Safety Pins and Dissertations

April 10th is International Safety Pin Day. The safety pin is ingenious in its simplicity and practicality — two excellent traits for your dissertation, too…

Walter Hunt supposedly invented the safety pin in 1849 to raise money to pay a $15 debt to a friend (roughly $450 in today’s dollars). His invention caught on because it was such a simple and practical solution to the problems associated with straight pins.

You should strive for the same simplicity and practicality in your dissertation.

What do I mean by practical? How’s this: Make sure you can do it!

When you’re just starting out on your dissertation, you’re likely to focus on what you want to do. What topic interests you? What problem do you want to solve?

Instead, I suggest that you should focus on what you can do. How can you collect your data? What access or assets do you have that you can leverage for your dissertation?

Focusing on what you can do and how you can do it from the start is a far more practical approach than most doctoral students take…and much more likely to result in your graduation!

So, what about simplicity? Well, a good place to start is your research design, again.

Don’t ask 5 or 6 research questions if 2 or 3 will do. Don’t collect data in multiple phases or uses multiple modes. One type of data collection, executed one time for all participants, was sufficient to earn doctoral degrees for hundreds of my students. Why would you want to make it more complicated than that?

If you dissertation is neither simple nor practical, and you just need some help putting a pin in it so you can get on with your life, 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.

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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