Techniques for topic selection

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We understand how selecting a topic for your dissertation can be so tough and frustrating at times. You may even have a rough idea in your mind, but maybe you are not having enough resources or the right guidance to take it further well. You can go through scholar’s journals, libraries and others’ dissertations as well and it’s still possible that you are confused. You can try some basic techniques which may start running some ideas in your head:

1) Brainstorming: Brainstorming is a very familiar technique. It is normally done in groups but you can also do it individually. Take a chart paper and pen; and sit down. Now, list down all the ideas which you have in your head. Relate those ideas further will possible options like their advantages, disadvantages, related fields, overview, case studies, introduction, etc. When you have run out of all the options, you can go back to those and have a look. Strike out the fields which you do not find interesting and suitable. Keep doing this until you are just left with a few ideas. Now, you have an outline for your dissertation.

2) “Post it” technique: In “post it” technique, you basically use post it notes pad. You write your ideas on those post it notes- one idea on one sheet of paper. You can devote a particular time period for this. After that time period is over, you spread all those post it notes in front you, arrange them in an orderly manner and eliminate those that do not seem feasible to you. An added advantage of using this method over brainstorming is that as you see and move the papers around you, you may get fresh thoughts which may help you take your ideas further. After you are finally done, you can write the remaining ideas onto a fresh sheet of paper and then, choose. This method will basically help you refine your ideas and also help you seek new ones.

3) “Question time” approach”: If you want a rather straight-forward approach to choose your topic or further enhance your ideas, you can ask yourself a series of questions like who, what, when, where, how, etc. You need to make some particular questions related to your research and focus on them. Identify the type of data needed, research methodology and resources needed for each of your ideas.