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What Makes a Good Dissertation Topic?


Doctoral learners have to think carefully about the topic they choose for the dissertation. The essential/primary characteristics of a good topic are listed below.

  1. It sustains a learners’ interest over time (Rudestam and Newton, 2007).
  2. It is researchable and within the learner’s scope of influence (not overly ambitious).
  3. It is NOT closely linked to emotional issues that may solve a personal issue in one’s life, or on which one has an “axe to grind” (Rudestam and Newton, 2007).
  4. It is manageable within the allotted time period.
  5. It makes an original contribution to the field and allows the learner to develop mastery of the subject and method (Rudestam and Newton, 2007).
  6. It may involve studying an old subject in a new way or from a different perspective.
  7. It is appropriate to the learner’s degree and specialization area.
  8. It addresses a real problem or question.


Assignment Directions:

  1. Read each example topic in the table and ask yourself, “Will this be a good or a poor dissertation topic, based on the eight characteristics?” Reflect on the topic and characteristics and make your decision.
  2. In the “Evaluation” column, check the Good or Poor
  3. In the “Rationale” column, record the number of each characteristic that was present for a Good topic or absent for a Poor topic.
  4. In the last column, “Suggestions to Improve the Topic,” write suggestions for improving each Poor topic. Include suggestions for improving Good topics, if you like.
  5. The last example topic simply says, “I am going to…” This provides you an opportunity to gather thoughts about your topic or topic ideas and write them down. You do not have to evaluate the topic; however, it is a good idea to write down the number of the characteristics that apply to the topic you have written. What you write is for the sole purpose of this assignment; you will not be held to it for the future.





Example Topic



Suggestions to Improve the Topic

Student A is going to investigate whether there is a relationship between the authentic leadership behaviors of nurse managers and staff nurse job satisfaction and retention.






Seven good characteristics are portrayed

The topic is linked emotionally with issues that may solve a personal issues and also may “axe grind”. This may cause the conflict between the seniors and juniors in that particular organization. This investigation though will make the managers take on their responsibility appropriately but also will make them be hard on their juniors during the work. This will create unconducive environment for the staffs in the health department. The topic would have catered on the improvement on the leadership behaviors relationship between the nurse managers and the staff nurse job satisfaction and retention in that instead of saying they should on their improvement.

Student B is going to study employee motivation, as he has aspirations of becoming the director of personnel for the National Basketball Association.






Has eight characteristics of a good dissertation topic

The subject topic features all the aspects of a good characteristics of a dissertation. The topic research because for long time it will sustain a leaners interest and he/she would want find more on the on the said field of research. This topic is also researchable furthermore it’s within the leaner’s scope of influence because he/she wants to director and thus must know the employees motivation.

Student C is going to study the lived experiences of single parent students and the university support services that enable them to persist in their degree programs to graduation.





It has six good characteristics of dissertation topic

Though it is a good topic it can’t make an original contribution to the field and doesn’t allow the leaner to develop mastery of the subject of the subject and method. The student needs to make the original contribution to the field. The student make the topic to be discussed as the challenges facing the singled parent students. The student should also improve by making the topic to be appropriate to the learners’ degree and specialization area.

Student D is going to conduct a study to prove that the owner of her nail salon is a toxic leader. She plans to collect data through on-site customer interviews.






The topic has two poor characteristics of dissertation topic


This topic is linked to emotionally issues. By investigating the owner of the nail salon if she is a leader will cause conflicts because the collection of data is through customers. The way to make the research better is by avoid on-site customer collecting data. Secondly the topic isn’t appropriate to the leaners’ degree and specialization because it attacks directly to the owner of the nail salon yet it isn’t his area of specialization. The topic would have consider all the salons and not to specify only one in short it would have generalize..............

Type: Essay || Words: 2054 Rating || Excellent

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