The most effective and efficient ways to select a topic are the following: (1) Become steeped in the relevant literature.(2) Engage in discussions with faculty and other scholars in your field.Waiting for inspiration is not the best approach to topic selection. Some students attempt to find a topic that fits a set of already-collected data, a certain population to which the student has access, or a preferred research methodology. Published by Corwin, A SAGE Company, 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, California 91320, (800) 233-9936, Fax: (800) 417-2466, © 2010 by Carol M. For most doctoral students, it is an agonizing decision, mainly because of the uncertainty surrounding it. Approaches to Choosing a Topic In selecting a research topic, students sometimes use what Ray Martin (1980) called “dreaming in a vacuum.” He stated that some students believe great ideas come from moments of inspiration; students who walk in the park, backpack in the mountains, or sit in quiet places to contemplate learn a lot about parks, backpacking, and contemplation, but little else.
However, what constitutes originality or significance is open to interpretation and usually differs among various faculty advisors. He claims that a topic must have the potential to do at least one of the following: Uncover new facts or principles, suggest relationships that were previously unrecognized, challenge existing truths or assumptions, affort new insights into little-understood phenomena, or suggest new interpretations of know facts that can alter people's perceptions of the world around them.
(p.38) No hard-and-fast rules exist for selecting a topic. Following are some general criteria for considering potential topics: Most students begin with a topic that is too large. Your goal is to add a small but significant piece to the knowledge base and graduate!
Your choice determines how long it will take you to complete your study. These research approaches synthesize findings across several studies.
Regards, Rick Reis UP NEXT: 'Thinking Big' Presenters Inspire at Stanford's 125th Anniversary Kickoff Symposium Tomorrow's Research ---------- 2,014 words ---------- Choosing a Dissertation Topic The first major challenge in the dissertation process lies in choosing a dissertation topic. It would not be worthwhile to conduct another study about a problem that has been sufficiently investigated unless, however, you conduct a meta-analysis, meta-ethnographic analysis, or literature synthesis.
Text Box: Remember : It would not be wise to replicate a trivial study or one with weak methodology or incorrect statistics.
Research studies may be replicated in several ways.
To know whether or not it has been researched, or if it is important to the field, you must first immerse yourself in the literature base.
This backward approach is also inappropriate and certain to irritate a potential advisor.
Text Box: Helpful Hint - A truism: You will encounter a wide range of opinions regarding the worth of any dissertation topic.
Some might think it outstanding, while others claim it has no value.