How to Choose a Dissertation Topic | 8 Steps to Follow

Choosing your dissertation topic is the first step in making sure your research goes as smoothly as possible. When choosing a topic, it’s important to consider:

  • Your institution and department’s requirements
  • Your areas of knowledge and interest
  • The scientific, social, or practical relevance
  • The availability of data and resources
  • The timeframe of your dissertation
  • The relevance of your topic

You can follow these steps to begin narrowing down your ideas.

Continue reading: How to Choose a Dissertation Topic | 8 Steps to Follow

How to Write a Problem Statement | Guide & Examples

A problem statement is a concise and concrete summary of the research problem you seek to address. It should:

  • Contextualize the problem. What do we already know?
  • Describe the exact issue your research will address. What do we still need to know?
  • Show the relevance of the problem. Why do we need to know more about this?
  • Set the objectives of the research. What will you do to find out more?

Continue reading: How to Write a Problem Statement | Guide & Examples

How to Define a Research Problem | Ideas & Examples

A research problem is a specific issue or gap in existing knowledge that you aim to address in your research. You may choose to look for practical problems aimed at contributing to change, or theoretical problems aimed at expanding knowledge.

Some research will do both of these things, but usually the research problem focuses on one or the other. The type of research problem you choose depends on your broad topic of interest and the type of research you think will fit best.

This article helps you identify and refine a research problem. When writing your research proposal or introduction, formulate it as a problem statement and/or research questions.

Continue reading: How to Define a Research Problem | Ideas & Examples

10 Research Question Examples to Guide your Research Project

The research question is one of the most important parts of your research paper, thesis or dissertation. It’s important to spend some time assessing and refining your question before you get started.

The exact form of your question will depend on a few things, such as the length of your project, the type of research you’re conducting, the topic, and the research problem. However, all research questions should be focused, specific, and relevant to a timely social or scholarly issue.

Once you’ve read our guide on how to write a research question, you can use these examples to craft your own.

Continue reading: 10 Research Question Examples to Guide your Research Project

Writing Strong Research Questions | Criteria & Examples

A research question pinpoints exactly what you want to find out in your work. A good research question is essential to guide your research paper, dissertation, or thesis.

All research questions should be:

  • Focused on a single problem or issue
  • Researchable using primary and/or secondary sources
  • Feasible to answer within the timeframe and practical constraints
  • Specific enough to answer thoroughly
  • Complex enough to develop the answer over the space of a paper or thesis
  • Relevant to your field of study and/or society more broadly
Writing Strong Research Questions
  
You will usually write a single research question to guide your progress in a research paper or academic essay. Your answer then forms your thesis statement—the central assertion or position that your paper will argue for.

A bigger research project, such as a thesis or dissertation, may necessitate multiple research questions or problem statements. However, they should all be clearly connected and focused around a central research problem.

Continue reading: Writing Strong Research Questions | Criteria & Examples

Academic Paragraph Structure | Step-by-Step Guide & Examples

Every piece of academic writing is structured by paragraphs and headings. The number, length and order of your paragraphs will depend on what you’re writing—but each paragraph must be:

  • Unified: all the sentences relate to one central point or idea.
  • Coherent: the sentences are logically organized and clearly connected.
  • Relevant: the paragraph supports the overall theme and purpose of the paper.

To walk you through the process of writing strong paragraphs, we’ll use an example from our interactive essay about the history of the Braille reading system. With each step, we will gradually build up the structure of a paragraph.

Continue reading: Academic Paragraph Structure | Step-by-Step Guide & Examples

Checklist: Writing a Great Research Paper

A research paper is an extended piece of writing based on in-depth independent research. It may involve conducting empirical research or analyzing primary and secondary sources.

Writing a good research paper requires you to demonstrate a strong knowledge of your topic and advance an original argument. To convincingly communicate your ideas, you need a logical structure and a clear style that follows the conventions of academic writing.

When you’ve finished writing your paper, use this checklist to evaluate your work.

Continue reading: Checklist: Writing a Great Research Paper

How to Write a Research Proposal | Examples & Templates

Structure of a research proposal

A research proposal describes what you will investigate, why it’s important, and how you will conduct your research.

The format of a research proposal varies between fields, but most proposals will contain at least these elements:

While the sections may vary, the overall objective is always the same. A research proposal serves as a blueprint and guide for your research plan, helping you get organized and feel confident in the path forward you choose to take.

Continue reading: How to Write a Research Proposal | Examples & Templates

What Is a Research Methodology? | Steps & Tips

Your research methodology discusses and explains the data collection and analysis methods you used in your research. A key part of your thesis, dissertation, or research paper, the methodology chapter explains what you did and how you did it, allowing readers to evaluate the reliability and validity of your research and your dissertation topic.

It should include:

Tips
  • Your methodology section should generally be written in the past tense.
  • Academic style guides in your field may provide detailed guidelines on what to include for different types of studies.
  • Your citation style might provide guidelines for your methodology section (e.g., an APA Style methods section).

Continue reading: What Is a Research Methodology? | Steps & Tips