Themes from Dissertation Panel Discussion – Part 1

The IAD Masters Team recently held a Questions and Answers panel on Dissertations. This was an opportunity for current MSc students to ask former masters students and university staff questions about dissertations

The questions covered various themes around writing dissertations from How to Choose the Topic to Tools for Writing Your Dissertation. This post focuses on the beginning of the process, choosing a topic and narrowing down your question.

Common challenges with dissertations

  • Too big a question i.e can you conduct the research in the allocated timeframe
  • Ensure you use the correct methodology and/or theory to answer the question
  • Structure – make sure to answer the question
  • Check every section addressed your question and adds to the argument

How to choose the topic

  • Ask other people about the area, your peers, programme staff and researchers
  • How viable is the topic? Is there too much or too little research on it?
  • Think about what interests you?
  • How does the topic relate to your career?

Narrowing down the question

  • Write down the various questions which come to mind as you read the literature
  • Discuss it with others in your department (staff, PhD researchers, peers)