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PhD Dissertation Topics: Why It Is So Important to Choose the Right Topic


Writing a dissertation is a challenging and difficult task that starts with choosing the right topic for your work. This step is essential for a variety of reasons:

  • It will be the first piece of research known under your name. This means that it will be the first thing your colleagues will learn about you when they look into the subject of your study.
  • It will allow you to invite the professors you are most interested in working with into your dissertation committee.
  • Dissertation and letters of recommendation will be the first things that your prospective employers will look through before offering you a job. Therefore, a relevant and interesting topic alone can give you a huge advantage in job hunting.

What Defines a Good Dissertation Topic?

A truly good dissertation topic must meet the following requirements:

  • It must be different from every other work in this particular area.
  • It may be very difficult to think of a truly unique topic, especially if the field of your research is popular. Try to think of the problems you want to cover from different angles and choose the one that doesn’t repeat the works that already exist.

  • It must capture the attention of people looking for research materials on the subject.
  • Imagine that you are looking for data sources for your own research. Would you be interested in reading the dissertation on your topic? Is it relevant for the field of study? Can it be overlooked in pursuit of more interesting works?

  • It must be useful for people who research the subject.
  • You can catch the attention of people with some interesting wording. This can even help you make them read through the introduction. However, this will be shallow interest. In order to be truly good, your topic must spell “useful” for every researcher in the field.

  • It must not be a “yes” or “no” question.
  • Many authors believe that posing the topic as a question will draw more attention to it. It is not so with dissertation topics. Although, it is possible to word it as a question, it must not be the one that can be answered before reading the work.

  • It must not be hopeless.
  • When studying the other works in the field you will see that there are some subjects that haven’t been covered. This can make you interested, because it will prove your dissertation is unique. However, sometimes topics are left untouched for a reason. Do some preliminary research in order to find out whether you will be able to make a good work on this particular topic

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