Choosing a dissertation can be a difficult, and sometimes daunting, task. It requires you to brainstorm various different ideas and evaluate how you can capitalize on them to make them interesting and all your own. Your dissertation needs to encompass what you have learned during your graduate education. It should express how what you have learned has prepared you for what you plan to do next. When choosing a dissertation there are several steps necessary in order to make sure it is the topic best suited to you and your purpose. They are as follows:

  1. Brainstorming – This is a necessary component to make sure you are carefully evaluating what an appropriate dissertation should be.
    • Jot down a list of your most influential classes and how they have helped your future career goals.
    • Evaluate your academic strengths and weaknesses.
    • Consider what stimuli helped you become a successful graduate student.

  2. Make a statement – Once you have decided on a few dissertation topics, you should delve further into what the beginning of this statement will look like.
    • Your thesis statement should speak directly to your experiences: past, present, and future.
    • Write down what you hope to accomplish and learn about yourself as well as share with others.
    • After carefully evaluating the statements you have chosen, segue into asking your professor for assistance.v

  3. Asking Your Professor for Help – Most professors want to see you do well and to feel as though their teachings were understood and appreciated. Understanding this will help you feel comfortable with soliciting their assistance/advice in choosing a dissertation or helping you narrow down your choices.
    • Show your professor that you have been doing your research and brainstorming so that he/she knows you are serious about choosing a topic.
    • Ask them for life examples of their own and/or their colleagues on how they developed their dissertation topics.
    • See if they feel comfortable sharing other dissertations or thesis statements that they feel would be beneficial to you.

Essentially your dissertation is all about you. It should highlight the most important parts of your graduate school education and be a direct reflection into your thought process and how you express yourself. Choosing a dissertation will help you understand just who you are and where you’re going not only in your career but also in life overall.