Imagine how many people, right now, are writing dissertations. Millions. And this has been the case for a great many years. This means, of course, that finding an original topic, which is both valid and engaging, is incredibly difficult. That said, to get published, to get the highest marks from your dissertation, it does need to be original. So, how can you find an innovative study?
If you are coming to write a dissertation, there is a pretty good chance that you have been reading in your subject for a few years. This means you should have a good knowledge base, and good idea of what has been done, and of the current trends in that field. So, before deciding on a subject, think about the hottest topics.
After identifying one or two hot topics, do a significant amount of research into current scholarship. Ensure that you read all of the most cited papers, so that you can get a thorough grounding in these areas. Once you have done this, select the one that is most topical, most current, and read a little deeper into this.
Now, you are in a perfect position to find a unique, original approach to your field; you know the generals, you know the specifics of your particular area, now you can identify a particularly interesting gap in the existing research. This is the stage, after the grind of research, that you find something that will make your dissertation stand out.
You can add a layer of depth and further interest to an interesting study by applying a new, engaging, current theoretical framework, because by doing this you can introduce readers to your study, and, as a bonus, to the use of this new theory.
Even though you are looking for hot new topics, and hot new theories, ensure that your approach, your writing, is solid, academic, and measured. This is still an academic piece of writing, and this is the criteria by which it will be measured.
Originality in a dissertation is the difference between getting published and not getting published, between engaging your reader and boring your reader. So, before you begin writing, think about how to be original, within an existing framework!