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Thesis topic selection- 6 tips for selecting research project topic for papers, thesis and dissertation

Thesis topic selection might seem difficult, but understanding how to go about it makes it easy and the process interesting. Discover the 6 tips for selecting research project topics for thesis, dissertation and papers.

Thesis topic selection- 6 tips for selecting research project topic for papers, thesis and dissertation
Thesis topic selection- 6 tips for selecting research project topic for papers, thesis and dissertation


A thesis topic is the central focus of a research project or dissertation. It acts as the bedrock on which the entire research investigation is constructed. Choosing a thesis topic is an important choice that affects the research’s focus, scope, and results. It is an important stage in the research process, which is true in Africa.

Africa has various cultures, a significant historical past, and particular difficulties. To add to the body of knowledge, address urgent problems, and have a significant impact on African communities, one must select a topic for their thesis that is both current and impactful.

This discussion aims to provide tips and considerations for choosing a thesis topic in Africa, considering the diverse opportunities and challenges presented by the African context. 

Defining a thesis topic -Thesis topic selection

A thesis topic refers to the subject or theme that a researcher chooses to investigate and explore in their academic work. It represents the specific area of interest or inquiry within a broader field of study.

In thesis topic selection, the topic should be well-defined, researchable, and relevant to the chosen discipline or academic field. It sets the boundaries and scope of the research project, guiding the researcher in conducting a systematic investigation and generating new knowledge.

Also ReadAcademic Citation; A Guide to Citation Styles and 5 Best Practices in Research Writing

Importance of a well-chosen thesis topic

Selecting a well-chosen thesis topic is crucial for several reasons:

Relevance and Contribution to Knowledge or Environment

A thoughtfully selected thesis topic guarantees that the research is pertinent to the field of study and contributes significantly to the body of knowledge. It enables academics to fill knowledge gaps, create fresh hypotheses, creates cutting-edge approaches, or offer workable solutions to pressing issues.

Motivation and Engagement

The motivation and engagement of the researcher during the study process are increased by choosing a topic that is in line with their interests, passions, and academic objectives. A sincere passion for the subject encourages time and effort investment, which results in quality work and more significant findings.

Feasibility and Resources

A well-chosen topic considers the availability of resources, data, and research facilities necessary for the study. Researchers must consider the feasibility of conducting research within the available constraints, such as time, budget, access to participants or data, and ethical considerations.

Originality and Novelty

A thesis topic should strive for originality and novelty, encouraging researchers to explore new avenues of inquiry and contribute fresh perspectives to the academic community. It allows for the generation of new ideas, methodologies, or findings that expand the boundaries of knowledge in the field.

Career Development

A thesis topic can also impact a researcher’s career development. It provides an opportunity to showcase expertise, develop specialized knowledge, and establish oneself as an authority in a particular area of research. A well-executed thesis can open doors to future academic or professional opportunities.

Are you interested in knowing how to choose a thesis topic for master’s and PhD dissertation manually without using a thesis topic generator? 

You might also be wondering what is the best topic for thesis in your department. The thesis topic selection can be made using the tips outlined below. Please do well to provide more using the comment section if you think we did not capture any of the tics that help in Thesis topic selection.

Also Read: Academic Writing Structure; The Importance of Structuring Your Academic Writing for Maximum Impact

Tips for Thesis topic selection in IN AFRICA

Identify Your Passion and Interest

Selecting a thesis topic that aligns with your passion and interest is essential. Reflect on your academic background, personal experiences, and the issues that intrigue you the most. Think about the study fields that inspire you and fit with your long-term objectives. You are more likely to stay motivated during research and create high-quality work if you select a topic that speaks to your passion.

Conduct Preliminary Research

Before finalizing your thesis topic, conduct preliminary research to explore the existing literature and identify research gaps. Review a wide range of pertinent policy papers, reports, scholarly writings and research pertaining to your area of interest in Africa. By doing so, you will acquire a firm grasp of the state of the field, be able to spot areas that still need to be researched, and be able to assess your chances of making novel contributions.

Consider Relevance and Impact

In Africa, it is essential to consider the relevance and potential impact of your thesis topic. Select a subject that tackles current issues, fills knowledge gaps, or has application to African societies, communities, or businesses. Consider how your study can offer insights, solutions, or recommendations to solve the social, economic, cultural, or environmental difficulties that are common in the African context.

Consult with Experts and Stakeholders

Consult experts, mentors, and stakeholders who are knowledgeable about the African setting and your subject of study for direction and assistance. Discuss issues with academics, scientists, businesspeople, and civic leaders to acquire a variety of viewpoints and insights. They can aid in improving your thesis topic, offer insightful criticism, and point you in the direction of pertinent databases, networks, or potential coworkers.

Consider Feasibility and Resources

Evaluate the feasibility of your chosen thesis topic by considering the availability of resources, data, and research facilities in the African context. Evaluate your access to the resources, funding options, and fieldwork opportunities required for your research. Make sure that your topic is possible within the time limits, ethical issues, and logistical difficulties that may develop during your research procedure.

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Align with Personal and Career Goals

Pick a thesis topic that supports your aspirations for your life and career. Think about how your study can advance your academic or professional goals, improve your abilities, and present you with new chances. Pick a subject that enables you to explore areas of interest, gain knowledge, or create connections within your chosen field. You may maximize the impact of your research and pave the road for continued development by matching your thesis topic with your long-term objectives.

  1. Choose a research topic which aligns with your research interest.
  2. Choose a research topic which aligns with your supervisor’s interest to facilitate a good supervisor-supervisee relationship. Note that if your research interest is not in line with your supervisor’s interest, it could take longer to finish as the needed attention will not be paid to it. Look for a way to blend into that of your supervisor because your supervisor has a big role to play in the whole process of the research.
  3. Ensure that your topic is researchable: Not every research topic is researchable. To know if your topic is researchable look up the keywords in your topic on the internet, this enables you to ascertain the available literatures and the extent other researchers have done in your area of research or alternatively other offline documents cum documentaries that will be of help in the course of the study. Remember, it is called RE-SEARCH which can consequently (if well planned) lead to new knowledge and INVENTION and not necessarily INNOVATION.
  4. Choose a research topic which would be relevant to the society: identify a problem in your locality and then try fill it. If for instance in your locality there is a high prevalence of unwanted pregnancy, your research topic should be geared towards ascertaining the causes and remedies to the problem in line with your course of study.
  5. Critically look at your topic and plan the end from the beginning. What this entail is that you should know the possible structure of your research work, the methodology to be adopted (if it is one you can handle) and then plan a way of getting it done. For instance, not every research work need survey research design that needs interview, questionnaire et cetera.
  6. Also, you should determine the kind of data your research work need. Most project topics in Economics need secondary data while most project/research topics in Education need primary data. All these can be ascertained from your topic.
  7. Try to know the dependent and the independent variables in your topic as this will help you in developing your research objectives.


According to Project Writers Nigeria, the following are ways of formulating a thesis and dissertation topic.

Ways of Formulating a Thesis and Dissertation Topic

1. Identifying a problem within your vicinity. E.g.

  • Effect of economic recession on household food affordability: A study of Abakaliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
  • Effect of poor water supply on cholera outbreak in Ebonyi State.
  • Nutritional education: A panacea towards reducing maternal-infant mortality rate in Kotangora, Kaduna state.

2. Creating a topic from trending economic, social or political events of the country. E.g

  • Effect of bad leadership on youth unemployment 1999-2017.
  • Effect of Ponzi scheme on youth’s loyalty and reduced interest in their job.
  • Effect of crypto-currencies on banks liquidity ratio in Nigeria.
  • Emergence of crypto currency and the future of fiat currency.

3. Making up research topics from class activities or course contents. E.g.

  • Effect of teaching method on student’s academic performance: A study of Ebonyi state University, Abakaliki
  • Impact of “sorting” on quality of graduates in institutions of higher learning in Nigeria.

Also Check: Steps to writing a good background of the study

What you must consider before Starting Your Thesis Writing

Having selected a suitable project topic, don’t be in a hurry to start writing your research project:

  1. Source, download articles, journals and literatures which are relevant and closely related to your study.
  2. Read them very well
  3. Get an already completed research work from your department, you can borrow it from your departmental library and study it. The essence of this is for you to know and understand the format your department is using.
  4. Use the “borrowed” already completed work as a guide, and please do not copy from it because when you do so, you are no longer conducting a research rather you are just copying words from one book to another which results to plagiarism.
  5. When you have read a lot of literatures then you can start your research work.


Choosing a thesis topic in Africa requires careful consideration, extensive research, and alignment with personal and career goals. You can choose a meaningful and influential topic for your research by finding your passion, doing some preliminary research, considering relevance and impact, speaking with experts, gauging feasibility, and coordinating with personal and professional goals. Take advantage of the special opportunities and challenges that the African setting presents and set out on a research adventure that will increase your understanding and help improve African societies, communities, and industries. You have the potential to leave a lasting impression and advance knowledge in Africa through the thesis topic you have chosen.

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