas where you excel. That goes for any subject; dissertation topics in education might be very different from criminology dissertation topics (unless you're tempted to murder your tutor, of course!) but you'll need to show the same depth of knowledge and understanding. So what's the best way to find a short list of possibilities? The quickest is simply doing a web search. Running a search for accounting dissertation topics, for example, will come up with thousands of suggestions. Many are quite generic but can be easily adapted to suit your specialist knowledge and interests. You can also go through your course material and find the areas that interest you most. It's likely that one of them will suggest some areas for further research, and if so there are your topics. Alternatively look at dissertations others have already written; with management dissertation topics, for example, you might find one exploring an interesting aspect of a firm. Change the firm and you have a brand new topic.

Further help

If these methods aren't working for you, just get in touch with us. We've helped many students with dissertations, on a huge range of subjects, so we've learned quite a lot about what makes for a great topic. It doesn't matter what your course is; we're as comfortable with geography dissertation topics as ideas for an MBA. Just let us know what course you're studying, what your main interests are and what areas you'd rather avoid. We'll come up with some suggestions, then help you turn your favorite one into the high quality dissertation you need.