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How to Choose Topic for Dissertation or Thesis?

Students, unfamiliar of academic writing, are baffle about how and what topic they should choose for their master’s thesis or PhD dissertation. Finding an interesting topic is a daunting task for the graduate students and it should not be taken lightly because you will spend years on researching the topic. There are no hard and fast rules for choosing a topic but it should be valuable and your findings implicated in the society.

Thesis or dissertation: what’s the difference

Students often confuse the term thesis with dissertation although both are similar in regard of their writing style, chapters and plagiarism yet both have significant difference between them. Thesis term is use for master’s title degree while dissertation is to obtain a doctorate degree. The length of master’s thesis varies from 100-150 pages while the length of dissertation of PhD is greater than 200, in this case there is no limit to pages.

The research of master’s thesis might be superficial and contain important findings with limitations and require not more than 12 months to do it however, the research of PhD is more hectic and tough as it is much deeper in solving an existing problem and also require years of research to reach a conclusion.

Steps to select a topic:

If you are stuck in selecting a topic, here is short guidelines on how to choose it.

  1. Carefully check the requirements of department or supervisor what kind of work they will approve. Check the word count limitation and assess the amount of time you need to spend on studying research.
  2. Familiar yourself with the field of interest. Read articles and research paper to brainstorm your ideas and thoughts. Choose any topic and find gap in literature review. Note down any unsolved problems related to it.
  3. Narrow down your topic by thorough research by reading articles in the journals. Make sure you have enough data about it so that you don’t face any problem at the time of approval.
  4. Determine the steps of how and what will you do to solve the problem. Organize you notes with techniques, tools and equipment useful in data analysis.
  5. Learn about its significance in the world. The more issue is highlighted, the more chances of people praising your research work. Choose a topic that has value in the society and its findings can be implemented practically.
  6. Some of research demands funding from other agencies to fulfil the requirement of tools and equipment. Make sure to double-check all resources you need to do research on a topic. Moreover, discuss finalized topics with seniors or your supervisor to get their feedback before officially starting work on it.

Topics for both thesis and dissertation:

You might be looking for trendy and hot topics for your thesis or dissertation. Here is list of example of topics with the field which will help you to choose for master or PhD degree.

  • Life sciences

It can be categorized to chemistry, biochemistry, biotechnology or microbiology field. Currently you may find coronavirus a problematic topic these days. Other topic of interest may include: vaccine development against viral plant diseases, ethics on transplantation and genetic engineering, Crispr study on microorganism, studying the effect of obesity in adults, and much more.

  • History

If you are passionate about history, then these topics will definitely trigger curiosity in you. It may include; exploring 1980’s European culture, aftereffects of world war-2, Communism existence and its relation to Stendhal, Movements in Ottoman Empire, etc.

  • Education

Schools is the best educational source to learn and enhance abilities but it is often ignored. Following of the topics may inspire to work on. Demerits and benefits of online education, impact of affection and hatred on brain of child, etc.

  • Computer science

The scope of computer is everywhere. With the easiness it brings, there comes also problem with it. With these topics, you may find interesting career to kick off. Use of AI in marketing and development of new algorithms, Graphics use in future, overcoming challenges in cybersecurity, exploring the pattern of malware virus, etc.