Dec 10, 2020 10:31 AM EST
How to Come Up With Creative Ideas for Your Research
At the final stage of their education, a student needs to produce graduation work to show that they have mastered their field of study. This is a difficult and demanding task, so both selecting a topic and writing a paper itself should be approached wisely.
For some students, the process of selecting a topic might feel even more difficult than the process of writing itself. The reasons for that could be the fear that the chosen idea lacks originality or the abundance of subtopics that a student would like to explore. Certainly, the pressure of the task itself also might influence the learner's attitude toward the process.
In this article, you'll find some useful tips on how to generate a cool idea for your graduate work without stressing too much.
Freewrite to Understand What Interests You
As you're the author of your future thesis or dissertation, it's ultimately you who should feel that the idea it's based on is a cool one. If you've come up with an interesting and thought-provoking topic, you'll be able to uncover it in the most engaging way.
This is why it's crucial that you choose an idea that intrigues and interests you personally. To understand better what it could be, try using a simple freewriting technique to unlock your subconscious. Open an online document or take a paper and a pencil and write down whatever topics or ideas come into your mind in relation to your future paper.
It's important that you freewrite for some time, without judging or erasing what you've written. Then you can read the text you've produced and get an idea of what kind of things provoke your interest and passion.
It's a great technique to not only uncover your interests but also end the writer's block. So in case you stare at a blank screen and half-jokingly ask your roommate, "Please write my essay for me," freewriting might actually help.
Think of a Topic That Emphasizes a Problem
The topics that revolve around a specific problem, whether it's business- or society-focused, are interesting by default. Such issues affect people, need a change, and thus, provoke our minds to take different perspectives while looking for solutions.
Also, an idea or topic that is based on some kind of ethical problem could be a good choice to base your dissertation on. This way, you'll show that you can empathize with other people's issues and shed light on those.
Spot a Gap
If you already have a direction for your thesis but haven't found a specific niche yet, try gap-spotting. This is a common approach in research. The main idea is to read as much of the existing literature on the topic as possible and try to find a gap. For example, some kind of overlooked nuance that could turn out to be a gamechanger.
This approach might sound like a lot of fun if you're ready to dive deep into the existing literature. Yet, gap-spotting has a drawback, as it doesn't really question existing literature. Because of this, it might not lead to any groundbreaking findings.
Still, if you come up with an exciting idea based on the established theories and feel that it could complement them, go for it.
Consult With Your Supervisor
Writing a thesis is no easy task. This is why there's always a supervisor assigned to every student so that they don't feel like they have to deal with the task all alone. So make use of the supervision and share your ideas with your tutor. This is especially important at the beginning of the process.
As your supervisor is much more experienced in the subject matter, one can always help you by pinpointing good topics or directions. Enlisting your supervisor's support is always a great idea to make sure that you're on the right track.
Importantly, your supervisor isn't obliged to help you generate ideas and brainstorm together with you. Yet, it's necessary that you build good relationships with this person. This way, you'll be able to get some valuable feedback and constructive criticism that will help you write a better graduation project.
Trust Your Gut
In any sphere, idea generation is a creative process. To unleash your creative potential, you should listen to your inner voice and don't demand too much of yourself. That is, don't push yourself to find the best, the coolest, or the most interesting thesis idea ever.
This mindset will only make things more difficult and turn the whole process into a daunting experience.
Instead, trust your gut and try to find the arguments that would prove that your idea or topic is worth being researched. Also, if you feel like exploring the idea you came up with would somehow help in your future career, you should definitely consider it. This way, your graduate project will feel more useful and meaningful to you.
Some students might feel lost when it's time to choose an idea for their graduation work. As the assignment feels tremendously important, it's easy to get overwhelmed and start stressing out.
To relieve stress and generate a good idea, use some of the tips above. You can freewrite to discover your interests and passions, look for an idea that could shed some light on a problem, try to spot a gap in existing literature, talk with your supervisor and follow your intuition.
No matter what approach you choose, remember that you can achieve much more with the right mindset.
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