Relevance of Your Dissertation Topic | Criteria & Tips

A relevant dissertation topic means that your research will contribute something worthwhile to your field in a scientific, social, or practical way.

As you plan out your dissertation process, make sure that you’re writing something that is important and interesting to you personally, as well as appropriate within your field.

If you’re a bit stuck on where to begin, consider framing your questions in terms of their relevance: scientifically to your discipline, socially to the world at large, or practically to an industry or organization.

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What Is a Theoretical Framework? | Guide to Organizing

A theoretical framework is a foundational review of existing theories that serves as a roadmap for developing the arguments you will use in your own work.

Theories are developed by researchers to explain phenomena, draw connections, and make predictions. In a theoretical framework, you explain the existing theories that support your research, showing that your paper or dissertation topic is relevant and grounded in established ideas.

In other words, your theoretical framework justifies and contextualizes your later research, and it’s a crucial first step for your research paper, thesis, or dissertation. A well-rounded theoretical framework sets you up for success later on in your research and writing process.

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Definite and Indefinite Articles | When to Use “The”, “A” or “An”

English has two types of articles to precede nouns: definite (the) and indefinite (a/an). You can improve the articles that appear in your dissertation by:

  • not using unnecessary articles with plural nouns,
  • not using “a” or “an” with uncountable nouns,
  • using articles with singular countable nouns,
  • correctly choosing “a” or “an” in front of an acronym,
  • correctly deciding if an acronym for an entity needs “the,”
  • correctly identifying if a country name needs “the.”

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Taboo words in academic writing

When you are writing a dissertation, thesis, or research paper, many words and phrases that are acceptable in conversations or informal writing are considered inappropriate in academic writing.

You should try to avoid expressions that are too informal, unsophisticated, vague, exaggerated, or subjective, as well as those that are generally unnecessary or incorrect.

Bear in mind, however, that these guidelines do not apply to text you are directly quoting from your sources (including interviews).

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How to write more concisely

Concise writing presents ideas clearly and does not use more words than are truly necessary. Conciseness is an important characteristic of academic writing, especially given how complex the subject matter frequently is.

Two of the biggest enemies of concise writing are inflated phrases and redundancies. It’s easy to think that using more complicated-sounding phrases will give your text a more academic feel, but mostly it just makes it harder to follow.

Using the below strategies will make your writing not only tighter, but also more effective.

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Theoretical Framework Example for a Thesis or Dissertation

Your theoretical framework defines the key concepts in your research, suggests relationships between them, and discusses relevant theories based on your literature review.

A strong theoretical framework gives your research direction. It allows you to convincingly interpret, explain, and generalize from your findings and show the relevance of your thesis or dissertation topic in your field.

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Figure and Table Lists | Word Instructions, Template & Examples

A list of figures and tables compiles all of the figures and tables that you used in your thesis or dissertation, along with their corresponding page numbers. These lists give your reader an overview of how you have used figures and tables in your document.

While these lists are often not required, you may want to include one as a way to stay organized if your dissertation topic leads you to use several figures and tables over the course of your paper. Your educational institution may require one, so be sure to check their guidelines. Ultimately, if you do choose to add one, it should go directly after your table of contents.

You can download our Microsoft Word template below to help you get started.

Download Word doc

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Email contact with your dissertation supervisor

How to best approach your dissertation supervisor via email can vary by supervisor. For example, some supervisors are fine with being addressed by their first name, while others would prefer that you only use their title and surname.

We have developed a number of guidelines that will help you to come across as being as professional and serious as possible, regardless of the different preferences that your supervisor has concerning emails from students.

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