Topics for dissertations: main sources to use

   

What is a dissertation?

A dissertation is the research paper that a student must complete if they want to receive their advanced degree like a doctorate degree or masters’ degree.  The dissertation is a complex and extensive piece of research, which a student is required to produce to receive an academic degree.  The dissertation is normally done on a topic that normally reflects what the student was studying in their coursework towards their advanced degree.

Sources you can use to find the best topic for one’s dissertation:

There are many sources one can use to find a good topic for their dissertation paper.  But, when selecting a topic, you should select a topic that is of interest to you, current, something that would interest your targeted reader, and something that will be easy to research.  Any source that you use to pick your topic must be reliable, searchable, current, and up to date.

Here are some good sources for finding the right topic for your dissertation:

  •  Journals (both scholarly and peer-reviewed) will provide you with the bulk of information needed for your topic.
  • Trade magazines and professional publications are news magazines for a particular occupation or trade industry.
  • Books, E-books, and Book Chapters: you would select books that discuss your particular topic for your dissertation.
  •  Working Papers, Technical Reports, Pre-prints, or E-prints: these publications provide you with updated trends and updated information on the topic you are researching for your dissertation.
  •  Conference Proceedings: pulls together the relevant documents from a conference that discusses abstracts of papers, presentations, and panel discussions held at a particular conference. 
  • Dissertations: dissertations written by other doctoral students.  Dissertations from other doctoral students are good sources to get a topic for you own dissertation because you will be addressing a question that was discussed in the previous dissertation.  The question discussed in the previous dissertation may need further research and explaining, in turn, you have found the main topic for your dissertation.
  • Government Documents or Reports: Governmental agencies will form commissions to study certain issues that society is facing and will complete a report on their findings.  This is a good source to find a topic because you can use your dissertation to do your own research on the issue.
  • Tests, Survey Instruments, and Measures: Part of doing research for your dissertation will include looking at such documents and they are excellent sources for finding a topic for your dissertation.
  • Statistics: Is the collection of data on difficult items and things.  Such information you will use for your dissertation and is good source to find a topic for your dissertation.
  • Primary sources: materials written by an author who is considered an expert in what they are writing about and they have first-hand knowledge of what they are writing about.
  • Secondary sources: materials written by an author who uses other’s work to write their book and does not have first-hand knowledge of what they are writing about.
  •  If you must choose between primary sources and secondary sources, it is better to use the primary source materials for the topic being written about in your dissertation.

Whatever source you use for your dissertation topic, you should always ensure that it is reliable and searchable.

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