As a computer science undergraduate or postgraduate student, you will be required to write a project towards the end of your studies/course. Before writing your final year project or paper, you will have to come up with project topics in computer science.

Having the ability to develop a good project topic is a big plus. Your lecturer or professor may assign you a specific topic, but most times he/she will require you to choose your own topic of interest.

Here are some things you should do when choosing project topics in computer science:

  • Look Around you for ideas
  • Avoid Over Used topics
  • Read General Background Information
  • Remain Focused on Your Topic
  • Make a List of Useful Keywords
  • Define Your Topic as a Focused Research Question
  • Formulate a Thesis Statement
Look / Think of ideas:

You can brainstorm for ideas by: thinking about recent happenings or stories that piqued your interest; social or political events you have strong opinion on; aspects of computer science you are interested in learning more about; personal or societal problems you would like to know more about or solve.

Search for ideas on websites related to the ideas generated. For example if you are thought about a political upheaval or climatic change, you could browse through sites that discuss political issues or climatic issues. As you read through these sites, you will begin to form several topics based on these ideas you already have. For example: if I thought about Electricity challenges, when I start reading about news or browsing sites on electricity in sub-Saharan Africa I can start thinking of how to use my course (computer science) to solve the electricity problem. I could think about Computerized electricity Management system.

While searching take note of keywords, as this will help you form a more focused research topic.

Avoid Over Used topics:

Be wary of overused ideas when deciding a topic. Some topics has been written on some many times, you may wish to avoid such topics unless you feel you have a unique approach to the topic.

Read General Background Information:

Read articles, journals and papers on two or three topics you are considering. This will help you get an overview of the topic and see how your idea relates to broader, narrower, and related issues. It also provides a great source for finding words commonly used to describe the topic.

Remain Focused on Your Topic:

A topic will be very difficult to research if it is too broad or narrow. You can limit your topic by by geographical area, culture, discipline, time frame, population group. If your topic is too narrow or recent it will be more difficult for you to write as articles or other researches related to the topic may not be readily available

Make a List of Useful Keywords:

Take note of all keywords related to your research. Look for words that best describe your topic when reading related works/topics in encyclopedias, articles and other research works.

Define Your Topic as a Focused Research Question:

Normally, you will begin with a word, develop a more focused interest in an aspect of something relating to that word, then begin to have questions about the topic.

For example:
Ideas = Electricity management, Computerized systems, Smart Grid
Research Question = How has Energy Management systems influenced electricity management?
Focused Research Question = How can Smart Grid improve Energy Management in Nigeria

Formulate a Thesis Statement

Write your topic as a thesis statement. This may be the answer to your research question and/or a way to clearly state the purpose of your research. Your thesis statement will usually be one or two sentences that states precisely what is to be answered, proven, or what you will inform your audience about your topic.
The development of a thesis assumes there is sufficient evidence to support the thesis statement.

For example, a thesis statement could be: SmartGrid has improved the ability of electric utility grids to monitor, control, and optimize the performance of the generation and/or transmission system. Computerized Energy Management Systems has led to efficient electricity management.

The title of your paper may not be exactly the same as your research question or your thesis statement, but the title should clearly convey the focus, purpose and meaning of your research.

For example, a title could be: Smart Grid Energy Management in Nigeria Integrated Power System

Final Note: Remember to follow instructions of your Lecturer/professor. If your topic requires writing applications (software) or constructing a hardware make sure you choose an area you can afford to do or complete within the time frame specified by your instructor.

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