Recycling and Dissertations

November 15th is America Recycles Day. Recycled paper is used to make things like toilet tissue, office paper, newspaper, Sheetrock, kitty litter, and, if you’re smart, your dissertation!…

This is one of my all-time favorite dissertation hacks.

Recycling your dissertation, or more precisely, recycling someone else’s dissertation for your own is perhaps the single best way to reduce stress, improve clarity, and put your dissertation on the fast track to graduation.

Your university problem has told you that your dissertation must make an “original” contribution to the research literature. But, what does that mean?

Most students take “original” to mean “completely original” — the likes of which have never been seen before. The problem with this interpretation is two-fold: First, it considerably increase the burden of creating an acceptable dissertation, raising stress levels, building frustration, and all but halting progress. Second, as perhaps even more important, that’s just not how science works.

Science is a slow, deliberate process of building an immense tower of facts, one brick at a time. No one starts from ground level. Everyone builds upon the work of those who came before.

The same must be true of your dissertation. It will add to the body of knowledge, but in an incremental, conservative way.

Picking a specific dissertation to recycle is simply the ultimate expression of this unavoidable characteristic of science.

If you’d like to explore this approach for your own dissertation and you’d like me to walk you through the process, click here to book a free strategy session with me to determine whether there’s a good fit for us to support you through the dissertation process.

If you need extra support and guidance to make it to graduation, I may be able to help. If you'd like to find out whether you qualify for the support we offer throughout the dissertation process, then...

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Dr. Russell W. Strickland

RUSSELL STRICKLAND, Ph.D., has been referred to as a “rocket scientist turned management consultant.” In truth, he applies an eclectic body of work from astronomy and nuclear physics to dynamic inventory management to market research to each of his student engagements.

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