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A Dissertation Research Essay

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Updated: Jan 14th, 2022


A dissertation research is also referred to as a thesis (Breimer & Damen, 2005). This document represents a presentation of a candidate’s research and results. It must be handed in before a candidate can acquire professional qualification (Isaac, Koenigsknecht, Malaney, & Karras, 2002). The term dissertation is normally applicable in a doctorate program. This paper will discuss some ideas and thoughts of dissertation research and will address a plan on how a relevant topic for the dissertation will be arrived at after researching various topics. This will be done in preparation for the writing of my dissertation paper.

Dissertation research

A normal dissertation usually is divided into sections and the first is a title page. An abstract follows and it is a summary of the whole paper including the findings and recommendations. A table of contents comes after the abstract and then the body of the paper. The body is made up of a number of chapters that include, but not limited to, an introduction, literature review, results and recommendation. The last bit is a reference page that outlines all the sources used in the paper (Thomas, 2009).

Getting started with research may seem to be a difficult task and questions that may arise may be those based on how one would find a research topic and basically what to research on. It is important to know that great research ideas may come out of nowhere but this does not mean that someone would sit down and wait for the idea to pop out of the head. There are several things that one can engage in so as to facilitate the process. It involves looking for ideas in a systematic manner. The process is also a continuous one since someone needs to look for the ideas at all times regardless of the situation. This however, does not mean that someone needs to rack his brain looking for ideas. This simply means that someone should always have an open mind to new ideas.

Researching for a research topic

The best way to get started is to own a journal of ideas and activities about the research. The journal may have a list of interesting questions, problems, possible solutions and the references to study. Someone may also make notes on articles or journals read. This process should begin even before one starts looking for a dissertation topic (Cooper, Hedges, & Valentine, 2009).

When one comes across a good article, one should make short notes and address the areas such as the article’s research topic and the methods used to study it. Notes on the findings should also be put down. The most important part, probably, is to check whether the author suggested for further research to be done on a particular part. This would suggest an area to research on depending on the interest of the student. The striking areas of the article should also be highlighted and one’s own ideas inputted.

After collecting enough ideas, one should go over the journal several times and with time, one would notice some themes and patterns that stand out and connect. Such recurring themes will be an indication for avenues to venture on for the research dissertation. After finding a potential idea for the dissertation, it is important to read widely on the topic (Pagilis, Green, & Bauer, 2000).

Moreover, there are various tools in the internet which could be used to source for articles and journals that have been done already and this would give the student a lot of ideas on what topic to research on. Such tools include Google scholar.


Finding a topic for a dissertation research is one of the most important steps towards writing a good paper. The process of looking for the research topic should therefore be one which is systematic and continuous.


  1. Breimer, D., & Damen, J. (2005). On Dissertations. Leiden: Leiden University Library.
  2. Cooper, H., Hedges, L., & Valentine, J. (2009). The handbook of research synthesis and meta-analysis. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  3. Isaac, P., Koenigsknecht, R., Malaney, G., & Karras, J. (2002). Factors related to doctoral dissertation topic selection. Journal of Humanities, Social sciences and Law. 30(4), 357-373.
  4. Pagilis, L., Green, S., & Bauer, T. (2000). Does adviser mentoring add value? A longitudinal study of mentoring and doctoral student outcomes. 47(4), 451-476.
  5. Thomas, G. (2009). Your Research Project. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
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