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21 Alternate Ways to Sabotage Your Dissertation
- Rely on someone other than yourself (or on no-one) to control your dissertation process.
- Aim high – way high: Plan to redefine the field with your work.
- Don't plan your dissertation project or make timelines; you've got it all under control, and besides, there's plenty of time.
- Choose a nice broad topic.
- Don't have a problem to tackle, or at least not one that you can come to a conclusion about.
- Don't make a thesis statement about your problem.
- If you do make a thesis statement, be sure not to delineate it.
- Write a vague proposal and get it passed.
- Research the secondary literature forever – you may have missed something after all!
- Just get the primary data any old way – how can anyone tell whether it is good or bad?
- Tell your supervisor that he or she is wrong – do this often and with conviction.
- Let your method take care of itself.
- You know your stuff – ignore all the nonsense about structuring your dissertation. Just write it.
- Don't reference or quote other scholars. If you do, do it seldom and make sure their work is out of date.
- Alternately, include lots of irrelevant or marginally relevant material: More is better after all.
- Also good – wait for someone to come out with that information that you need to do your dissertation.
- Make sure that every sentence you write is perfect – the first time around.
- Don't come to a conclusion or, if you do, make sure it has very little to do with what you started out to investigate.
- Ignore institutional guidelines – they have nothing to do with the quality of your work.
- Don't let your supervisor know how far you are or what you're doing. Never hand in drafts for comments. This one works, whether or not you present him or her with a fait accompli later.
- Don't edit. You wrote it all down, what more could they want?