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Assessing Your Thesis Topic!
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Part I. Write down the answers to all the questions pertaining to your topic, its situation
within communication study and practice, its significance and possible contributions,
and lastly your specific research question.

1. Focusing the Topic: What is your field of research or topic of investigation?


Answering this question will help you clarify what exactly it is that you want to investigate, discover or focus on.
The topic is situated within a particular area of communication study and practice, which helps identify both the
problem and the contribution your thesis can provide to communication study. and practice.

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What is the problem that your thesis seeks to


address? What issue/s in communication study
and practice does it fall under?!
Does it spring from an observation, or an
experience?!
Can you identify what field or area in
communication study your topic belongs to?!
What is your specific topic or project?

2. The Academic Context of the Research/Project Thesis: Where is the research or project thesis
situated within communication study and practice?!
This refers to the background of your study or project, and allows for the justification of the importance of your
topic. Essentially, you are informing the reader about the big picture of your study; where your study takes part in
the Great Conversation of communication study. This also tells the reader that you are knowledgeable about your
topic, and that you can support your claims to the existence of a problem in this area. This is usually
accomplished by doing some reading about the topic and its broader communication context.

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What materials (literature/media products) help


me show that the problem my topic addresses
truly exists?!
What kind of preparation and background
information on my topic am I able to provide? !
How does my topic fit in with research work
already written or accomplished within the
area of communication study it belongs to?!
How reliable are my sources of information?

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3. Research Value: Why is it important to accomplish this research or project thesis?!


This refers to the kind of contribution to knowledge and communication practice your thesis project intends to
make. You may do this by returning to the broad problem and issues in the area of communication study of
within which your topic is situated in? (See No.1 above) Another way to look at research value is to
yourselves the relevance of your research and project. Where does it lie in terms of the bigger picture? Does
it have the so-what factor?

Does my topic test a theory using new


evidence? Does my topic enrich/refute/revise a
theory?!
Does my topic provide fresh insights into
approaches to communication scholarship,
practice and policy?!
Does the topic contribute to a critique of society
and culture, or an analysis of relations of
power?!
What do I intend to accomplish with the
research/production project I am embarking on?

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4. The Research Question: What is your primary research objective or central research question?!
Whether research or project format, a communication thesis is still primarily a research-based endeavor. The
difference is the way the researcher expresses his or her findings, where a research thesis is study of
communication phenomenon and a project thesis is a work of communication. Both formats start with a research
question or hypothesis, which clarifies what you are attempting to do, and why you are undertaking the proposed
project.

What central question do I intend to discover or


answer through my thesis?!
How does this fit in with the problem that I have
defined in No.1?!
Is it meant to be studied methodically? Can it be
answered by accomplishing a research study, or
expressed by doing a project? !
Are there sub-questions or hypotheses that can
be derived from this central question?

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Part II. Write down your assessment of your topic. What are its strengths and
weaknesses? What are its potentials and non-potentials in terms of theoretical
approaches and methodology?
The short question you must be able to answer is where do you go from here? If the exercise has
shown you that your topic can be developed into a thesis, then list down its potentials and strengths.
If you have seen that it does not really offer much more given the expectations of a good thesis, what
must you do in order to develop it. It is possible for you to decide to change topics altogether at this
point and use the exercise in developing a new one.