Tassels and Dissertations

May 17th is National Graduation Tassel Day! The tassel is worth the hassle, so let’s get your dissertation done!…

May is a busy month for commencement ceremonies. In the Triangle area of North Carolina, where I live, there are nearly a dozen universities within a short drive…not counting several community colleges, technical schools  and satellite campuses.

So, commencement ceremonies have been coming fast and furious for a few weeks, and the airports are packed with out of town visitors. I even saw a doctoral graduate wearing her tam when I took my wife and kids out for a late Mother’s Day lunch this past weekend.

I want you to finish your dissertation so that you can celebrate your own commencement ceremony. It’s an unforgettable experience!

Commencement ceremonies can be interesting, if not a bit confusing, due to all of the different regalia. For bachelors degrees, the caps and gowns are pretty standard-issue. Most are black, and everyone pretty much looks the same in them.

For doctoral graduates, the regalia becomes much more complicated. The faculty put on a fashion show of sorts with all the different regalia they wear to the event. It may seem pretty chaotic with all the different colored hoods, sleeve markings, and hats, but it isn’t. — It’s part of a traditional code, and every variation of the regalia is significant.

When you complete your doctoral program, you won’t have to worry as you prepare to attend commencement. You’ll be given very specific instructions about what regalia to rent or purchase, and what each item means.

Since you’ll have those directions, I’m sure you wouldn’t dream of going rogue and showing up in some other regalia — like the wrong colored robe, or a hood from a different subject area.

Why? Because you know that there’s a method to the madness, and it’s easier just to go with the flow than to stick out like a sore thumb.

But, guess what? There’s a method to the dissertation madness, too! You shouldn’t try to get too creative or reinvent the wheel with your dissertation, either.

Your university gives you guidelines for your dissertation. Follow them!

You have a library where you can access dissertations written by other successful students who’ve come before you. Learn from their examples.

Many students who would never even think of showing up at commencement wearing a neon green gown when everyone else is wearing black end up making choices that look just as out of place to their dissertation committees.

Are you turning in sections and chapters on a timely basis?

In the proper format?

Getting revisions done in quickly?

Don’t call attention to yourself in a negative way! Make sure your tassel looks like everyone else’s and follow the guidelines your school has provided to help you stay on track.

If you’re having trouble going with the flow with 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...

Let's Talk About Your Dissertation
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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