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Dissertation Research--Planning, Researching, Publishing: Getting Started

This guide was created to help GWU doctoral students in researching and writing their dissertation

Choosing Your Topic

In his book, Writing the Doctoral Dissertation (pp. 61-63), Gordon Davis identifies several useful sources for identifying your topic:

  • Current events
  • Suggestions for research from past dissertations
  • Suggestions for research by authorities in the field
  • Expressions of need for research by practiitioners in a field
  • Generally accepted, but unproved, suppositions
  • Unproved or weakly proved assertions by an authority in the field
  • Theories and concepts without supporting research
  • Different approaches to testing of important results

Other Helpful Research Guides

Keep your sense of humor...

Piled Higher and Deeper by Jorge Cham
title: "Collecting" - originally published 1/28/2011

Finding Sources

Online Resources:

Research and Documentation - includes information ot research in the humanities, social sciences, history and sciences


Dorinne Banks
Dorinne Banks
Education Librarian
GW Libraries
GW Libraries • 2130 H Street NW • Washington DC