In other words, as the adage says, if the horse dies, get off!
Replication Studies One strategy in pursuing a dissertation topic is to replicate a previous study. Often students think repeating another’s study is cheating and just an easy way out. Knowledge accumulates incrementally through studies that build on each other over time, and replication adds strength and clarity to research findings.
(p.38) No hard-and-fast rules exist for selecting a topic. Following are some general criteria for considering potential topics: Most students begin with a topic that is too large. Your goal is to add a small but significant piece to the knowledge base and graduate!Some Criteria for Topic Selection How do you know if your particular topic has the potential to become a scholarly dissertation?Most universities and doctoral faculties agree that the doctoral dissertation should be an original piece of research and significant to the field.Make a list of key words and phrases to initiate the search. Are there problems that need solutions in your workplace?The results of a computer search should help you discover whether a dissertation is possible on this topic or whether the topic has been “done to death.” 5. The discussions that occur during a dissertation’s oral defense often suggest potential topics. It opens your eyes to what happens during a dissertation defense. Your boss might have a pet topic that could enhance your career opportunities. If you think a topic might be suggested in which you have no interest, you are better served not to conduct this research. Distinguished scholars in these areas write the articles.Waiting for inspiration is not the best approach to topic selection. Some students attempt to find a topic that fits a set of already-collected data, a certain population to which the student has access, or a preferred research methodology. Published by Corwin, A SAGE Company, 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, California 91320, (800) 233-9936, Fax: (800) 417-2466, © 2010 by Carol M. For most doctoral students, it is an agonizing decision, mainly because of the uncertainty surrounding it. Approaches to Choosing a Topic In selecting a research topic, students sometimes use what Ray Martin (1980) called “dreaming in a vacuum.” He stated that some students believe great ideas come from moments of inspiration; students who walk in the park, backpack in the mountains, or sit in quiet places to contemplate learn a lot about parks, backpacking, and contemplation, but little else.This backward approach is also inappropriate and certain to irritate a potential advisor. Waiting for inspiration is not the best approach to topic selection. Some students attempt to find a topic that fits a set of already-collected data, a certain population to which the student has access, or a preferred research methodology.- Another truism: Stubbornness in pursuing a dissertation topic no one believes worthy of research can lead to ABDism.Time spent pursuing a lost cause can cost you valuable time and make it difficult to obtain an advisor.Scrapping a topic and starting over at least once is the norm.Where to Look for Potential Topics Dissertation topics rarely emerge out of the blue; you must proactively search them out. Ask them to help you run a database search on some topic of interest.