Dissertation topic selection

Topic selection for writing a dissertation is probably the most critical milestone throughout the research process. The topic of your dissertation or any other academic report charts down the direction and scope of the research. Too narrowly selected topic may end up in a shallow piece of research whereas too broad topic may result in incomplete or lose-ended work. The topic should be closely related to your area of interest and should reflect your academic profile. The selected topic should ideally compass if not all most of the academic concepts that may have been covered in the degree. Besides the relevance to the degree and previous qualification, the topic of research should be of your interest. An interesting topic may keep the moral up to facilitate the completion of the research in most optimal manner.

The topic should only be selected after thorough research and analysis. Being hasty in selecting the topic can lead to serious and lasting impact on the research, especially changing the topic in middle of the research is never recommended. Therefore ample time should be spent before initiating the research in order to finalize the topic and area of research. The selected topic should not be too large or too short and it should be very concise enough to meet the requirements of the research. Keep the targeted word count in view and make sure the selected topic has the appetite to accommodate the required word count. You must limit the topic within the boundaries that you want to accomplish in the time which is available in writing a paper (Edward P. Asmus, 1999).

Importance of Topic Selection

Topic selection is very important and may require repeated revision and extensive research before selection of final topic. The selected topic should be in line with the course work or should address the modules that are discussed in the degree. There is no hard and fast rule of selecting the topic as most of the academic institutions encourage students to select topic in order to reflect their personal thinking and to promote their individualism during the research. Once the topic has been selected then in-depth research is initiated on finding out the relevant written work according to your selected topic. It is only after final selection of topic that you give attention and time towards other areas of research like methodology, research type etc. Then on the basis of your findings, you can draw out your conclusions and then you can suggest your recommendations (Joyce W. Lee, 1987, pp. 180).

Basic Guideline in Narrowing a Topic

One of the biggest mistake that students make, they select very highlight a very broad area of research instead of highlighting a more focused scope. For example, Buying preferences of UK retailers. Such broad areas will not convey a direction to both the researcher and the reader. Therefore after an in-depth study and brainstorming exercises, only best selected and precisely focus topic should be formed. When you have narrowed down the topic then you can think about at what aspects to include, what aspects can make it even stronger and what should be avoided in the research. It is also a very popular misconception that wording of the topic may not be appropriate or catchy enough while initiating the research. Don’t spend too much time in polishing the cosmetics of the topic, the aim should be to have a precise and well-defined area of research and wording may change number of times throughout the research term. The basic guidelines that you must consider after you have selected a topic include:

The Main Requirements of your Assignment

  • Should be written according to the guidelines of your instructor or supervisor.
  • Entire report should be structured and written strictly following the prescribed guidelines
  • Baselines should be kept in view constantly, when the paper is narrative or reflective then you must narrow down the topic and then you can present your argument according to the requirement of your topic that people would disagree about.
  • Be well aware about the content and the overall length of the requirements in your academic writing. You must write objective with narrowing down your topic with much focus and detailed coverage of your selected topic.


In other important guidelines, you must write and narrow down your coursework topic according to your personal interests. As a writer, you must be sure that it is something that basically interests and then you will do the research work with more enjoyable manner and finish your work ideally. You must also consider the audience and the purpose of your selected topic. You must be well aware how your selected topic will be ideal and will catch the attention of your audience. And also bring in spotlight what are the new aspects you’ll introduce to the audience (Pam Solberg, 2010).


Edward P. Asmus. 1999. ‘The Topic: Paper Writing’.
Joyce w. Lee. 1987. ‘Topic Selection in Writing: A Precarious but Practical Balancing Act’, Vol. 41, No. 2, Nov. 1987.
Pam Solberg. 2010. ‘Narrowing a Topic’, Western Technical College Online Writing Center.