Choosing a Topic

Writing a thesis is a task which calls for planning, research and perseverance. Thesis writers must find a topic which combines their serious interests with an issue of concern to the scholarly world. The effort necessary to produce a good thesis cannot arise from an issue foreign to your concerns and imposed on you from without; nor can private field notes or a personal testament serve as scholarship. You should already have made progress after three years of undergraduate studies, including two semesters of junior tutorial work. To help identify your scholarly interest, look over your past work at Harvard and find those themes or threads of interest that run through the choices you have made. Once you discover a field and a general question or set of questions, speak with those who are knowledgeable about that area in order to clarify the topic and limit it to a manageable scope. Read broadly in that area and find out what has been done and what still can be done.