Are you panicking about your dissertation? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. Writing something as long as a dissertation is intimidating for the most of us, and even something as easy as picking a title becomes challenging. If you’re struggling to think of a topic to write about, then read on to find out how to choose a dissertation title.

Start with a question

If you’re stuck with picking a dissertation title, the best way to start is with a question. Your dissertation will be providing an answer to a problem, whether it’s testing a hypothesis or exploring a theme. When you can pinpoint what your dissertation answers, then you can find the best question to ask for that answer. This will help you write your dissertation, as well as refining it when you come to edit at the end.

Be precise

If your dissertation title is too broad, then you’ll have too much area to cover in your dissertation. This can actually end up giving yourself more work to do. If your title is detailed and precise about what you’re going to cover, then you’ll have to stick to it. This will help your writing remain focussed and avoid going off on tangents about something irrelevant. Being precise right from the start also means you’ll avoid doing any unnecessary research and therefore help manage your time.

Pick something you enjoy!

You’re going to be writing your dissertation for a long time, and it will be so much easier to pick a topic you’re actually interested in. If you don’t, you may end up struggling to find motivation to stick with it. Don’t feel like you need to go for the smartest sounding topic – lecturers enjoy reading new and novel ideas. If you can back up what you’re saying enough, then you can really write your dissertation on anything. Dissertations aren’t fun, but doing it on something you enjoy will make it a lot less painful.

Sources to help you choose a dissertation title
Photo by Gülfer ERGİN on Unsplash

Look at sources

Now, you may have a topic in mind, but does your topic have enough academic sources to refer to? Although you may have lots to say about your chosen topics, you will obviously need to reference other work in your dissertation, so you need to make sure those sources are out there. Checking for sources is one of the first things you should do, because if you don’t have enough you might need to change your topic. Sources are also a great way to get ideas about titles, including style, length and keywords to include. If you’re wondering where to look for sources, your university library would be a good start, but Google Scholar is also another good place to look as well.

Stick to what you know

Although you may be interested in a certain area, if you don’t know anything about it, it may be best to stay away. If you have the time to research this area properly, then that’s great, but if you’re short on time then it’s really worth sticking to something you know. This way, you won’t have to teach yourself something entirely new, and you’ll already have some knowledge on the topic you do know about.

Ask your lecturer

If you’re really stuck or just need some clarity, get in contact with your lecturer or supervisor. They should give you advice on topics you could go into and what research you could potentially do. They can also help by making sure you’re not doing something too narrow or too ambitious. So even when you have chosen your dissertation topic, it’s worth running it past your supervisor.


Hopefully this has helped you with your dissertation title. If you’re feeling stressed out after this, have a break and check out our fun article on 10 of the best cheap party drinks to make at uni!


Last Updated on November 14, 2022