Earth’s Rotation and Dissertations
January 8th is Earth’s Rotation Day. Seriously. There really is a holiday for absolutely E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G! But, there’s also connection with your dissertation, because that’s what we do here…
Are you having trouble with your dissertation topic?
Have you ever thought about ripping it on up and starting over from scratch?
I talk to at least one doctoral student every week or two in exactly that same situation.
But, here’s the thing… You rarely need to start over. It’s usually better to pivot, to rotate from your current position to address your topic from a slight different perspective.
Just recently, I spoke with a student who was trying desperately to figure out how he could include inmates in his study. As you may know, inmates are a protected class when it comes to winning approval from your IRB. Not only can it be difficult to get your proposal approved when you’re working with a protected class, it can be even more difficult to actually obtain consent and collect your data.
Many doctoral students face this kind of obstacle. Not only do criminal justice want to study inmates, but education students want to study children in school, and psychology students sometimes want to study patients in mental facilities. In each case, they face a long, uphill battle simply to get their study approved and then and even more difficult path in implementing and executing their study.
My solution is always the same: just rotate the study. Pivot. In this case, specifically, use a proxy. If you wish to study inmates, could you gain insight from their guards or other correctional staff? If you want to study elementary students, do so through their teachers.
The power in using this approach is that you substitute a protected class for one that is much more accessible and arguably more reliable. You make it easier to get your proposal approved and to execute your study once you win said approval. But, best of all, you don’t have to start over. In fact, you don’t have to waste any of your existing work. By rotating the study slightly, just pivoting a bit, you can orient your dissertation for success, saving yourself weeks or months without backtracking at all.
If you’re having trouble with your dissertation and need help seeing it from a different perspective, click here to schedule a quick, 15-minute chat with me to see if you’re a good fit for our Fast Track Your Dissertation Coaching Program. If you are, then I’ll invite you to join the fastest group of dissertation students out there and help you to reach graduation a good year or two faster than you would on your own.