Finding your Dissertation Question

What is a dissertation?

I dissertation can be used to:

  • Resolve a problem
  • Explain a phenomenon
  • Uncover a process
  • Demonstrate the truth of a fact
  • Reevaluate other studies
  • Test your own theory

You are going to do a lot of work on this. You have to be INTO your subject.

“… research questions almost invariably involve the relationship between two or more variables, phenomena, concepts, or ideas. The nature of that relationship may vary. However, the authors note that even the presence of two variables is apt to be limiting, and oftentimes it is only when a third “connecting” variable is invoked that an idea becomes researchable.”

– But I’ve never written a dissertation before: A user friendly guide for the preparation of the dissertation proposal and dissertation [available here]


To help find your question, take your main theme and combine it with two other things that could relate to it. Make a Venn diagram. This will help you find your question.


  • A proposition for consideration
  • A hypothesis
  • An argument
  • A dialectic

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