Choosing your dissertation topic

Our last essays have been handed in, exams are soon over and it seems as if this is going to be our longest summer ever (thanks corona). But as a third-year student, we still have one little assignment yet: dissertation topic! Which to be honest has been kiiiinda hard and frustrating to figure out when you’re miles and miles away from your advisors, library, and fellow students. It’s been harder than ever to motivate myself into getting anything done, especially after the last essays have been handed in. But as the deadline is fast approaching I have my best top tips on how to figure out how to draw up your bachelor dissertation topic (corona or no corona)

  1. The first one almost goes without saying, but I’m just going to mention it as a starter: Choose a topic you find super interesting. This is going to be probably the biggest piece of work you’ll be working on doing your university undergrad degree and you’re going to be crying tears and sweat over it. So make sure this is a topic you find really interesting so you have something that can help you through the drier times in your research and writing process.
  2. Choose something different. I know this one is hard to figure out and in some ways, it just seems easier to pick something you know works because hundreds have done it before you. But I think perhaps some of the fire you feel burning when you find a topic you find interesting might cool off a bit when you don’t really need to do a lot of research on your own because its already been done. Perhaps it might get a bit more challenging and perhaps a bit scary (what if you won’t have enough to write about?) but I also believe that your dissertation is your time to shine in whatever way you want to! Only the sky (and your advisor’s approval) is the limit!
  3. Ask for advice. Corona might make it a bit harder to talk to your tutors (especially as I think they have stopped replying to my emails because they just. kept. coming.) But this is honestly the time you’re wanting to ask questions! They are after all experts in the topics they’re teaching in so they definitely have a lot of knowledge of books and research that can help you form the right dissertation proposal!
  4. Research! Other than getting help from your advisor, we already know Google is our best friend! And I think most of us didn’t make it through the third year with at least using the library resources a few times. Now is the time to really dig deep into those stalk-your-ex-research skills – doing your research before handing in the proposal can help you feel confident in the unique and interesting topic you chose as much as give you a clear idea of where you want to be drawing most of your research from.

For me, its really been a struggle having to look into something that for now seems so far away, but these 4 steps have helped to at least have an idea and some pointers to what I’ll be writing those 10.000 words on and hand in – in less than a year! (can you believe we’ve already made it this far??)

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