Understand What the Project Calls For
You already did a dissertation to get your master’s degree, right? You had doubts between different thesis topics, but you chose only one that suited you perfectly and you were successful. You might think this will be a very similar project, if not the same.
The definition of the thesis is different. The doctoral thesis presents an original research, which the candidate carried out before writing the article. This is just the end result of a larger postgraduate research process.
If we compare the two theses, the difference will be obvious. The subject thesis still requires a lot of basic research. However, it is mainly based on many references from previous work. There is originality, but the scope of the candidate’s own findings is much more limited.
Another important difference between them is the length. The master’s thesis is a much shorter article. The candidate’s original ideas are expected and welcomed, but the main goal of completing a thesis is to gain technical expertise in the niche. The doctoral work is based on original research. You will need to know the different types of research methodology, choose the appropriate ones, and use them to arrive at your own results.
When we compare, we will find similarities in academic style. And that’s it.
Therefore, we must first be aware of the challenge. Only then will you be able to approach it from the right angle.
What’s Your Passion?
One of the biggest mistakes that PhD candidates make before they start working on the project is thinking about defending dissertation. That final moment is constantly in their imagination. That’s why they are focused on choosing topics that would impress the committee members.
That’s a mistake, since it usually leads to overly complicated dissertation topics that you won’t be able to handle. Resist your need to impress at this point. If you choose a theme you’re truly passionate about, you’ll definitely make a good impression during the presentation.
What is the latest research in your niche?
You don’t have to wait until you earn your Ph.D. to focus on emerging issues in your niche. You are already an academic. During your training, you have undoubtedly explored the latest trends in your area. Check them out.
Try to identify trends in your study area and write them down. Can you connect any of them with some of your passions? If you find such a link, it will be the starting point for a truly creative thesis problem statement.
Review some suggested thesis topics.
Suppose you are writing your doctoral thesis in the education niche. After the brainstorming process and your research on some trends, you can continue to examine some thesis topics in education. As an example, here are some suggestions that may catch your attention:
• The importance of prior exposure to technology for children’s learning potential.
• Computer-assisted instruction as an essential aspect of homeschooling
• How technology positively and negatively affects a child’s creativity
• Personalization of homeschooling
• Evaluate the effectiveness of a flipped classroom
Whatever your niche, you are sure to find several themes that will inspire you. However, you should never completely copy anything from the web. Get inspired to define your own thesis problem statement.
Talk to people
Do you know what topics the other candidates are considering? Do not; you will not rob his subjects. No way. However, through conversations with other applicants, you may be inspired to connect the dots between your research and the current knowledge base in the field. You may find a missing link that needs to be completed.
Also, you can discuss some of your ideas with other applicants. Do not worry; they already have their own ideas. His passion is different from yours. They won’t steal your flame, but they might give you some interesting feedback that will help sharpen your focus.
Read the thesis from university databases
Many applicants have already obtained their doctorate at their university. Your inspiration can be in these resources.
These briefs show you what the committee looks for in successful projects. They have already been well accepted, so you will be inspired by the overall style and approach.
However, each dissertation also contains a section for recommended additional research. No researcher gets to the bottom of the problem with a single thesis. Research can always be expanded so that other researchers can fill in the gaps. There you can find creative inspiration for identifying research issues.
Trust the inner critic
You have come so far in your studies that you have surely mastered your critical thinking. It is time to implement them. Throughout the doctoral program, you surely came into contact with research that you were skeptical of. You can consider the arguments to be invalid. You may think more research is needed.
This is your inspiration, right there.
You can choose a topic that will bring clarity to the topic. Through different types of research methodology, you will question the results of this study and discover your own results.
Discuss your ideas with your mentor
Many graduate students do not understand the role of their mentor. They think it’s an academic who’s in charge of checking to see if everything is going well with the first draft.
Yes; they will. They will review your first draft and walk you through the revisions. But your responsibilities are not limited to this. The mentor is expected to provide support every step of the way.
If you’ve gone through the steps we’ve listed above, you’ve ended up with a limited list of topics. Before choosing a thesis topic, you should discuss these options with your supervisor. They know the terrain. They know what other academics have done with the research. They will be able to tell you which idea from their list has the most potential for a doctoral thesis.
Meet the standards
When you want to get creative with your theme, it’s easy for you to step into risky territory. Of course, you can do something outside of the official standard. But you have to be careful because you still have to meet the same standards as other applicants.
If you plan to use an unexpected format or structure for your doctoral work, the committee might appreciate the experimental approach. For example, you could write a chapter like a fictional story if you could include such experience on the topic. But it’s also very risky.
Develop a schedule
So what do you do once you’ve chosen a topic? You should start thinking about the practical implications of this choice.
In other words, you will develop a thesis schedule. You will think about the fieldwork, equipment, cost and study participants required. You will plan the duration of this survey.
Make it flexible
When you choose your topic and discuss it with the mentor, you don’t have to complete the thesis at all costs. Be very conscientious at the start of your investigation. If you encounter obstacles that make it impossible to complete the project, it is better to act in time and change your approach.
So do it! Find a topic that excites you, but also gives you confidence when you complete a dissertation.