sparehm
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I'm currently in my third year and have to choose my dissertation topic and title. I have a general idea of the area I want to study but I'm struggling to refine them. Could anyone give me some advice or help? Thanks in advance

My chosen topic is the importance of e-commerce (with a possible relation to online banking)
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Revolver72
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(Original post by sparehm)
I'm currently in my third year and have to choose my dissertation topic and title. I have a general idea of the area I want to study but I'm struggling to refine them. Could anyone give me some advice or help? Thanks in advance

My chosen topic is the importance of e-commerce (with a possible relation to online banking)
Rule of thumb: If your chosen topic is worded in such a way to sound like an 'essay title', this often better translates into a research-based dissertation. For example 'The importance of e-commerce' doesn't describe a problem for which you can create a solution, it just describes the problem. If you had something like 'Introducing E-Commerce to the University Library', however, this provides the scope to develop a solution to the problem. Not suggesting you do the latter, merely highlighting the difference between research-based dissertations, and development-based dissertations.

Whilst research-based dissertations aren't a bad thing at all, they are less common in computing - mostly because for a good research-based dissertation, you're usually looking at exploring new technologies, particularly highlighting something not done before. This will - probably - be very difficult to do with E-Commerce.

You're maybe better off doing a development project, where you research to find a problem which you can solve, and then you develop a solution to that problem, documenting your work and justification along the way. [A good dissertation is more complex than this, so defining in simple terms to avoid going straying outwith the scope of your original question there].

Have you considered seeing if there are any resources within your university that currently *don't* use e-commerce, but could? A good trick is to try to work to a spec for something 'real'. It gives you more to write about, and you can actually do proper requirements elicitation which is massively helpful in terms of write-up and knowing what you're doing during development. My MSc dissertation was so much easier and better than my undergraduate dissertation, because I was developing a project which was going to actually be used - which meant people had a vested interest in supporting, and the intended end product was clearer.

E-Commerce often strays close to the universal CompSci crime of 'Not another web-page'; the term given by lecturers to dissertations which see the focus being around the development of a web-page. This is so often done, that it makes it difficult to stand out. If you're doing E-Commerce, a good trick is to make sure you're doing some complex work with the services the power the E-Commerce, rather than the web-page.

Do you have any ideas of E-Commerce systems you'd like to create? Or existing ones you feel you could improve?
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