Selecting A Research Topic: Obstacles and Solutions

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Common Obstacles and Practical Solutions

    1. A common problem that students face at this stage is feeling anxious about selecting a research topic. Words that come to mind are, “Everything sounds interesting—how do I choose just one topic?” At this point, do not put so much pressure on yourself to find the “perfect” research topic. Instead, select a few, do some scanning of the research, and then see which one seems the most interesting, feasible, and accessible. Remember that you can always change topics, and sometimes in doing the research, the topic will “find” you.
    2. Another common obstacle that students face at this stage is thinking about the time issue. Words that come to mind are, “How will I ever have enough time to write?” If you are like me and your days are packed from the moment you open your eyes in the morning until you close them again in the wee hours of the morning, finding “free time” is like winning the lottery without buying a ticket—chances are pretty slim. That is why it is critical for you to schedule time to write—schedule writing time in your daily planner just as you would a doctor’s appointment. Think of it as an appointment to benefit you (without copayments)!

Drawn From
How to Write a Master's ThesisYvonne N. Bui’s How to Write a Master’s Thesis is a step-by-step guidebook that demystifies a process that can often prove to be overwhelming and confusing to graduate students. It is chock full of detailed explanations, examples, and supplemental materials that have been used successfully in advising students in completing their master’s theses.

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