Research topics - hope me!
March 6, 2011 12:34 PM Subscribe
Grad school thesis topics -- please help with a couple of questions about a) doing a topic similar to someone in my department and b) finding a good topic in general...
posted by 3491again to education (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've started a graduate program that requires a thesis as part of the requirements. I'm in the coursework phase but will soon have to pick a topic. It seems that my mind doesn't easily organize the world into empirical chunks, so I'm wondering if the hive mind can help!
- One of my fellow graduate students and I have lots of discussions about what we like and don't like in the class readings, possible topics, etc. One of the topics she is interested in also greatly interests me. We have a similar professional background (although hers is more extensive) and very similar interests.
In fact, after a discussion a few days ago, I want to do a topic related to the one she put on her admissions essay (and far different than what I originally applied to do). Obviously, we would have slightly different takes on it, but most people in our department do very different sorts of things, so it would look weird. Also, I already have a reputation as a bit of a maverick because I changed supervisors (to a new one that I'm very happy with).
So, do I need to ask her permission? What if she says no? When should I bring it up? How should I bring it up?
- Also, how does one go about choosing research topics in general? I'm pretty good at the other aspects of research (at least I think so), but I am really, really bad at coming up with the kinds of questions that fit into a research framework. How do I get good at this skill?
I really want to be good at coming up with good research questions. I know it's a bit of an art, but what resources (books, websites, ideas, etc.) have been helpful to you?