Perhaps an example will help clarify this idea of recognizability. A student started her dissertation planning with a theoretical construct of "the experience of nontraditional women in college." While certainly an important construct, it is too large because the student would have a difficult time recognizing the construct in the data. It involves a potentially large number of different constructs, including women's experiences of raising children while going to school, degree of support from family members, responses of other students, educational accomplishments, emotions the women experience, and on and on and on. There is virtually nothing having to do with nontraditional women college students that would not count as part of the construct of "the experience of nontraditional women in college."
Ultimately, dissertation planning provides a productive medium. The planning task will absorb students’ optimism for research and their field. It could harness their ideas and, perhaps, propel them to work cautiously to avoid the common pitfalls inherent in dissertation work.
The ‘D’ word – Dissertation Planning | Insight Of An Intern
Problems quickly arise about how "substantial" the idea is, or whether anybody else has done the same thing, or how do-able the required research is. Since the information needed to maintain the thesis must be unique and original, even the variables needed can be an unknown. A great deal of time ends up being wasted because of false starts, research dead-ends, and do-overs caused by missing data, incomplete project scope, and similar planning issues. A detailed review of literature will reduce these dissertation planning problems significantly.