Defining a research topic can be a difficult undertaking for a beginning researcher. How will you come up with a good research topic for your thesis? The article below provides five helpful tips.
As most post-graduates would agree, deciding on your topic for your thesis paper is not as easy as it sounds. While you may have a general idea of the direction you want to go, and may even have the general topic chosen, defining that topic into an actionable research paper can be difficult. Considering the fact that this paper is an essential part of completing your academic career and that it can affect your future job prospects, it is important to come up with a research topic that is both interesting and achievable for you. Consider these tips:
Use Your Interests
Considering the amount of time that will be dedicated to this paper, the topic should be something that is not only of interest to you, but hopefully something you are passionate about. Having some knowledge going into the research puts you at an advantage, instead of having to start from scratch.
Research topic that is achievable
Picking a topic that is so unique that it becomes almost impossible to finish in the time period required is unwise. Consider the time that will be needed to do the research on a specific topic and come to a conclusion. There may be a reason that there are few thesis papers written on certain topics; they may be too laborious or do not have enough supporting data to complete.
Check literary sources
To determine whether a topic is a good fit for you, do some research on what literary sources are available. Too many resources may mean the topic has been used abundantly, while too few may make it difficult to do research in the time allotted.
Start with “Why” and go from there
Keep in mind that thesis topics are not facts nor are they opinions. They are explorations into the “why” of something. Finding the perfect topic will come to you when you find an intriguing question that needs a detailed answer, one that you have been wondering about yourself.
Ask advisors and professors
Discuss your search with your advisors and professors to get their input. They can provide you with ideas and direction, although the final definition will always be up to you.
The exploration for a thesis topic can be frustrating, however, by looking at all the angles ahead of time you can save yourself from even further frustration down the road. Consider it similar to doing international background checks before hiring a personal assistant that you need to trust and rely on for years. By taking the time to choose the correct topic that will interest you, has sufficient data available and will make an impact, you will save yourself from disappointment and unwanted surprises a year or more down the line.