Choosing a Topic

How do I choose a topic?

Normally you will choose a project in your own academic major(s). (Occasionally someone writes a thesis in an area other than his/her major, but it is difficult to do significant work in an area in which the student has little training.) In choosing a topic, you might ask yourself three simple questions:
1. What do I want to know badly enough to go through the often time-consuming, frustrating, and joyful process of finding out?
2. Am I qualified – do I have enough background in theory, languages, laboratory techniques, quantitative skills, history – to pursue this topic?
3. Is the topic significant, yet limited enough to manage in three semesters of work? In answering these questions, don’t be afraid to contact faculty; they can help direct you to the relevant literature, help you articulate your research question, and steer you away from poor topics.