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Coming Up With Fresh Phd Dissertation Ideas: Brainstorming Techniques

If you are trying to start a PhD and you are in need of fresh PhD dissertation ideas, there are a few brainstorming techniques you should use.

  1. Start by reviewing all of your course notes and textbooks. This is going to be a hefty amount of things given the amount of years you have spent dedicated to your PhD. That being said, you can easily skim through the materials. Look over highlighted portions in your notes or large headings and sub-headings in your books. The key idea here is to find something that you really liked but were unable to pursue further. You want to look for a concept, lecture, or lesson which stood out at the time and piqued your interest, but was not studied further in your particular course or class. These make for the greatest potential topic idea and it is bound to be something fresh.
  2. You can also take a moment to review all of the things you have read recently or seen recently. Have you recently read a book about microbiology and then watched a documentary about diseases prevalent in undercooked meat? You might be able to tie that knowledge into your topic. You might have read a magazine article recently about organic farming in the East Coast and that might tie directly in to your passion for raising awareness about global warming. You will find that the things you already know or really want to learn more about will provide you with some of the best topic ideas, all of which are fresh.
  3. If that does not work, you can try another brainstorming exercise called a “free write”. Many students are unaware that they can consciously hold on to an average of seven thoughts at once. That means that your fresh dissertation ideas might be blocked from your conscious thoughts because you are too concerned with remembering what groceries to buy and when your next class is supposed to meet. But if you use a free write technique, you can get all of your thoughts down on paper and clear the way for new, fresh concepts to pop up. To do this exercise set a timer for anywhere from three to five minutes. Sit down with a pen and piece of paper and do not stop writing for the duration of that time. Write down anything that comes to mind and when all is said and done you will start to see a pattern emerge.