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Selecting a title for your dissertation

As a BA, MA or MBA student, you are required to submit a dissertation in your last semester. When writing your dissertation, selecting an appropriate title is key as it reflects the quality of your research. In this blog post, we are sharing the five key things you need to consider when selecting your research proposal.

Selecting a title for your dissertation

 

1. Scope of your work

While it is tempting to select a research topic purely on interest, you should also pay attention to its scope. If you are studying for a Master’s qualification, you need to a select a title which will allow you to do a proper analysis, using a sample size of at least 150 to 200 (for quantitative studies) and 30-40 for qualitative studies. If your research title is narrow, you will not have enough content to produce within the analysis section. However, if you research title is too broad, you will risk your ability to deliver meaningful insight. As such, you need to strike a balance.

Example:

      • Narrow title – Examine the management style of a marketing manager in XYZ company
      • Broad title – Examine the management style of marketing managers in the insurance sector
      • Correct title – Examine the effectiveness of the management styles of marketing managers of top three insurance companies in the UK.

 

2. Time frame

You should also pay attention to the time available for your research. For example, if you only have six to 12 months to complete your research, this timeframe will limit your options with respect to the number of companies you involve and the number of respondents you can factor into your research.  You will need to manage expectations accordingly.

Another variable which goes hand in hand with timeframe is cost.  If you are trying to do broad research within a short period of time, you will incur a massive cost. Therefore, when producing your research proposal, you will have to explain how this cost will be absorbed. In other words, in both cases, you need to rationalise the feasibility of the research.

 

3. Relevance to your studies

If you are studying for a general MBA, you can select a management area as the focus of your research – that is, you can include human resources, finance or general management. If you are studying for a specialised master’s qualification such as an MA in Marketing and Innovation, you need to select a title from that specific area. In this case, it will be marketing or innovation.

Also, many fail to understand the difference between business research and scientific research. It is important to make sure that you can distinguish between the two. For example, researching the success of a perfume formula is scientific research and will not be suitable for your studies.

 

4. Relevance to your professional development

A dissertation is an excellent opportunity to display your talents. If you are a new graduate, employers will ask you to explain your research and the value of it during your interview. That is why you need to make sure that it is relevant to your chosen professional field. To come across as sincere and engaged, you should also be truly passionate about the subject.

 

5. Access to information

When selecting a title, keep in mind that you are also selecting an industry or an organisation as the basis for your dissertation. You need to make sure that you have access to information in the selected company or industry. It is best to reach out to key people within the organisation and request permission before you start on your proposal. In this way, you can avoid any challenges or barriers to research, while putting together a detailed plan for success.

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