How To Pick A Thesis Topic: 5 Pieces Of Advice

Know you need to write a thesis but you’re stuck at the topic selection stage? It can be kind of tricky settling on the perfect topic, knowing so much is riding on this paper and you not only have to retain your interest in it, you also need a good grade. There’s got to be a better way to choose your topic than to browse lists of hundreds of random topics online that have doubtless been used and overused many times already.

So what’s a good strategy for picking your thesis topic? The following 5 tips will give you some good advice to get you started on your way.

  1. Characteristics of a good topic include originality, within the context of your field of study, and the competence to carry out the research and writing on the particular topic. Choosing a topic that “looks good” is of no use if there doesn’t exist enough research resources to make a good paper out of it. So looking forward to some of the other steps in the writing process is crucial when choosing your topic idea.
  2. Think of what your specific outcome or purpose is. Do you have questions about things you’ve studied? Have you seen some research on a specific element within your study that you wished had been more extensive or portrayed with more detail? This would be a good starting point for developing a new and original topic. You can rely on previous ideas as long as you tweak them enough to make them unique and your own.
  3. Does your topic idea fit into context with other previously done research? You will need to verify no one has written exactly what you want to write. Can you carry out your topic idea competently? It’s not too complicated or beyond your research capabilities? Your resources and level of expertise will determine the answer to that question.
  4. For initial idea generation, don’t try to find the one perfect idea. It’s better to start compiling a list of favorite ideas even if some of them seem too crazy. You may find a tangent off of a crazy idea that turns out to be gold as far as a unique topic.
  5. Testing is crucial and can save you years of work and disappointment. Before finalizing your topic make sure you can source relevant literature, access relevant experts in the field and that you understand the methodology that would be required in completing your project.
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