Coming up with a research topic is not an easy task. You want to write something impressive that can advance your career, but you don’t know how.

The great news is that you are not alone – most students struggle with this. This is something Dr. Nikita Sandeep Wagle understands, so much so that she created an Instagram account (international fd) to help graduate students in their graduate studies.

If you’re struggling with writing a thesis or dissertation, try these tips from Wagle. Who knows? You might just stumble across an idea for your next research topic:

Once you have a good idea of ​​your research topic, it will be easier for you to answer the research question and get good grades for your dissertation or thesis. Source: Photo by Thomas Kienzle/AFP

Thinking about a research topic: 5 ways to get inspiration

1. Review the literature in your area of ​​interest

Rabbit research is free software to start searching for literature in your area of ​​interest. It incorporates artificial intelligence (AI) to scan publicly available information about what various documents are about, who cites them, and who cites them.

MediaWiki is another website that allows users to create their own wikipedias. For graduate students, you can create your own wiki research group or use already established wikis in universities, e.g. Aalto University.

As the American Cancer Society’s Chief Scientist, Waigle stays up-to-date on the latest advances in his field by reading news related to Affordable Care Act.

2. Attend conferences

Even if you don’t have research to present, don’t be discouraged from attending conferences. Wagle advises that these events can help find research ideas and connect with experts in the field.

If your institution refuses to pay for your professional development, look into free academic conferences at your university. Some of these activities are held virtually, so you won’t even have to leave your dorm to brainstorm research topics.

Linkedin is also a great alternative. Some teachers share snippets of their talks on the platform. Try typing “#researchtopic” in the search bar and you can filter the relevant post.

3. Talk to your advisor

Offered by Dr. Aditi Paul, Associate Professor at Pace University similar tips too. Like Paul, Weigle found the chats with her advisor an invaluable opportunity to formulate her research questions. Because they are experts in their field.

“In my freshman year of graduate school at Bowling Green State University, I took a course on statistics for the social sciences. Since I was dealing with this topic for the first time, I visited my professor every week during office hours,” Pavel shares. “This is where I’d like to ask for some further clarification on my weekly assignments to make sure I’m on the right track.”

research topics

Credit: Brandon Bell/Getty Images North America/Getty Images/AFP

4. Talk to your elders

Likewise, your colleagues are a great source of inspiration for your research topics and offer a different perspective on an idea or topic you have in mind – which is ideal for those who are afraid to approach advisers or lecturers at university.

“I was able to navigate my first research ideas through my senior graduate student friends in my major at universities,” shares Wagle.

5. Participate in clubs and societies

Struggling to find like-minded people to bounce research ideas off of? Consider joining a graduate student community at your university. Here, you will most likely interact with a senior who can advise you on how to solve a difficult research question.

Alternatively, consider joining specialized clubs, such as journalism clubs or lab meetings, which are another way to keep up to date with the literature in your field of interest.

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