So I know that a lot of second years will be beginning to think about their dissertations and I thought I could give a couple of tips on how not to panic about this super scary idea and prepare!
1. Make a list of anything you could be interested in, no matter how long
2. Search on the internet popular dissertation topics/debates (for your course)
3. Ask a third year student
4. If you are really unsure, 100% go and speak to your advisor! That’s what they’re there for
5. Read back over your lectures from the past two years and make a note of anything that interests you
6. When you have some chosen areas, do a brief literature search, you need to know what the current status of research is so you can choose a question that is useful to the field of research
7. Before going to see possible supervisors, be prepared. Know what you want to do and why. The more prepared you are, the more likely they are to work with you
8. Think about the ethical complications. You don’t want to pick something completely up feasible that takes forever to get ethical approval for
9. If you are still struggling for topic ideas, look at a few lecturers you would like to work with and read their most recent publications. If you can’t decide what you want to do, you can always ask to follow the train of research of theirs which most interests you
10. Make sure it is something you are interested in. Nothing could be worse than spending a whole year doing something you despise, so bare this in mind
And remember, enjoy yourself! You’ll do so much better if you engage with the research and enjoy the process!