Selecting Dissertation Topics: Basic Things You Should Know


Your dissertation will be the most important writing that you will complete during your academic career. Consequently, it must be the best piece of writing you complete during your academic career. You will have a faculty advisor that you select to guide you through the entire process. The process can take you up to a year to complete. We would like to offer you some basic advice and tips as you begin to write, research, and compile your project.

Basic Things You Should Know

  • Know the format-there are many different formats, such as MLA or APA, in which a paper can be written. Your subject will probably dictate this format, for example English papers will be MLA, but clarify the format with your advisor before you begin.

  • Do Your Interviews Early and Over Interview-if you do your interviews early and make sure to complete extras, you will have one of the hardest parts of the paper completed. If you complete extra interviews, then you will not have to go back out into the field once you begin to write. The same could be said for any case studies or surveys you plan on creating and conducting.

  • Schedule your Advisor Appointments in Advance-if possible schedule your appointments early. And make sure that you meet regularly with your dissertation advisor.

  • Be Aware that There Will Be Changes-there will be changes in your goals and ideas in the early stages. These changes are a good sign and you should not be alarmed. Changes that occur near the end of the project are much more alarming and unexpected.

  • Hire the Professionals-if you struggle with any part of the paper, hire a writing company or writing coach to help you with your issues. It is far better to seek help than to make mistakes or to lag behind in the process. One of the most important places where you could hire help is in the proofing and editing. When it is time for the final adjustments in the paper, your eyes are tired. Hiring help just makes sense. The paper should not have any spelling or grammar errors in it.

  • Touch the Paper Every Day-try to do at least one small thing on the paper each and every day. When it sits dormant for too long, you tend to lose interest and motivation in your dissertation.