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1.2.3 Refining PhD Topics

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  • You are in Phase 1 Category

    Phase 1:

    Starting to Design Your Doctoral Research

Finding the Gap: How to Identify the Need for Your Study

One of the key challenges to getting your Proposal accepted is identifying the specific need for your study. This webinar offers 3 concrete examples of how to find the gap in the literature and establish the need for your unique study. Following the process of how I coach each client through this critical task will give you a clearer vision of the process you’ll need to go through to gain approval of your Proposal.

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Develop PhD Thesis/ Dissertation Topics

The single most prevalent discussion between doctoral students in social media is about how to narrow down or "find" a topic.  People even ask each other for them as though your research topic could be picked off a tree by someone else and handed to you - this is not a solid approach.  We suggest that you start with researching topics in your field - reading and deciding what is interesting to you.  

Then when you have a topic from your field, begin to look for the problems that need fixing within it.  Your PhD dissertation research needs to center on a problem.  Your thesis requires you to ask good questions and then answer them by conducting the study.

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Stage 1: Choosing Your Interests and PhD Topic


Graduate students at the beginning of their process may think that they will “choose their research topic” and that will be that – it is finished and complete. Students who are just ready to defend their research proposal (the first three chapters) realize that their ideas have grown and matured over the year or so since they made those first decisions. There are three articles in this series: each on one of the three main stages or times at which your research topic will mature. 

What do you like? What interests you? What kinds of studies do you have access to? 

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