Choosing a dissertation topic? The best dissertation topics don’t just pop into your head they require research which can be both in depth and time consuming.
Remember to listen to your fellow students, your lecturers and of course your supervisor. Balance their thoughts with the fact that if you are personally interested in finding the answers to your research question(s) you are more likely to produce a good piece of work.
One simple technique is to keep a study ‘diary’ or notebook during your Masters year and jot down any areas, questions, ideas that particularly interest you. If it still interests you at the time you sit down to write your proposal then you could have found what you’re looking for. But if you haven’t done this and decision time is approaching then another method is needed.
It’s always a good idea to start off with a short list then slowly work towards the final chosen topic. If a topic on your short list has recently been covered by someone else then take it off your list. You can usually find this out from your supervisor.
Above all when choosing your topic always continually ask yourself the question – how will I collect the primary data for my study.
In fact deciding on the topic, framing the research question and deciding the basics of your methodology all need to be done in parallel rather than in isolation.
For some though the blockage in deciding on a topic is simply impossible to overcome. Perhaps you’re too close to the topic to take a step back and see what the key questions that deserve study really are. If you feel like this then you could always bring in someone else to unblock the process and give you some fresh thinking. It may feel like you have a long time to prepare and submit your dissertation but time spent deciding on you dissertation topic could be spent on research and writing.