Five Tips for Choosing a Dissertation Topic

So Many Choices, So Little Time

Choosing a dissertation topic is not just about expanding on an idea or area of your expertise that expresses your passion. Your goal is to graduate with a PhD or doctoral degree. To do that, the Dissertation Board must accept your dissertation, which means this process begins when you choose a worthy topic.

Outlined below are five tips to help you choose a dissertation topic that is original, scalable, and solvable.

Tip #1. Consider Choosing a Controversial and Trending Topic

Regardless of the year you’re living in when you begin researching a topic for your dissertation, you can always find hundreds of ideas by just reading the latest headlines locally, nationally, or internationally. Then drill down within those topics for concerns and controversies that stir up people’s emotions. Ask yourself if you can stay the course to research, document, and provide solvable solutions that can sustain your momentum until you turn in your dissertation. Remember, if you choose a boring topic, you just might get too bored with the research and procrastinate fulfilling the last requirement before getting your degree. Get inspired.

5 tips to choosing a dissertation topic

Curious as a cat about which dissertation topic to choose?

Tip #2. Choose a Topic that is Scalable and Does Not Have a Predictable Solution

Research is that word that either excites or scares students into oblivion. If it excites you, then you could easily spend five or more years researching your topic. If it scares you, you might have selected a topic that was too broad to drill down to the challenging moment of a conclusion.

Choose a scalable topic that requires enough investigation that will allow you to demonstrate various procedures that others might not research as possible conclusions to your arguments. Can the problem you’re presenting be solved? Is the outcome predictable, or can you position it in such a way that the solution remains hidden until you reveal it? Make sure you can solve the problem you’re presenting.

Tip #3. Behind Every Great Dissertation Is a Writer Who Is Organized

Maybe you’re exceptional at creating organizational systems and cataloging your research results, but then maybe this isn’t your strongest asset. Regardless of your background and your personal tendencies to taking snippets of information and assembling them into an easy-to-manage retrieval system, start now by creating a methodology that you’ll follow. By assembling your data into manageable folders, files, or categories, your dissertation will almost write itself when your research phase is complete.

Tip #4. Use Your Own Master’s Thesis as the Groundwork or Foundation for Your Dissertation Topic

If you choose not to invent an entirely new topic to argue and solve in your dissertation, you might want to consider using your master’s thesis as a starting point. This guarantees that you already know your topic well, and the amount of time you’ve previously invested will save you time while writing your dissertation. Just remember that you might need to restructure and expand on your content, but that is not an impossible task considering the alternative choice of starting a new topic from scratch.

Tip #5. Create an Original Spin to Someone Else’s Dissertation

By choosing a topic that’s already been published by another student or another university, you can provide a new perspective, argument, and solution that is totally opposite or contrary to the original. I would recommend getting your committee to agree to the topic first before you put any additional time into the concept. It’s always preferable to get approval first, and then begin the research than writing the dissertation and getting disappointed when the board rejects it.

In conclusion…

Start by considering your options, your organizational strategies, and the length of time you want to invest before choosing a dissertation topic that your committee will approve. When in doubt, ask for approval. It’s the committee’s responsibility to respond to your inquiries. Better now than later.

Still confused? Get a developmental review by a proven academic editor at WordsRU.


Editing That Gets Your Work Accepted By The Dissertation Board

dissertationediting-graduationEditing Guarantees a Big Advantage to Dissertation Writers

One of the biggest advantages you can benefit from is to have a professional editor go through your dissertation before you submit it to the board. Every writer, when reviewing his or her own words on the page, will not see obvious errors since the topic has become so familiar.

Professional academic and dissertation editors are experts at improving the words, formatting, structure, and flow in a dissertation. It doesn’t matter if you’re submitting a rough draft or the finished product to a dissertation editor. What’s important is that your work has been reviewed and edited by an industry professional. Friends, family, and helpful-meaning volunteers will not do your dissertation justice when it comes to executing professional editing and proofreading services.

When you choose a professional academic editor to examine your work, that person can provide written feedback so your writing is concise, clear, well-organized, and well-documented. In addition to the content, these are the foundational elements that when executed properly, get your dissertation accepted by the board.

The Essential Component Of A PhD Or Doctoral Study Degree

As a student who is ready to submit a dissertation for a PhD or doctoral degree, one of the most important academic tasks is hiring an editor or editing service. In addition to fulfilling all the requirements for your university, you cannot graduate without a finalized and well-defended dissertation that has been accepted by your review board. Why would you want to drag out the process any longer by submitting a document that’s several hundred pages long and involves months or years of research without having passed the document through an editing process? Don’t make the mistake of trying to cut corners. It is worth your time, effort, and financial investment to guarantee your dissertation’s acceptance.

Can You Name the Components of Editing?

Here’s a brief list of editing components that will enhance your dissertation.

  1. Your dissertation must contain strict organization and structure. An accomplished dissertation editor can provide written feedback, if necessary.
  2. When you write a dissertation, everything from the introduction to the conclusion must adhere to and comply with the university’s style guide and requirements. Failure to include this component may demand a further round of revisions from your readers and the board.
  3. Flawless editing, grammar, and spelling checks are performed during an academic editing pass to ensure the document is error-free and enhances the student’s chances of submitting a professional document worthy of the university’s requirements.


The Importance Of Accurate Citations That Do Not Contain Plagiarism

For some students, it is tempting to cut corners and borrow words, paragraphs, and sometimes even pages of content that another writer has created to support a dissertation’s argument. However, that act is known as plagiarism, and if you yield to that temptation, your dissertation will certainly be rejected. One way to avoid this awful predicament is to hire a dissertation editing service and request that they check your paper for proper citations and page numbers, no plagiarism, and that all of your quotes and paraphrases are accurately presented with author names and page numbers.

The Final Dissertation Read-Through

It doesn’t matter how many times a dissertation writer reads through the words on the printed page. Errors will always exist, and an editor can provide a critical checkpoint to correct for language errors, citations, formatting, incorrect grammar, and spelling errors. To get your dissertation accepted by the board, it’s important that you hire a dissertation editing service with proven academic editors. Don’t skimp on this last step. Hiring an accomplished academic editor will let you rest easier knowing that your dissertation has received a final read-through before presenting it to the board.


Is Your Dissertation Great or Lousy? Cheat Sheet for Top Five Mistakes to Avoid

You’ve done the research for your dissertation. Now what?

After you’ve completed all your research, it’s time to sit down and write your dissertation. As daunting of a task as that may feel to you at the moment, you’ll benefit from learning how to avoid the five most common mistakes writers make when writing a dissertation. After reading and editing hundreds of dissertations, I’ve created a short cheat sheet that lists the top five mistakes to avoid when writing your dissertation.

  1. Writing freeform without a defined structure
  2. Not asking for help and input from others before submitting your work
  3. Choosing topics that don’t offer a challenge
  4. Creating a bibliography of sources that only defend your topic
  5. Writing vague and non-focused content without strong arguments

The following content further details my opinion of the five common mistakes to avoid.

  1. Writing free form without a defined structure

Writing a great dissertation is all about providing depth and details about your topic. To do that, you’ll succeed by creating an outline before writing one word of your dissertation. It’s easy to ignore obvious rules that you have been taught throughout all your years of schooling. Obviously, when you create and write to an outline, you won’t get lost or get off track in the challenging aspects of writing. Creating a dissertation is not like writing a work of fiction and letting the characters decide how to ‘up the ante’ and how the story will end. Dissertations require a focused plan, which means that your paper should be clearly argued and well structured. Details within that outline may change as your research becomes more defined, however, not writing to the structure of an outline can result in a low-regarded dissertation.

  1. Not asking for help and input from others before submitting your work

Sometimes when writing a dissertation, you can become so focused on the goal of completing your work that you fail to challenge yourself by asking for help. The best dissertations were written by writers who invited professionals to view and provide feedback on specific portions of their topic. Likewise, hiring an editor with the goal of not only correcting grammar and spelling errors, but providing you with written feedback about the style guide formatting puts your work into the top 10 percent. Academic integrity is enhanced when you seek the advice from a topic expert to add more credibility to your dissertation. Failing to reach out and ask for help and input is a definite mistake.

  1. Choosing topics that don’t offer a challenge

Sometimes we need to get out of our own way when choosing a dissertation topic that gives us the warm and fuzzies but doesn’t offer a challenge to the reader. While it’s true when writing nonfiction to write about what you know, that is not the goal when writing a dissertation. Ask yourself what the real concerns are in the field at the present time. Don’t be afraid to consult current periodicals and recently published dissertations that pose challenging questions, theories, and research that you can add to your outline. In fact, you don’t have to spend weeks researching this. By just scanning the titles, you’ll benefit from knowing what other scholars have presented, thereby allowing you to add more depth to your dissertation’s challenging arguments. Don’t make the mistake of writing a soft dissertation. Create a paper that’s controversial and challenging.

  1. Creating a bibliography of sources that only defend your topic

One of the biggest mistakes I see are dissertations that list pages of bibliographic resources that support the writer’s topic and predetermined answers to questions. If you create a dissertation that can disprove an initial hypothesis, then you’ve added credibility to the academic community by not proving that your approach and viewpoint is the only right choice. Through your research you can show various arguments, points of view, and evidence that someone would not ordinarily think would support your topic. By including sources that challenge your topic, you will be creating a dissertation with more credibility in greater depth.

  1. Writing vague and non-focused content without strong arguments

When you’re creating challenging questions for a doctoral-level reader, your research depends on focused examination of the topic you’re presenting. When papers are written in a vague and unfocused manner, the reader becomes easily bored and will ask you to provide more depth, rather than breadth. It is extremely easy to get off course when you’re doing your research, because your creative mind keeps interrupting the technical side of your work with ideas that are not pertinent to your paper. You don’t want to leave your reader asking the question: “What’s the point?” Your goal is to provide a strong argument with challenging questions that don’t take the reader into a predictable outcome in the observations and summary.

 Are you ready to write a great dissertation?

When you’re ready for an expert editor to take a look at what you’ve written, choose someone with proven academic editing experience.

Six Easy Ways to Improve Your Academic Writing

Are you a student challenged with trying to improve your academic writing?

To some students, this information for improving your academic writing may seem obvious, but to others who are new to writing an academic paper, it might give you courage to keep going. Listed below are five easy ways to improve your academic writing.

improve academic writing by studying other papers

Read and study published academic papers of other students at your school.

But, make sure they cover similar categories and topics as the paper you plan to write. For example, if you’re focusing on a scientific or mathematical angle, then you wouldn’t want to spend time reading academic papers that focus on classic literature.

Steer clear of doing excessive research on the art of writing, in general.

The layout, structure, and content requirements are available from your professor, adviser, and are usually available online at the school’s website. Useless research time just drains your brain from what it needs to focus on so you can start writing.

  Create a timeline that is realistic.

Given that your reading requirements, class time, research, and outlining may sometimes incur a faster approaching deadline than originally intended, create a timeline for completing the tasks that require your attention. Don’t let the date slide into the next day or weekend. It will only make you feel more stressed, and it will definitely take a toll on your writing. Tackle the task and complete it on or before the date written on your timeline.

Learn the required parts of an academic paper.

Academic writing is a style of writing. Most likely, you will begin by creating an abstract, and you’ll finish the paper with a bibliography and footnotes. When writing an academic paper, you’re reinforcing the topic that you’re writing about by providing evidence and authority references rather than just voicing your unsubstantiated opinion about the subject.

Structure your academic writing.

You can easily structure your academic writing by creating a strong introduction. Then create one paragraph for each of your main topics as a beginning outline to flesh out later.

Just as a novel is structured with a beginning, a middle, and an end, an academic paper’s structure has formal style and formatting guidelines that are set by the school and the writing style format guide (APA, MLA, etc.). If writing an academic essay, provide a summary for each of the arguments that you have developed.

writing pencil for editing and academic writing

Get feedback from another professional and definitely hire an academic editor.

You need constructive criticism that will help improve the academic paper, not emotional sentiments about your writing.

That’s why you hire professional academic editors. They do this type of work every day, they’re honest, they’re impartial, and they want you to succeed.

One final thought before submitting your academic writing to your advisers or readers…

Even if you can’t find a respected professional to read your academic writing and offer feedback and suggestions, make sure you hire a professional academic editor. You’re the writer, not the editor. Don’t try to edit your own work. Universities and private schools pay as much attention to grammatical errors and spelling errors as they do with your well-researched academic topic. Get the grade you deserve and keep your integrity intact. Hire an academic writing editor.


Planning Your Writing and Editing Projects for 2015

Before you can make plans for your editing projects in 2015, it’s important to quickly review what happened in your life in 2014. I know you might not want to review all these details now, but since history is known to repeat itself, if you have areas in your life that you want to change in 2015, it’s important to take a quick look back.

2014: A quick review of your writing and editing projects

By writing your answers to the following statements and questions, you will quickly get an idea of who you were in 2014 and what you might need to work on or erase from your 2015 agenda.

Name three of the biggest lessons you learned in 2014 after having your documents edited.




Name two writing accomplishments that you’re really proud of from the year 2014.



In the area of your personal life or your business life, name three tasks that were extremely easy for you to complete during 2014 that involved either the writing or edit process.





What three things or areas of your writing life were the most frustrating during 2014?





Thinking of all the writing activities you were involved in during 2014, name your top five revenue-producing areas that you’d like to stay involved with during 2015.







Thinking of the last question, which two activities do you NOT want to be involved with during 2015?




If you had to cut down on your writing or editing expenses for 2015, which 2014 expenses could you easily eliminate? (Personal or professional)



Taking Inventory of Where You Are Right Now

By looking at what you’re doing right now at the end of 2014, provide answers to the following questions.

During a normal twenty-four hour day, how much time do you spend on your writing and editing, and how much time do you spend doing other things?

(These things would include time driving for appointments, reading and answering email, cooking, cleaning, shopping, watching TV, texting, surfing, reading, or talking on the phone, etc. Briefly list all those things where you knowingly spend time.)


Jot down any activities that you could spend less time on or eliminate as you contemplate a more successful, fulfilling, and relaxing year in 2015.

2015 planning for writing and editing projects


Planning for 2015 – The Fun Part

Could you plan to spend less time on a few minor activities to allow room for a new business or hobby that will increase your income?


Name them.


Which five things would you like more of during 2015?







What is your word for 2015? Write it down in your calendar and make a note of all those times when you see that word (on a sign, in email, on a billboard, in a book, etc.).

(Think: prosperity, obedient, loving, kind, generous, and giving)




What are your income goals from your writing for 2015? Are they the same as 2014?


 Goal Planning

Do you need to make changes to your income goals to make prosperity more prominent in your life so you can share your profits and time with others?


Are goals important to you? Why or why not?


Are you planning to go on vacation in 2015? Create a milestone calendar and jot down possible dates.


On a 2015 calendar, get the important goals and target dates notated on your calendar. Then plan ahead. What steps will you take to meet your milestone for goal #1, goal #2, vacation days, etc.?


Summary for a Prosperous 2015

By making plans now, you’ll reap the rewards later. I’ve found that when I put something down in writing and then list events, tasks, and goals on my calendar, those items get done more often than if I just talked about what I wanted to do in the new year.

Feel free to list some of those things you’re planning on for 2015.

If you could say one thing to your editor, what would it be? Describe it in a sentence.


Candace, Contributing Editor


Healthy tips for computer users

What seems like a lifetime ago, after I finished writing my first novel, I drove to a neighboring city to buy a manuscript box, fussed with the papers, folders, and labels, then took my precious package to the post office, where I was provided with a dilapidated old box that looked like it had been hauled out of a dumpster.

Believe me when I say that I am so grateful for the advances in technology! Gone are the days of callused fingers, ink smears, and snail mail. However, we now have a new litany of concerns and precautions. Whether you are writing a dissertation, a novel, a science article, or a college essay, you’re likely spending a lot of time at the computer. If you are a willing slave to technology, as I am, take some simple steps to ensure that you receive all of the benefits and none of the drawbacks.

Even the most comfortable positions can do more harm than good.

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How To Write an Outstanding Dissertation

I love to edit dissertations, and at this point in my career, I have edited more of them than I can count! Although each university certainly has its own set of guidelines, and although various fields use different types of research methods and headings, all dissertations display common themes. This observation led me on a quest this weekend. I canvassed a multitude of university websites worldwide: Australia, South Africa, England, Canada, and the United States, among other places. Then I created a running tally of those qualities that universities find most essential to a strong dissertation. Read on to learn what universities really want! Knowing the expectations can help to remove frustrations. Continue Reading

Submission Tips

The relationship between a writer and an editor is precious; you are trusting us with your thoughts, ideas, and creative style. You are counting on us to find the missteps, improve the structure, and offer a solid evaluation. As with any relationship, incorrect assumptions–from the writer or the editor–can result in disappointment at best, and catastrophe at worst. In contrast, knowing the expectations can lead to a smooth, advantageous relationship.

The right expectations can lead to a satisfying relationship.

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Tips for effective comma use

Commas: we either love them or hate them. Unfortunately, comma use is not a ‘take it or leave it’ issue. Although some people would love to litter their sentences incessantly with commas and others would love to never see a comma again, accurate writers do not usually have the luxury of choice. Commas serve specific purposes; to disregard those grammatical purposes for the pleasure of our personal desires only invites confusion.

The comma battle–it doesn’t have to be like this!  

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Get It Right in 2014—Grammar Tips for Success

Happy New Year! What better way to start the year than to make sure that those nasty little grammar missteps are banished for good? (I suppose that there are some better ways to start the year, such as striking it rich or finding your true love, but this is a close runner-up.) For this special New Year’s Day (or day after…), I wanted to offer something special that could relate to a variety of writing disciplines and be applied throughout the year. So this blog is devoted to the parts of speech—not the boring basics, but the annoying little particulars that plague people who want to get it right.

Defeating your grammatical worries can be cause for celebration.

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