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Does Developing Ideas for Dissertation Topics and Research Questions Spinning?

August 24, 2015 - Posted to Dissertation and its parts

Content ideas for dissertation

Developing Ideas For Dissertation

The first step in the approximate 1 ½ year project of getting that dissertation finished can be the hardest – selecting that topic area and then developing a research question that you advisor and your committee will approve. There’s a lot that goes into coming up with dissertation ideas that will be acceptable and, as well, be of sufficient interest to you that you will be excited about conducing the research and producing the huge document that accompanies it. If you do not have an abiding interest in the research question, then writing a dissertation will simply become drudgery, and the chances of your completing it successfully are drastically reduced.

Where You Go For Ideas

  1. Your first source should be the coursework content that you have already completed. Go through your texts, your notes, your papers and essays of your courses and make a list of those topics that, when you studied them, sparked keen interest. Do no put anything down in which you only had a mediocre interest – the best dissertation will come from your enthusiasm for the project.
  2. Once you have your list, you need to get some research done. Here is what you will be looking for:
  • Is there a significant body of literature available on the topic?
  • What research questions have already been addressed? These may give you some “aha” moments about possible research questions of your own. Do not think, however, that you have to create something brand new. Many great dissertations have been produced that have replicated previous studies, in order to further validate them or to point out some flaws in those studies.
  1. If you are in a mathematical field, your dissertation will be more of a problem research paper. The same process relates to your search too. There are many problems for which solutions have not yet been found. Be certain that you choose one in which you have deep interest and for which you can find enough literature, so that you know what has already been tried.

Formulating that Research Question in a Scholarly Way

This can give Ph.D. candidates fits. It is not unusual for them to spend days ruminating on the wording of a research question. One of the issues is that you will have to determine in advance whether your study will be quantitative or qualitative, whether you will have experimental and control groups or random samplings, and what your research design will generally look like. Until you have at least cursory decisions made on these things, you cannot formulate a research question that will specifically address what you intend to do. If you are going to replicate a study, that question formulation may be a bit easier, but be mindful that you absolutely cannot use the same question, word for word – that is plagiarism.

Getting Some Assistance

You may want to find a writing company that offers dissertation services - one that has a Ph.D. in your field who can discuss your research question ideas and help you formulate one that will be approved. TrustedDissertations.com will have just such a person for you and can act as a consultant for this task and for any other tasks as you go through this lengthy project completion. You can contact our customer support department today and we can set you right up.

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