How to choose a topic for your thesis

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How to choose a topic for your thesis
How to choose a topic for your thesis

Choosing a topic for your thesis, be it a master's, doctorate, or bachelor's degree, can seem like a daunting task, but it can also be exciting. The thesis is your opportunity to deepen a topic that interests you and contribute something new to your field. To pick the right topic, start by brainstorming possible topics without worrying about whether they are good or not. Then narrow down the topics based on their feasibility and your personal strengths. Lastly, do some research to write a good thesis question.


Part 1 of 3: Thinking About Possible Topics

Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 1
Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 1

Step 1. Write down your main interests related to your field of study

Since you will probably spend two or more years of work on your thesis, it is best to choose something that interests you. Also, the topic could shape the path you take in the future as you orient yourself to places to study more or places to work. Follow these steps to generate interesting topics:

  • Review all the classes you have taken and the topics covered.
  • Think about why you have chosen your field of study.
  • Take into account what you like to read in your free time, especially things related to your field. They can be books, news articles or blogs.
  • Think about the people in the field you admire or who represent what you want to be. Then ask yourself what you like about them.
  • Evaluate whether you will continue your academic studies after graduation and what you would like to study.
Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 2
Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 2

Step 2. Review the past course to find jobs that you enjoyed writing

Perhaps you can incorporate written work as part of a course into your thesis to use as a starting point. Review the works written in the last two years of study and identify those that stand out for you. Think about how much you enjoyed researching the topic you wrote about and the topics that you found easy or natural.

  • Consider any outstanding questions you have had while working on past projects as a starting point for your new thesis.
  • It's best to limit yourself to recent jobs as they will better reflect your current knowledge and skills.
  • You can use the same theme used in your previous work or use an old work to guide you to the new topic.


your past course could also indicate what you don't like to study. Take into account the tasks that you have struggled with and the research topics that you did not like. Then avoid them.

Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 3
Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 3

Step 3. Research current events to keep up with what's going on in your field

Read the news to see what is happening in the world right now. Then do some research in an academic database (such as EBSCO or J-STOR) about your field of study or your interests, and review the main results. Look for topics that attract a lot of attention or that people ask a lot of questions about. These topics could be good for your thesis.

  • For example, imagine you study politics. You can read about current presidential candidates and assess how their platforms deviate from the historical platforms of their political party.
  • If you are writing a literature thesis, read novels nominated for annual literature awards and consider genre, theme, or style.
  • For a psychology thesis, you can search for PTSD news or read articles about popular psychology that people share on social media.
  • For an aeronautical engineering thesis, you can read what SpaceX is currently working on or learn about the latest NASA experiments.
  • Read the top research journals in your field of interest to see what current academic conversations look like.
  • Make a list of the keywords you notice during your research to search for theses published on sites like ProQuest. This way, you will know what topics have already been covered.
Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 4
Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 4

Step 4. Look for gaps in current research related to your field

Your thesis should add something new to your field of study, which can seem daunting. However, reviewing current research can be helpful. Evaluate which are the areas where there are many unanswered questions. Then add these topics to your list of possible ideas.

  • You do not need to choose a topic on which there is no research, as it may be difficult to examine.
  • One way to find a unique angle is to combine two subjects. You can also delve into or build on someone else's work.
  • For example, imagine you are studying clinical psychology and you want to write about PTSD. You may find that not much research has been done on how people with PTSD cope with conflict in the workplace.
  • Similarly, imagine you study politics and want to see how political platforms evolve. You may find that there is a research gap when it comes to evaluating how voters react to changes in platforms.
Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 5
Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 5

Step 5. Ask your teachers which topic they think is right for you

Your professors have a lot of knowledge of your field of study and of previous and current research. Also, they probably know a lot about you. Therefore, they will be able to help you understand the best study path for you, so find out what they think. Tell them what your goals are and ask them for advice.

For example, you might say, "I want to be a research professor one day, and I want to focus on modern poetry. Which of these dissertation topics do you think would make me a more attractive candidate for doctoral programs?"

Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 6
Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 6

Step 6. Talk to your classmates about their pending questions

This could help you identify areas that need more research. Ask your classmates if they have had any questions during the classes you have taken together. Also, ask them if you can see their notes. Look for areas they found confusing or questions they wrote in the margins.

Focus on questions that can be investigated and do not have a simple answer. For example, a question like "How can I motivate people without offering extrinsic rewards?" it can be researched and not have a simple answer. On the other hand, the question "When did free verse poems start to become a trend?" it is easy to answer through a basic internet search

Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 7
Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 7

Step 7. Think about what kind of job you want to have in the future

Your thesis could shape your path in the future, as it could lead to other research opportunities. In addition, you will have a deeper understanding and knowledge of the subject, so it will be an interesting aspect on your resume. Make a list of your goals for the future. Then come up with topics that can help you achieve them.

  • You don't need to plan your whole life. However, it is recommended that you have an idea of where you want to go.
  • Think about the type of job you want to have, the position you want to achieve, or the types of organizations where you want to work.
  • For example, if you want to be a university professor, you can choose a topic that you can continue to research during your doctorate and your profession as a professor.
  • As another example, imagine you want to be a project manager for an engineering firm. You can choose a topic that includes your knowledge of engineering and your interest in motivating other engineers to produce their best work.
Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 8
Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 8

Step 8. Make a list of 5 or 10 topics that might be interesting as a thesis topic

Include the best topics generated during the brainstorming session. Incorporate a range of ideas, since you will eliminate most by narrowing your focus. However, having many ideas can make it easier for you to find one that offers many research opportunities.

  • Theses for bachelor's degrees can be broader, while those for doctorates and masters should be more specific.
  • Pick the best topics that you have developed during brainstorming.
  • You may enjoy doing this activity with a classmate who is also working on their thesis. Maybe they can brainstorm.
  • For example, you can write things like "evolution of political party platforms", "impact of civil war on cultural norms", "literature issues immediately before and after a social crisis", "impact of robotics on force labor "," mission to Mars "or" build intrinsic motivation in workers ".

Part 2 of 3: Limit Your Focus

Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 9
Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 9

Step 1. Eliminate topics that offer no means for new research

If the topic has already been researched a lot, it may not be useful for your thesis. Think what you can contribute to the topic. If you don't see much growth opportunity, cross the item off the list.

For example, you may love William Shakespeare, but finding a new area of research for his works could be very difficult. Similarly, if you study psychology, you may be better off avoiding writing about old ideas that are no longer widely supported, such as dream analysis

Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 10
Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 10

Step 2. Choose your thesis supervisor once you have a general idea of the topic you will be researching

Find a teacher with experience in the areas you want to study. Then talk to him to see if he would be willing to be your thesis supervisor. Tell him why you specifically chose it, and what topics you want to research.

For example, you can say something like "Hello, Dr. Gómez. I know you have a lot of knowledge about politics. I want to write my thesis on a topic related to morality in politics, so I would like you to be my supervisor. thesis”


You do not need to choose your thesis topic before looking for a supervisor. The goal is for you to have a general idea of what you want to investigate.

Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 11
Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 11

Step 3. Talk about one or three topics with your thesis supervisor

This person will help you choose your topic based on what they think will be best for both of you. Bring him a short list of topics you have in mind. Then explain why you are interested in each one and ask for advice.

  • For example, you can say "I would like to write my thesis on the structure of modern American haiku, autobiographical expression in contemporary 21st century poetry, or poetry in the internet age."
  • The supervisor may want you to choose a topic that they are very knowledgeable about and that is interesting to them.

Part 3 of 3: Writing the Thesis Question

Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 12
Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 12

Step 1. Do some research on your topic

It is important that you have a full understanding of the topic before asking your thesis question. Visit the library, check internet databases, magazine articles, books, and other research materials to learn more about the subject. As you read, annotate the material by writing notes and questions in the margins.

  • This will help you determine the type of question you can ask about your topic.
  • If possible, underline or mark important passages and summarize sections of the text in the margins.
  • Talk to the librarian. This person will help you find material that may be interesting to you, and will offer you magazines or books related to your topic.


save research material to use when writing the thesis. You may not use all of the initial research, but some of it might be relevant.

Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 13
Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 13

Step 2. Write five to seven possible thesis questions based on your research

At first, don't worry about writing good questions. Once you have several that interest you, rewrite each one to argue one side of the issue. Then write the questions in clear and concise words. Here are some sample questions:

  • How did the guerrillas of the 20th century affect the themes of literature?
  • How did increasing cultural norms impact the criteria for literary awards?
  • What social changes had an impact on diplomatic exchanges between world leaders?
  • How does removing morality from public policy affect the effectiveness of legislation?
  • How does culture adapt after a civil war?
  • How does robotics improve early childhood education?
  • What are the best ways to motivate employees to work harder?
  • What treatment protocols can improve the recovery of patients with PTSD?
Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 14
Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 14

Step 3. Identify the question that you think you can answer and investigate better

Select a question that you can answer well for the thesis to be successful. To determine the best question to focus the thesis:

  • Think about the process required to investigate the topic, such as digital search, social experiments, or laboratory analysis. Then decide if you will be able to complete these tasks with the time and resources you have.
  • Make a list of available research materials, such as computer databases, library materials, or a laboratory.
  • Take into account the area of expertise of your thesis supervisor.
  • Think about the courses you have taken and the skills you have developed.

For instance:

The thesis question "How did increasing cultural norms impact the criteria for literary awards?" it is useful, since it is debatable and researchable. You can explore cultural norms using social studies studies, newspaper or magazine articles, and survey results from different decades. Then, study the themes and styles of award-winning literature using articles and books. From there, he evaluates the relationship between them, which is free for interpretation.

Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 15
Choose a Topic for Your Thesis Step 15

Step 4. Select a final research question with the help of your supervisor

Once you identify a thesis question that you want to use, talk to your supervisor to ask for their opinion. They may approve it as-is, but they might also offer tips for improving it. Work with this person to develop the best thesis question for your project.

Listen to the advice of your supervisor. He's probably been doing this for a long time, and he'll know what it's like to be in your place


  • Pick a topic as soon as you can. This will help you stay on track to finish your thesis on time.
  • Additional research is helpful during the selection process. If you find texts that could be useful later, save them to use in your thesis.
  • Since you will spend at least one or two years on your thesis, it is best to choose a topic that interests you.

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