Suitable Topic

Selecting a Suitable Topic For your Dissertation.

The selection of a suitable topic is one of the most important parts of writing a thesis or dissertation. For some students, this may be an easy task to accomplish. Many graduate students know what they want to study when they enter graduate school and even before they arrive, but for many others, selecting a topic for their thesis or dissertation represents one of the most challenging parts of their graduate programs. It may seem overwhelming for them to think of coming up with an “original” idea for such a large-scale project. 

There is no such thing as an entirely original dissertation as no research is wholly original. Other works influence most research. The most useful kind of research builds on existing research. The most successful theses and dissertations often study additional variables within an existing line of inquiry, collect data on a different sample, test a new methodology, or introduce new statistical measurements. Thus, as you start looking at the topic more expansively, you better understand what has been done and what needs to be done. 

After selecting a broad area of study, you need to immerse yourself in its literature and formulate a thesis proposal. Read and review the doctoral handbook at your university to determine if there are any guidelines regarding what should be included in the proposal and what its length should be. Many universities have very strict guidelines regarding the dissertation proposal. You may need to submit a 10 to 20-page proposal describing your proposed study or the first three chapters of your dissertation.  If you are a report writer struggling with reports, hire a report writing service to take you out of your conundrum. 


You should begin selecting your topic by identifying two or three broad areas that can be explored in many different ways. The broad topics include, for example, teaching methods, leadership styles, bilingual education, school improvement, and so forth. Examples of broad topic areas are:

  • Textbooks
  • Professional journals
  • Dissertations


It is one of the possibilities that textbooks that you are currently using in your classrooms or that you have previously used can provide you with ideas regarding broad topics. In textbooks, authors often point out areas of controversy or gaps in research on specific topics that they believe need to be addressed. For instance, Lunenburg and Ornstein (2008) pointed out some current issues in the classroom evaluation process in the first chapter of their textbook Educational Administration: Concepts and Practices. These issues include the testing of minority students and the confidentiality of data collected during tests. The textbook discusses current and emerging issues in the measurement of disabled children and possible solutions. A chapter later provides examples of problems they encountered with the validity of some leadership theories and ideas they developed based on the majority of samples in some of these approaches. Several broad research areas should be carried out in each of these chapters, and the authors highlight these. 

Professional Journals 

In addition to reading textbooks, you need to immerse yourself in the literature on the topics they are talking about and on those related to your field to understand the topic you will be presenting in your thesis or dissertation. For example, if you are studying education, related fields include psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, and business management. This will allow you to learn about the specific research methods other scholars have used during their research. You can find more information about these specifics in reports of original, empirical research (both quantitative and qualitative), which have been published in academic journals. You can find such reports using the internet and other standard sources. Consult the research librarian at your university if you are unfamiliar with conducting these searches. 

The full text of research articles can be found in some electronic databases; abstracts can be found in others. If your interest is piqued by the abstract, obtain a copy of the complete article and read it carefully. During the reading of the article, make it a point to pay particular attention to the purposes, research aims, and hypotheses that are stated in the article. Consider the methods employed by the researchers to deal with the research questions and test the hypotheses, including the participants, instruments, data collection, data analysis, and, of course, the findings. 


You may also find it helpful to review other dissertations that have already been completed to select a topic. When choosing a project to use as a model, make sure that examples are available to you. Try to find: and find as many as possible award-winning dissertations in your field or related fields; and then the best dissertations nominated by your dissertation chair, as well as:

  1.  Recent dissertation at various universities on your selected topic.
  2. Recent dissertations strongly suggested by faculty in your department are the best dissertations nominated by your dissertation committee. 
  3. In reviewing the titles of the dissertations, it may be helpful to examine the titles published in Dissertation Abstracts International. 
  4. Take the time to read the abstracts of the dissertations that you find interesting. You may still wish to get a copy of the document and read specifically the literature review and the suggestions for future research if you still wish to be involved. Most university libraries have begun making dissertations available on the internet. 

In addition to making topic selection easier, searching for a topic from a completed dissertation can provide several advantages beyond topic selection. There are several types of dissertations. One of the types includes a review of the literature until the dissertation’s completion point. Including the most recent studies will not be a challenging thing. You can use many variables in your studies, such as the population, the variables, or the methodology. The practice of reading other dissertations may help you identify appropriate approaches to:

  1. explaining the aim of your project
  2. choosing the appropriate sample size
  3. examining how data was collected and analyzed
  4. figuring out what kind of conclusions can be made from the data
  5. developing a theory

From examining completed doctoral dissertations, you can gain a lot of useful information regarding the specifics of conducting research.

About Ambika Taylor

Myself Ambika Taylor. I am admin of For any business query, you can contact me at [email protected]