As a third alternative, you may find the choice being made through give and take with your supervisor. If you have good reason to be confident in doing research on the topic of your own choice of if close guidance feels too restrictive to you, then proceed, but at least be forewarned that you can easily lead yourself on a.
And in the real world, the selection of a dissertation topic is often going to be a matter of negotiation in some respects between advisor and student. I don't think I've ever had a student come to me with a list of three of four possible topics to get my take on them, but that seems like a pretty good. Dear Caneel, Choosing a thesis topic is kind of crazy. I feel like Im committing to marriage or something. Is it the right one? Will I be happy? Will I get bored?
Though incomplete, they are certainly useful. Check also the University of Michigan microfilms of unpublished dissertations. Because in some departments and in some disciplines your access to your mentor might be limited, you may find it advisable to talk over your preliminary ideas with your peers and even show them your dissertation proposal before you give it to your mentor.
Also highly recommend the following books: 2. Completing your Qualitative Dissertation (Bloomberg Volpe) walks you through what a dissertation should look like, and how the different sections should compliment each other and build on each other. Posted on, may 10, 2011.