Is there an aggregated pool of potential thesis topics that are available for exploration across universities for different concentrations? Perhaps there would be some that have been pre-vetted by professors.

I'm curious if there's an easier and/or quicker way to discover and select topics when there is not a compelling subject/topic available.

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    I proposed an edit to the question that (I think) captures what you said in the comment below. You may want to personalize further by specifying your field. Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 18:08

1 Answer 1


You have two questions here. Addressing the broader one, of how to pick a thesis topic when none is jumping out, Umberto Eco's How to Write a Thesis is a surprisingly practical book. It takes as the premise that you have only six months left to write a thesis (Italian roughly masters-level thesis), with limited scholarly resources at your disposal. It's fairly short and encourages you to work with whatever you have. It does not assume you have much oversight available.

The answers to another question on finding (masters) thesis topics point to conversations with faculty.

The existence of a dissertation database has been addressed in previous questions (e.g. Worldwide Dissertation Database? or French, German, Italian ones?). That thread doesn't list Proquest, which indexes dissertations from many universities. (It's interesting to see the most-accessed Proquest dissertations.)

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    Thank you! I'll have to read Umberto's book. I also found this question posted before I asked (academia.stackexchange.com/questions/1646/…), but I was really hoping that their might be an aggregated pool of potential thesis topics that are available cross-universities for different concentrations to explore. Perhaps some that have been pre-vetted by professors.
    – vol7ron
    Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 17:46
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    @vol7ron Ah, I see! Perhaps it would help to edit the question to make it clear that you're looking for a pool of potential topics. In that case, it may also help people answer to specify more about what field you're in, since I imagine that might be organized by a learned society or a few really avid professors. Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 17:53
  • misspelled "their" grrr. Yes, edit approved :)
    – vol7ron
    Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 18:24
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    Ha, Eco's book is a classic! :-) Virtually all those of my generation in Italy had read it! However, it comes from an era, before the Bologna process, where in Italy there was no distinction between undergraduate and graduate studies, because the nominal duration of the studies was five years. A six-month thesis at the time was rare, and it was not uncommon for theses to have a duration of 1-2 years, and most people would graduate after around 6 years, sometimes 7 or more. So Eco's book refers more to Master's theses. Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 7:42
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    Out of curiosity I reopened my copy and I discovered a few interesting things. I bought the book in 2005, some 8 years later having written my master's thesis and 5 years after my PhD thesis. I have no idea why I bought it so late. In the preface of the 1977 edition, Eco says: "At the time of this book’s publication, the reform of the Italian university is being debated, and there is talk of introducing two or three different levels of university degrees". Actually, it took some 30 years to have that kind of reform! Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 21:41

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