Helpful Advice: Questions to ask when selecting a dissertation topic.

Ask yourself, and honestly consider the following questions before you rush headlong into a literature search on a subject area that you have not thoroughly examined from a personal standpoint. Believe me, you will not regret doing a little soul searching when it comes to selecting your topic.

Consider your own personal interest in the topic. Are you genuinely interested in this topic and willing to spend days, weeks, months and maybe years focused on it?

Evaluate the importance of the topic. Is this topic something that will be of benefit to the field you are part of? Will your work on this topic add to the body of knowledge?

Assess the usefulness of the topic. Is there some practical value that other professionals in your field can use or apply that makes your topic of actionable value?

Ask whether the topic is relevant and timely. Is your topic something that others in your field have written about in the recent past? Is it an area of discussion right now or is it passé?

Judge whether the time required to complete the research on this topic is realistic. Is the topic something you can research within a timeframe that is realistic or is the commitment of time too great for you to undertake as a doctoral project?

Weigh the level of topic difficulty. Is your topic one that has sensitivity, geography or complexity that will make the process of investigating it filled with extra stress? Does controversy surround it? Do you have to travel far and wide to access the data sources? Is it so complex that you will drown in the process of doing the research?

Analyze the expense of pursuing the topic. Is the topic one that fits within a student's limited budget or will the cost exceed the pocketbook?

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