How to Choose a Researchable Topic for your Dissertation

To write a successful dissertation, you need to first choose a researchable topic. Which means more than merely identifying an area of research. Your dissertation topic must be stated in terms that narrow your research issues. If your research topic is too broad, you can become unnecessarily inundated with far too much information. A narrow topic will give your dissertation a greater direction and structure.

It will also help you to formulate research questions that can provide greater guidance and structure. Once you choose a research topic, you will be required to identify an applicable and appropriate hypothesis. This will generally be accomplished by a review of literature on your chosen topic. Always choose a hypothesis that can be tested and can produce observable results that can fill gaps in your literature.

Therefore, as you review the literature, you will need to look for gaps in the literature that can be filled by hypotheses testing. Once you identify an appropriate hypothesis, you will be required to identify the best research methodology for testing the hypothesis. This can be accomplished by either a quantitative or qualitative research methodology or by a mixed methodology.

Choosing the appropriate methodology will also go a long way to writing a successful dissertation

your Dissertation

For example, if your chosen topic requires collecting data from remote locations, it may be difficult to conduct a quantitative research methodology as this requires the collection of data from large populations usually in the form of questionnaires or surveys. You may be in a better position to collect in-depth and detailed data from a smaller sample by virtue of interviews using the qualitative research method.

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Regardless of whether or not you choose a quantitative or qualitative approach, you will need to design data collection methods. For example, if you’re going to use questionnaires or interviews, a list of questions will be drafted. These questions should be informed by the aims and objectives of the dissertation and the research questions. It is therefore important that you prepare research questions that are consistent with the aims and objectives of the research and the topic.

Aside from planning, researching and gathering and analyzing data, you will be required to manage time and resources skillfully. It is therefore important for you to establish a timeframe for completing each task and for coordinating dates and times. For example, once you have some ideas about the topic you would like to research, you should immediately set aside a timeframe for conducting preliminary research of the literature.

Notes should be taken. Once you settle on a research topic a more involved and directed review of literature should be undertaken

At this point, a draft review of literature should be prepared. Once the draft review of the literature is completed, you should prepare a timetable for completing each step of the dissertation. For example, it will be necessary to know just how many respondents will be participating in the study and how long participation will be. All of the necessary preparations will also need to be accounted for.

For instance, for ethical reasons, each of the participant’s consent will need to be obtained before the interviews and/or questionnaires can be completed by the participants. In other words, writing a successful dissertation takes time, preparation, hard work and attention to detail. In this regard, it is necessary to ensure that the topic chosen is narrow enough to contemplate all of the time and resources required for investigating and answering the research topic and the research questions that naturally follow from the question.

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Culled from K. Writers topic | How to Write a Successful Dissertation

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About the author

I am Adegboyega Tunde Temitayo. A registered Town Planner with the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) and Town Planners Registration Council (TOPREC).

I love to think differently and possibly on various Urban and Regional Planning issues to proffer solutions to Urban and Rural Environmental Problems. You can subscribe to my YouTube Channel

As the Chief Editor of Town Planners Diary, I humbly welcome you to this platform which is about enhancing Planning Education through research on various Town Planning and Environmental issues.

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