Zippers and Dissertations

April 29th is National Zipper Day! Zippers were designed to be fast and easy — just like you should design your dissertation!…

I don’t know if you’re aware, but there is a passionate debate in Internet circles about whether button closures or zippers are better. Folks argue passionately about which is better for blue jeans, duvet covers, and baby jumpsuits.  Stay with me here, because this is absolutely applicable to your dissertation….

The button folks, they love them for aesthetics and ease of replacement, but they hate how long buttons take to close and how they leave little open gaps in between.

Zipper people love that zippers are quick and easy to close and close completely, but they hate how they can get jammed, how they’re difficult to replace, and the fact that many people don’t like how they look.

So, should we choose a side and become zipper or button purists?

I say, “No.” The stakes simply aren’t that high. Just pick speed or aesthetics for whatever article of clothing you’re buying and move on with your day.

But for your dissertation you will to pick a team, and I want you to make sure that you do it intentionally. See, for you, qualitative studies are like buttons, and quantitative studies are like zippers. And I’m all about those zippers.


Like zippers, quantitative studies are fast. You can get your data and analyze it quickly. Nice and clean. Qualitative studies are like trying to button a full-length gown. It’s going to be a huge pain to button it up and, for most occasions, it’s simply too much.

You CAN do a quantitative study. It’s way faster. Even if you don’t consider yourself a math whiz, you can definitely do this. Just like you don’t have to invent the zipper to zip your pants and get dressed in the morning, you don’t have to invent the statistical analyses for your dissertation, you just have to use them.

Time to zip up your dissertation! Happy Zipper Day!

Are you having trouble zipping up your dissertation? 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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