How to Create New Avenues for a Literature Dissertation
Works of literature are studied by humanities researchers who try to explain how particular unique works, irreducible to any formula, represent human beings. The field of literature being so thoroughly investigated inside out and the research paths so well-trodden, it may pose certain difficulties to find the brand-new topic for your literature dissertation. Here you can find some tips on how to conceive and approach your would-be literature dissertation in order to assure its novelty.
Dissertation Research Stages
Research stages of any dissertation are:
- Stage 1 – Thinking About It
- Stage 2 – Preparing the Proposal
- Stage 3 – Conducting the Research
- Stage 4 – Writing the Research Paper
- Stage 5 – Sharing the Research Outcomes with Others
- Stage 6 – Revising the Research Paper
To Begin Well: The First Stage Zoomed In
Dwelling upon the “Thinking About It” stage at length is pertinent to the above-mentioned aim of this article:
- Be inclusive with your thinking. Don’t try to eliminate ideas too quickly. Build on your ideas and see how many different research projects you can identify. Give yourself the luxury of being expansive in your thinking at this stage — you won’t be able to do this later on. Try and be creative.
- Write down your ideas. This will allow you to revisit an idea later on. Or, you can modify and change an idea. What a great feeling it is to be able to sit down and scan the many ideas you have been thinking about, if they’re written down.
- Try not to be overly influenced at this time by what you feel others expect from you (your colleagues, your profession, your academic department, etc.). You have a much better chance of selecting a topic that will be really of interest to you if it is your topic. This will be one of the few opportunities you may have in your professional life to focus in on a research topic that is really of your own choosing.
- Don’t begin your thinking by assuming that your research will draw international attention to you. Instead, be realistic in setting your goal. Make sure your expectations are tempered by:
- the realization that you are fulfilling an academic requirement,
- the fact that the process of conducting the research may be just as important (or more important) than the outcomes of the research,
- the idea that first and foremost the whole research project should be a learning experience for you.
- Be realistic about the time that you’re willing to commit to your research project. If the project you’d like to do is going to demand more time than you’re willing to commit then you have a problem with it sooner or later.
- It’s not a good time to ask for a leave of absence. Chances are you can do the “thinking about it” stage without it. The best time to get the most from a leave of absence is during the fourth stage – the writing stage, as to be able to work at your writing in large blocks of time without interruptions is something really important.
- It can be most helpful at this early stage to try a very small preliminary research study to test out some of your ideas to help you gain further confidence in what you’d like to do. The key is that it will give you a chance to get closer to your research and to test out whether or not you really are interested in the topic.
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