So you have decided to go for your doctorate degree?

Doctorate degrees require a dissertation and dissertations are based upon a research topic. The time to select a research topic is during the course work and not at the end of course work. When beginning your course work, as questions come to your mind log them. Building a list of questions will save time when it comes to the part where the problem statement is required. Focus on having more questions than just focusing on one the reason is due to the fact that you want to look for limitations in the study to find a topic that can be approved.

The problem statement introduces the research question and is based upon research showing that the research needs to be conducted and will add to the knowledge base. One of the biggest challenges with the problem statement is having the research to show there is a gap in the existing research. This is where keeping articles, books and more on the topic that interests you at the start of your doctoral program versus later on. Research is important, spend some time with the school Librarian, they have great suggestions on keywords and searching the databases. Time spent with the school librarian will not be wasted.

This is a lesson learned from myself and many others. As I approach my current problem statement, finding the research has been the challenge. Had I taken the time to pull the research throughout my course work and save it, it would have been a time saver. Keep in mind the reference pages contain leads to other articles on your research topic. All of the research for the problem statement will lead to building a literature review for chapter two of the dissertation.


Start thinking about the research question and problem statement earlier in the course work versus later. This is a time saving tip to in being prepared when one gets to the dissertation phase. One of the things I do is speak with friends who have gone through the dissertation process ahead of me to learn tips for success. Happy Doctoral Work!!