Selecting a Ph.D. dissertation topic is the most crucial step in dissertation writing. Students have to select a unique, compelling, and original dissertation topic for writing an outstanding dissertation. There are various strategies for selecting a Ph.D. Dissertation Topics. Students often haphazardly select a topic that does not match their interests and end up regretting it. It is imperative to employ smart techniques to select the most appropriate topic for your dissertation. This article will tell you how to select Ph.D. Dissertation Topics.
What should be the criteria for selecting Ph.D. Dissertation Topics?
A yardstick or a benchmark must be outlined before you choose a topic for your dissertation. A standard criterion helps you filter the most relevant topic for your research and lets you choose a topic that you are passionate about and one that is capable of adding value to the literature. The following criteria are essential to select a Ph.D. Dissertation Topics:
Area of Interest
Defining your area of interest before you embark on the topic selection process helps narrow your search scope. During your coursework, you study various subjects related to your area of expertise, but there are only a few or any one area that piques your interest. For instance, if you are a political science student, you get to study various sub-topics such as the constitution, international relations, national and local government, political parties, political philosophy, etc. Now, you might not be good at constitutional studies; instead, your strong subject area could be political philosophy; therefore, selecting a subject area you are passionate about is imperative. Curiosity is essential when it comes to research, and if you are passionate about something, you can envisage new questions and ideas on the issue.
Relevance is the essential criterion for selecting a Ph.D. Dissertation Topics. The topics must be relevant to the overall body of knowledge and relevant to contemporary issues. For instance, if your area of interest is political philosophy, you must determine the relevance of political philosophy to the current political climate. The dissertation topic must have relevance to real-world issues and help explain the current developments. For example, the rising phenomenon of populism and isolationism in world politics merits the attention of political science researchers. Key theories of classical, modern, and post-modern thinkers are required to explain the recent developments.
Moreover, selecting a topic that has relevance to the real world and contemporary issues grounds your research on a solid footing. The readers would be able to relate to it because this is what they are witnessing in the real world. A topic’s relevance adds value to the existing body of knowledge and helps make sense of recent developments.
Many students have a wrong notion associated with the idea of novelty. It is true that Ph.D. Dissertation Topics must be novel, yet it does not necessarily mean that you have to build something from scratch. Novelty entails identifying the contemporary discussions and themes that exist in the current state of knowledge. However, your ability as a researcher to identify the existing gaps and unexplored areas merits attention. Novelty means building on the existing knowledge corpus and extending knowledge advancement based on firm foundations. You must have a keen eye for identifying the emergent patterns and themes in the contemporary scenario that can be explained by applying classical or modern theoretical models.
Feasibility is an important criterion for selecting the Ph.D. Dissertation Topics. Ambition is good, but the excess of good does not yield any productive results. Dissertation writing has a limited amount of time, and you have to complete the Ph.D. dissertation within a limited span of time. The research could be spread over one or two years, yet it is imperative to take stock of the available resources and time required to complete the dissertation.
Even if you have a study grant, you must optimize your options to select a research topic that is feasible and can be conducted with a minimal number of resources. Research requires data collection, and PhD-level dissertations require both primary and secondary data. Primary data collection often takes time and requires monetary resources for utilizing the appropriate data collection and analysis tools. The dissertation topic must not be utopic and feasible for you to complete the research within the specified time. Therefore, feasibility criteria should be employed for selecting an appropriate dissertation topic.
What steps are required to select the Ph.D. Dissertation Topics?
Based on the above-mentioned selection criteria, you must have identified your area of interest by now. Once you identify your area of interest and consider the limitations, the next step is conducting a literature review for gap identification. Gap identification helps you find the most appropriate dissertation topics. Remember, your task is to add value to the literature and envisage a unique dissertation topic rather than replicating the previous studies. Therefore, you must conduct a thorough literature review of existing studies in your area of interest. Access and retrieve the most recent research articles from reputable journals and read them to identify the following:
- What are the key areas being explored by other researchers?
- How did they turn the ideas into meaningful research questions?
- Are the research topics unique or merely a replication of the previous studies?
- How relevant are the research topics to the current situation?
- Are the research papers grounded in ample theoretical research?
- What were the research methods used by the researchers?
- What are the unexplored and underemphasized areas that you can work on for your research?
Gap identification helps you come up with an original idea for your dissertation. The rest of the procedure is the same as mentioned above. You must make a list of the Ph.D. Dissertation Topics and choose the most appropriate topic that matches your interests, is relevant to current affairs, and is feasible to be developed into full-fledged research. Reading the literature review requires theme identification and pattern detection across multiple studies. It requires precision and keen observational skills; therefore, if you need any help with a literature review, you can always take help from expert researchers at PhD Dissertation Writing Service.
Selecting the Ph.D. Dissertation Topics require defining a benchmark or criteria for approaching the topics from multiple angles. When you approach a research topic from various perspectives and consider its possible dimensions, it becomes easier to filter the most relevant and appropriate research topic for your Ph.D. dissertation.