Dissertation Writing Guide: Researching the Topic

In order to get your doctorate you need to complete a dissertation. But it needs to have a purpose, or a reason why you have chosen to further pursue a degree in that area.

Here is a guide for researching the topic for your dissertation:

  • Make sure the research is relevant to the topic that you have chosen:
  • You have submitted a proposal, it has gotten accepted, now you need to start the research. But how do you know what research will be of benefit? Anything and everything will not do. Make sure that the research that you are doing is directly related to the topic that you are presenting. If it is not, then when you present the dissertation it is going to make it seem like you just threw sources in there for no reason.

  • Are the sources credible:
  • This is a big one to remember because if you want it to be professional, then credible sources need to be used. When researching on the Internet, use websites that end in .org and or .edu because those are established sources. You can use .com website but be aware that they may not be credible such as Wikipedia, which is frowned upon in the academic community.

  • Use books, periodicals, journals etc.
  • Most of the time, these will be required for the requirements for the dissertation. While going to the library is great to get books, also remember that you can get books online now that are directly related to your topic. Periodicals and journals are excellent sources as they provide studies that might not be in books, which will help bring history and background information to your topic to help the audience understand why it is that you have chosen this topic.

  • Have more than one source:
  • In an undergraduate degree, a person can get away with having one source for a term paper. Check the requirements for how many sources you will need for your dissertation. General rule of thumb is to have as many as needed to state your point and case without adding extra information.

  • Be organized
  • Doing a lot of research means at some point that once you are done, you will have a lot of sources to use in your paper. Make sure that it is organized so when you write it, then you will have no problem being able to locate it and put it in the paper and bibliography. An excellent way to do this is by using index cards for each source.