Dissertation subject and main theme
The topic of the candidate’s or doctoral dissertation is an example of a fateful choice. It is a complex and important process involving many aspects. The main guidelines are two characteristics:
– Relevance. Research on the topic should be relevant to both theory and practice. Practice should be understood as a broad interpretation, i.e. not only the specific application, for example, in production, but the possibility of using developments in the educational process, in special courses. Current dissertations supplement the lists of qualitative additional sources and become the subject of citations.
– Novelty of setting and solving urgent problems. These should be modernly important, acute issues, the solution of which simplifies, explains, helps, solves, improves, i.e. creates a constructive result. It is important to take into account previous research and work on similar topics, as well as the conclusions and recommendations of predecessors.
There is a paradox in the scientific community. It is no secret that there are very few unexplored topics left, or rather – almost none. At the same time, it is impossible to state about absolute research of any subject. This simultaneously opens up a wide range of opportunities and serves as an obstacle for seekers.
Here are some arguments:
Little-studied topics are interesting in terms of knowledge. However, given that a dissertation is a marathon, it is important to distribute the forces correctly. At some stage, there is a high probability of encountering a problem such as a shortage of sources, source material. In simple language – there may be a stupor; you can go into a dead end. In this context, it is advisable to start researching little-studied topics at a simpler level, for example, at the level of scientific articles.
Trends in research, as in any other field of activity, are often driven by fashion trends. If we mention again the allegory that the dissertation is a marathon, it is important to keep in mind that at the time of completion of the research trend may disappear by itself or become obsolete and lose relevance.
Does this mean that conservative approaches should prevail? Both little-studied and trendy topics take place if the situation is correctly predicted and the forces are calculated correctly. This is the case when the risk of making a mistake in choosing a topic is contrasted with the chances of being a pioneer and innovator.
Possible problems in choosing the topic of the dissertation may be:
Approval and coordination of the topic with the Academic Council and the Supervisor. At the selection stage, it is recommended to listen to the opinions of reputable researchers and the head. At the same time, we should not forget that everyone has his or her own subjective judgments. If there are desires and preconditions, the topic can and should be defended. Otherwise, there is a chance to become the author of someone else’s idea and not to realize the idea.
The secondary nature of the stated topic. This is the omission of the stage of preparation or the inability to differentiate the fine line between the duplication of other people’s research and the introduction of a new aspect in the previously discussed topics. At the same time, a winning option is not excluded if the secondary topic is presented from a new, interesting and useful perspective.
Formulation of the topic. To avoid a situation in which “I understand everything, but I can not say”, it is important to study the sound of the topic, its capacity and conciseness. Avoid too broad and vague wording, do not allow the use of the word “question” and intricate incomprehensible phrases.
Applicants for degrees choose narrow topics and cannot cover general theoretical issues. When it comes to the humanities, the range of choices and variations is quite wide. More difficult with technical specialties and natural disciplines.
The topic of the dissertation should be not only a reflection of the personal choice of the author, but also to some extent based on the work of the department and supervisor. Intuitive availability of the material to its evaluators is important for the dissertation abstract.