How do I Come Up With a Thesis Topic?

Writing a thesis can seem like an overwhelming process, and one of the reasons is simply due to the large number of possible grad school thesis topics. How is a student expected to choose? A thesis is a research project that is representative of one’s field of study. It comes at the end of a program and is used to demonstrate a student’s knowledge of their area of expertise. Choosing a thesis topic and just getting started can seem like the most daunting part of the whole project for many. Here are some tips to make it easier.

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Make It Relevant

A thesis topic must be relevant in a number of different ways. For one, it should be related to the student’s specific area of study in order to demonstrate applicable knowledge. It should be up-to-date with best practices in the field, relevant to current technological advances and meaningful to an applicable audience.

The subject should also be one that is in line with both the student and the thesis advisor’s philosophy. In order to see this complex project through to the end, the topic must be something the student believes in and that they will be able to leverage in future work. In addition, the faculty member overseeing the project has to also be on board with the subject matter or else it could create conflict throughout the process. If a student is passionate about a topic that an advisor won’t approve, it is possible to obtain a different thesis coach.

Be Original

Much research and theories are not new. They are built on the knowledge that has come before. However, that doesn’t mean that ideas can’t take off in a new direction or that novel questions can’t be asked. What makes something innovative is the angle or spin the author takes. Students can use current insight and information as building blocks for a whole new concept. That is what makes good grad school thesis topics are all about.

Check Existing Literature

Once students have an idea formed, it’s important to further develop that premise by checking out the existing academic or scientific literature on the subject. Find out if this particular approach has already been addressed. If it seems that the idea is a new one, see how it works in relation to or in contrast to similar theories. This will allow the thesis writer to be sure their idea is relevant to the current literature. A survey of current works allows the student to flesh out ideas more thoroughly, as well. The more familiar they become with the topic and those similar to it, the more precise their own thesis trajectory will be. They will also better be able to defend their ideas and ensure the proposed topic has merit and viability.

These are simply a few basic tips to get started on narrowing down a potential thesis idea. Choosing from possible grad school thesis topics can seem daunting, but breaking things down, asking pertinent questions and engaging in thorough research can go far towards coming up with something that can help launch a career.

Source: The Guardian