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Selecting A Controversial Topic For A PhD Thesis

A controversial topic is one that has a raging debate going on or that people are very solidly on one side or the other. They usually challenge deep-seated morals or cultural values, etc. The topic could even be about something that is a rising problem in society or something fairly new that someone is trying to introduce. Political issues can be controversial as can parenting issues.

To select a topic that’s considered controversial in your field of study, you should probably browse the news first. It seems that topics which can garner heated debates are hot news topics as well. Controversy can usually be found in these areas. Wherever you find people disagreeing with each other or trying to balance out a dilemma you will find controversy.

  • Politics
  • Education
  • Parenting
  • Cultural morals
  • Family values
  • War
  • Current events
  • Human rights
  • Use of scientific discoveries

Those are just to name a few. When choosing your topic, put a unique perspective on it. Steer away from topics that have already been hashed and rehashed all over again unless you have an unusual spin on it.

Besides looking in the news, scan the internet especially for international stories. What may not be considered a hot topic elsewhere may be sizzling here; for example child brides in some countries or freedom of speech issues. There are many to choose from. If you don’t want to go international, look for hot topics locally.

Anywhere that you see opposing viewpoints, you will find a hot topic. Peruse some online blogs and see what people are talking about. Find topics that have a high readership and a fair amount of comments so you can get a good idea of what people consider controversial.

Now that you have selected a topic, you must make sure it isn’t too broad. It may have to be narrowed down so the scope isn’t too large to cover in your thesis. There should be a research element involved as well. The type of research will depend upon your field of study. Is there enough background information available for you to build a solid foundation with?

Get some guidance from you adviser as to how this topic choice will work for you. It doesn’t make sense to get your heart set on something only to find out you needed to make an alteration early on in the process.