Getting started on your dissertation

This is the text of an infographic for students which can be downloaded here. Feel free to adapt and use it in a more traditional handout if you are using it with your students.

  1. What makes my topic interesting and important?
  2. What exactly do I want to know? (make sure we do not know it already)
  3. How can I turn this into some specific research questions? (two or three at the most)
  4. What research has been done on this already?
  5. What other literature might be relevant
  6. What theories might help me understand this?
  7. What data will be most helpful to answer my research questions? (for instance interviews, a survey, documents or something else)
  8. How many sources will I need? (for instance 20 interviews, 200 survey responses, 15 documents)
  9. When and where will I be able to access these?
  10. Will I need to sample my sources and how? (for instance, do you want a representative, random, convenience, purposive)
  11. How will I analyse my data?
  12. What are the ethical issues involved?
  13. What is my timeframe for all this so I can meet my deadline?