How to Choose a Topic for a Thesis

How to choose a topic for a thesis or dissertation is an important issue. This post answers a question from a student (you know who you are!). It’s mostly a compilation of experience about visualization, proposal and creation of your thesis or dissertation. Some students fear (or panic) when the time of thesis arrives. I’ve even met people with the EBT (Everything But the Thesis) syndrome, but that is a very complex problem and I’m no psychologist. Please, keep reading if you are not afraid of the document we refer to as “thesis”, and you are determined to succeed. Effectively, the thesis or dissertation represents a written expression of your specialized knowledge, with an scope scarcely above that of the toughest work you fulfilled during your studies (sometimes not even that). Nothing out of the ordinary. It is a document in which you express, typically as the last requirement for the degree, your command over a concrete subject. Often, the thesis is a document of regular transcendence.

How to choose a topic for a thesis or dissertation.
How to choose a topic for a thesis or dissertation?

The problem lies in the huge load of stress students have to endure, stemming from the academic and social environments: you have to deliver a work with superlative quality (and has to distinguish you from your peers), the haste to innovation, the won (or lost) prestige, the opportunities, the castles in the air, the afterward, failure poking its head out of the window, the defense, among other factors. But sometimes, to tell the truth, it’s simply that the student has acquired no significant skill in the career’s subjects (not so unlikely as it may seem), or suffers from a traditional chronic laziness. Nevertheless, for the time being we will focus on the essence of the document. Upcoming posts (perhaps) will touch on those surrounding topics.

1. How to choose a topic for a thesis?

Let’s try to unravel the document’s mistery. Best dissertations are done by those researchers very knowledgeable about their topic and about research techniques and methodologies. They know that every study should start by investigating the studied object. In our case, we must first establish what a thesis is, and what its purpose is. Here the average student answers, with praiseworthy self-confidence, that a thesis is a document whose exclusive purpose is to achieve, finally, the degree. Bravo, it’s impossible to be clearer, but we must never forget that, in life, milestones or stages are not as important as the paths and transits between such stages. Yet, something stands out in such answer:

You have to realize that your goal is to fulfill an academic requirement

However, this by no means allows you to take a lot of liberties, or to face up to your research half-heartedly. It’s but a reason to act with humility. There are three key words for thesis’ success:

Humility, Communication and Balance

Irrespective of the importance that you confer to your investigation, at no time you should work thinking of drawing international attention to you, or dreaming of that incredibly remunerated job you will obtain, or about the avalanche of trophies and medals. If you distract your mind with this, at some time you are going to lose your concentration, and the project will just slip out of your hands. Please, remember that the thesis represents, simultaneously, discipline and learning exercises, and you must assume it like so. The composure and integrity you show while walking your paths is more important than the path itself, and than the destination. Finally, realize that a thesis is an exercise of communication. And, never give too much, never ask for too much.

Continue reading “How to Choose a Topic for a Thesis”

Achieving Personal Goals

Achieving personal goals.
Achieving your personal goals.

Hello, this is the first content post in You can’t stop dreaming. Here, we’ll speak about achieving personal goals. First, do you know what a goal is? According to Wikipedia’s entry:

An objective or goal is a personal or organizational desired end point in development. It is usually endeavored to be reached in finite time by setting deadlines.

And that’s it. A personal goal is that thing you really want to achieve. Normally, achieving personal goals is not an isolated thing. On the contrary, they imply several subgoals you have to reach first. In this sense, we have to define how we are going to conduct ourselves in order to reach the subgoals. Remember, it’s not only the arriving point what matters… the integrity you show while following your path is the most important fact.

Now, what are your life’s goals? Or better stated, what do you want? Money? Family? Health? Education? Fame? A superb job? Please, answer this first honestly. Reaching goals that hold personal meaning to you increases the feeling of happiness. Oh, and… where do you belong? To the material or to the spiritual type?

Now, before continuing, do you have the bases to achieve your general goals? Let’s assume you want that very-well-paid-job. Do you have the required education? No? Then you have to introduce a subgoal related to academic formation. Yes? Then, have you researched the job’s field thoroughly? Do you know the current information trends related to that job? Do you know what is the state-of-the-art in such knowledge area? Do you know who are the best representants of that job? What are the biggest companies? Now, do you have a solid contacts network? Please, start thinking, and start answering.

My own goal with this post is to flame your awareness, cognition and self-view on yourself. That’s the starting point of the journey we will be revisiting in upcoming posts.

Welcome to You Can’t Stop Dreaming

Hello, and welcome to my blog You can’t stop dreaming. Here I’ll write and discuss my thoughts on self-development, education, and life in general. The domain and all the technical setup of this blog was gratuitously provided by xklibur.com. Thank you, XKli!

I have 30+ years of experience working on pedagogic, workgroups and laboral topics. I’m always looking for ways to strengthen my students’ self-confidence and self-awareness. Continue reading “Welcome to You Can’t Stop Dreaming”