Katharine Graham and Dissertations

June 16th is Katharine Graham’s birthday. As the publisher who oversaw The Washington Post as it broke the Watergate story, Ms. Graham has some unique insights on mistakes and overcoming them. Do you feel like you’ve made any mistakes on your dissertation journey?…

Katharine Graham was the longstanding publisher of The Washington Post who presided over the paper during the infamous Watergate scandal. She has some wonderful things to say about mistakes that may help you as you work on your dissertation:

“I truly believed that other people in my position didn’t make mistakes; I couldn’t see that everybody makes them, even people with great experience.”
— Katharine Graham

The Washington Post was owned by Graham’s family and was run by her husband until his death in 1963, at which point Ms. Graham took over publishing duties. She confessed that it took quite a while for her to realize that she wasn’t the only one making mistakes. The same is true for writing dissertations. This isn’t easy for everyone else, either – even if they make it look like it is.

Do you try to make certain things look easy to other people? Why?

“A mistake is simply another way of doing things.”
— Katharine Graham

When you get off course, try not to think of it as a mistake. Maybe you took this route accidentally, but maybe it’s a happy accident? How can you change course to make the best of the situation. Even though your initial reaction may be to completely start over, it’s probably not necessary to go back to the beginning.

Are you having trouble moving your dissertation forward because you’re obsessed with each little mistake? Click here to schedule a quick, 15-minute chat with me to see if you’re a good candidate 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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