How to Select a Great Topic for Your PhD Dissertation?

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How to Select a Great Topic for Your PhD Dissertation?
Post By The Academic Papers On 19, Oct

Undoubtedly, choosing a PhD dissertation topic is an uphill battle in itself, which demands a lot of research, analysis and hard work. Whether you are going to dive into your doctorate degree right after completing your graduation or Mphill or coming back after years to start your studies once again, a perfect topic selection is a must before you go further.

Topic selection is the foundation of the whole research work that students do regardless of whether they are becoming academic doctorate or making efforts to earn a professional doctorate degree.

“You can’t do anything else until you figure out the basic focus,”  -Dr. Susann V.

According to the Find a PhD report, only 1% of people in the globe aged 25 to 64 who have attended a university currently hold a PhD.  In 2021, 82% of students who attended UK universities earned a 2:1 or a first, up from 75% in 2017. More than one-third of students earned a first-class degree.

PhD Dissertation

Some students start their PhD program after already discovering their dissertation topics according to their interests. So they don't need to worry about topic selection at all. However, most students start their PhD with a great passion for research, finding new things, and testing theories - they don't get enough time to figure out their dissertation topic.

If you are also one of them and looking for PhD dissertation help, this complete guide is for you. If you still feel down or need someone by your side to help you by serving their best dissertation writing services, you can contact The Academic Papers UK right away.

Here, we will discuss the importance of a PhD thesis or dissertation topic selection, provide a complete guide on how to select a dissertation topic and also try to solve all your questions related to it.

What is a PhD Dissertation? Why Dissertation Topic Selection Is Important?

Let's kick things off by answering a simple yet crucial question: What exactly is a dissertation? Well, it's a hefty research project that's all about diving deep into a specific topic, collecting data (either fresh or existing), and analysing it. A winning and successful dissertation in a PhD is like the crown jewel of your academic career. Students should take it as an opportunity to contribute something special to their industry. It's the last but compulsory requirement to obtain the highly desired PhD degree.

Now, let's move ahead towards the PhD dissertation topic selection, which is as crucial as the presence of the Internet in e-learning. You must be careful while selecting a dissertation topic, as it should be purposeful, original, and relevant.

PhD Dissertation Topic

Topic selection is one of the basic requirements that doctoral students need to complete by any means. For that, they can find dissertation samples online or buy them from the best PhD dissertation writing service provider. PhD students often receive funds to pursue their degrees from universities or governments, which they can use to get dissertation help online.

There is good news reported at Research Professional News on 3 May 2023: the minimum stipend for PhD students supported by UK Research and Innovation will rise to £18,622. It reflects a 5% increase from the £17,688 in 2022–23 and will be applicable to doctoral students with the beginning of the academic year 2023–24.

Choosing a PhD dissertation topic is essentially a crucial choice that can affect both your academic and career future. A successful and fulfilling doctoral journey requires careful thought and consideration throughout this process. You can check the importance of topic selection for a dissertation in PhD from the following points:

  • It helps in defining your academic journey
  • Sets the floor for the whole research and experiments
  • Adding to the body of knowledge
  • Promotes the research abilities of students
  • Enhances problem-solving
  • It encourages networking and cooperation
  • Creates long-term impact
  • Improves academic and personal growth of students
  • Developing a topic by considering ethical issues
  • Develops a motivation to pursue the degree and career

Step-by-Step Guide to Select a Great Topic for Your PhD Dissertation

Now that we have the basics down let's explore the fun part – how to choose that perfect dissertation topic. Choosing a dissertation topic is undoubtedly an important choice that can influence the course of your academic and professional career. It's a procedure that needs serious thought and preparation.

There are two cases, whether you already have an idea about the topic or know nothing about it, as written in the book Writing Your Doctoral Dissertation Or Thesis Faster:

Writing Your Doctoral Dissertation Or Thesis Faster

In the following explanation, we will examine the procedures and considerations involved in choosing an excellent topic for your PhD dissertation.

Step 1: Passion and Interest

Your passion and interest should be your first priority when selecting a topic for your PhD thesis or dissertation. You must choose a subject that actually interests you because this is a time-consuming and difficult process.

Consider this question: What topic keeps you up at night? Which queries pique your interest the most? Your passion for a specific topic or subject will keep you going despite the difficulties of a PhD degree.

Step 2: Take a Broad Start

So, you're a few years into your academic journey, and you already have some ideas of ​​some topics that sparked your interest the most. Now, at the time of writing a PhD dissertation, it’s time to think over those areas again and explore a fantastic approach to select a topic from them. Take those interests as a base and start from a broad angle.

For example, if psychology is your game, you might have a soft spot for abnormal psychology, social psychology, or maybe even forensic psychology. These big themes are your starting point, and they're fantastic because you already have some passion, knowledge, or experience in them.

Step 3: Understand the Rules and Instructions

Your university must have some rules for dissertation writing, just like others. It's essential to know what they are. You should read, understand and get comfortable with your institution's dissertation guidelines. They'll tell you about things like research sources, word limits, deadlines, and whether you're going for a scholarly or practical approach. Understanding these rules is like getting a treasure map – it'll save you from heading in the wrong direction and wasting precious time.

Step 4: Review the Literature to Explore the Field

Review the body of knowledge in your field in detail before settling on a topic. It will help you to understand what's happening out there. You can use this to find areas where current knowledge is lacking and potential areas for original study.

To find relevant literature, use credible sources like academic databases, journals, research papers, and books to become familiar with the most recent developments in your field of interest.

According to the book Your Undergraduate Dissertation in Health and Social Care, you should go through the literature survey to clearly identify your PhD dissertation research questions.

Your Undergraduate Dissertation in Health and Social Care

Step 5: Narrow It Down

After selecting a broader field of study, it's time to narrow down your topic. As you're doing your research, you might notice certain questions or areas within your broad topic that really get your attention. These are the shining pieces of gold in a mine! Dive deeper into them, and you'll discover what truly ignites your curiosity. These focused questions will be your guiding stars through the months of research that lie ahead.

In the book How to Write a Master's Thesis, the author provided details on how to narrow down and refocus your dissertation topic, such as;

How to Write a Master's Thesis

Step 6: Choose an Original Research Topic

Now that you have a fascinating topic or research question ideas according to the rules and your interests, add some spice to it. Don't be the copycat! You should make an effort to bring something fresh to the table. Challenge the currently existing questions, ask questions that make people rethink things, and explore methods that haven't been used before. Your unique perspective will be the soul of your PhD dissertation.

According to the book Completing a Professional Practice Dissertation, you should make every effort to make your topic original, such as,

Completing a Professional Practice Dissertation

Step 7: Get Advice from Advisors

Feeling a bit stuck or uncertain? No worries, that's where your dissertation advisor comes in and plays an important role. They've gone through this road before and have loads of wisdom to share.

Based on their knowledge, they can offer recommendations, research direction suggestions, and insights. Consult them for support and guidance. They can help you to pave a straight path that goes in the right direction and avoid common pitfalls. So, consult them, share your ideas, and don't hesitate to ask for their help.

Step 8: Uniqueness and Contribution

Story doesn't end here. A top-notch PhD dissertation should advance the field in which it is written. Now it's your time to think about how your research can bring new information to this field, address a gap, or approve or disapprove the established theories. You should select a unique but contributing topic that suits you well.

Step 9: Suitability, Scope and Manageability

Here comes the next thing, which is to check the suitability of your dissertation topic. Check out your access to the tools, information, resources, and materials required for your PhD dissertation topic to work on. Also, verify that it is economically and logistically feasible. Make sure the subject you choose is compatible with the resources and limitations you have.

Choosing a topic that is overly broad or ambitious is a common mistake that most of the PhD students make, and then they suffer failure. To make sure your study can be completed within the allotted time for your PhD program, give it a clear scope. Avoid choosing topics that are too broad or complex.

Step 10: Connection to Career Objectives

Choose a topic in which you really want to pursue your career. Expert says that your dissertation subject relates to your long-term professional objectives. For example, if you want to become a professional organic chemist, you must choose an organic chemistry topic for your PhD thesis or dissertation. In this situation, you can neither select physical chemistry nor an inorganic chemistry topic.

Also, think about whether it will present opportunities in the workplace, in academics, or in other fields. According to the book Completing Your Doctoral Dissertation/Master's Thesis in Two Semesters Or Less by Evelyn Hunt Ogden, you should also take into account how your research topic can help you to improve your career.

Completing Your Doctoral Dissertation/Master's Thesis in Two Semesters Or Less

These 10 steps are your roadmap for choosing a PhD dissertation topic. You might find yourself circling back to them during this journey if you forget about something or for validation of your topic. And remember, your dissertation topic isn't just a project – it's a stepping stone to your future career, so choose wisely.

Last Words

Picking a fantastic dissertation topic for your PhD requires maintaining a balance between all the elements like suitability, originality, relevance, and interest. Take your time and make an informed decision because it will influence both your academic and future career. Your chances of success will increase if you consult with mentors and keep an open mind about the development of your subject.

However, if you are still confused about what to do, you can get advice or help with PhD dissertations from the best dissertation writing service provider. You don't have to struggle to find a reliable and credible source for this as you already have stepped into the world of The Academic Papers UK. We have a team of professional dissertation writers who offer high-quality services at reasonable rates. So, contact us and benefit from our timely delivery services online.

FAQs

How Long Is A Dissertation For A PhD?

PhD dissertations often require a word count of 50,000 to 100,000 words or more, depending on the topic and subject. It's comparable to compiling your study findings, analyses, and conclusions into a compact book.

Do All PhD Programs Require A Dissertation?

No, not always, as a PhD without a dissertation is also possible in some disciplines. While a dissertation is a requirement for many PhD programs, others may provide "capstone projects" or comprehensive exams as alternatives. It's crucial to review the program's exact requirements if you're interested in applying.

How Many Chapters Are In A PhD Dissertation?

Introduction, literature review, methodology, findings, and conclusion are the five main chapters of a normal dissertation for a PhD, graduate or undergraduate program. Each chapter has a specific function in narrating the course of your research work.

What Is The Difference Between A Master's Thesis and a PhD dissertation?

The depth and creativity make the biggest difference. A PhD thesis or dissertation is the main event, whereas a master's thesis is more like a warm-up. A dissertation is your chance to make a significant and novel contribution to your field, in contrast to a thesis, which is typically shorter and depends more on prior knowledge.

How Many Pages is a PhD Dissertation?

PhD theses can be between 100 and 300 pages long; however, their length varies. If there has been substantial research, some are even lengthier. It's not just about the number of pages; it's about the quality of your study.

What Makes A Good PhD Dissertation Topic?

A good topic is unique, current, relevant, original, and capable of advancing knowledge in your area of expertise. It needs to be something you're enthusiastic about and want to learn more about.

How Do I Choose A PhD Dissertation Topic?

Finding the appropriate puzzle piece might be like choosing a topic. However, it involves:

  1. Identify your interests
  2. Choose a broader area
  3. Look over previous research
  4. Narrow down your topic
  5. Consult experts or advisors
  6. Think about the topic's viability and significance
  7. Stay updated with the latest trends and research
  8. Check the feasibility of research work

References

Coldron, A. C. (2022, April 14). How Rare (or Common) is it to Have a PhD? | FindAPhD.com. www.FindAPhD.com. https://www.findaphd.com/blog/5403/how-rare-or-common-is-it-to-have-a-phd

Inge, S. (2023, May 3). UKRI PhD students to get 5% stipend increase for 2023-24 - Research Professional News. Research Professional News. https://www.researchprofessionalnews.com/rr-news-uk-research-councils-2023-5-ukri-phd-students-to-get-5-stipend-increase-for-2023-24/

Writing Your Doctoral Dissertation Or Thesis Faster - Google Books. (n.d.). https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/Writing_Your_Doctoral_Dissertation_or_Th/bVEXBAAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=how+to+select+a+dissertation+topic%3F&printsec=frontcover

What is a dissertation? (2023, June 1). Top Universities. https://www.topuniversities.com/blog/what-dissertation#:~:text=Typically%2C%20a%20dissertation%20allows%20students,help%20determine%20their%20final%20grade.

Your Undergraduate Dissertation in Health and Social Care - Google Books. (n.d.). https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/Your_Undergraduate_Dissertation_in_Healt/wqEXshwFZqEC?hl=en&gbpv=1

How to Write a Master's Thesis - Google Books. (n.d.). https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/How_to_Write_a_Master_s_Thesis/_bQgAQAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1

Completing a Professional Practice Dissertation - Google Books. (n.d.). https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/Completing_a_Professional_Practice_Disse/SPgnDwAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1

Completing Your Doctoral Dissertation/Master's Thesis in Two Semesters Or Less by Evelyn Hunt Ogden - Google Books. (n.d.). https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/Completing_Your_Doctoral_Dissertation_Ma/F-Eccyu1Wd4C?hl=en&gbpv=0

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