One of the most difficult tasks in higher institutions is research project writing, either a thesis or dissertation. But most times, developing a project topic is challenging than writing the project itself. With all sincerity, writing a project is not an easy task, but then, it is important to come up with a topic for your professional career development. The moment of choosing a project topic is directly connected to your future whether you are deciding to dedicate your life to research on a specific field of study, or you have a strong desire to further your career in your chosen specialization. It was truly one of the most vital choices of my career; in fact, it created a path for my career as a scientific researcher, and is still defining the course of my career.
The following are useful tips to assist you make the right choice on the topic for your dissertation/thesis.
- Go through earlier written term papers, projects/theses/dissertations and assignments.
This should be the first thing I think you ought to do. Browse through the topics of all previous assignments, term papers, group projects, thesis, and dissertations that have been conducted in your department or you were directly or indirectly involved at one point or the other in your classes before now.
This will assist you make out your areas of interest and specializations, and consequently, problems you can find solve or existing gaps you can work towards filling. When I was to choose my present major specialization in my undergraduate, I understood that I enjoyed a lot of practical and experiments that has to do with the effect of alcohol on human health, so it was just an easy decision for me to pick Ocular Health and Alcohol, and choosing my project topic became less difficult.
- Choose a research area that you are passionate about.
Some supervisors like to give particular topics to their students to examine; others give freedom of choice to their students. So, it may occur so that during the course of your study, you have to carry out various things concerning the topics which you might not be interested in. A research project gives you a tremendous opportunity to take everything into your own hands; your project supervisor might just give you the freedom. The responsibility is much, but it is worth trying. You might also choose to continue the investigation of a particular problem you have already encountered.
- Discuss with your project supervisor.
A project/thesis/dissertation work is expected to be an independent research effort; nevertheless, you have a project supervisor who can assist in handling some difficulties. Choosing a project topic is an important reason to discuss with him/her as well, for the reason that he/she is generally able to provide you a good counsel about this problem and assist you to start working. The project supervisor will have his/her own idea but gives you freedom by asking your ideas and you will find a meeting point of both ideas at the end. His/her input in the work will be of immense help.
- Examine the previous literature.
In choosing your project topic, an alternative way is to work with materials from previous literature materials, specifically other research and review articles in your field of study. This may appear uneasy for a beginner, but shouldn’t difficult be for someone who has studied several research articles from journals before the level of dissertation/project writing.
This process is one that can assist you to sort out a lot of things at the same time. First is that you can gather resources available on a specific subject of interest, second is that you can collate the reference list at the same time, third is that you acquire more information and exposure in your area of interest, the most thing is to come up with a workable project topic. We came up with many topics on this site using these methods.
- Use a multidisciplinary approach
This approach to choosing a project topic requires that you have knowledge in other field of study that are different from yours. It is not of necessity that you require the deepest of knowledge of that discipline, and that’s why you have your supervisor and other academic and research experts to assist you on your project work along the way. It is usually a complex but interesting approach.
Using a multidisciplinary approach can also lead to creating something new, you may not have a problem coming up with an innovative contribution to knowledge in this seemingly discovery-filled world of research.
These are broad-spectrum and perhaps personal recommendations, but there is no doubt that they can be useful in your situation. It is applicable to all classes of students, be you a Bachelors or Masters or Doctorate. You may require a combination of more than one approach, and this frequently is the case, nevertheless, the most important thing when choosing a project topic is coming up with something new that you can easily develop with a view adding value to the society at large.