This week I munched a vegan bacon double cheeseburger with an alum of my doctoral program who works with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While I pondered the mystery of a vegan cheeseburger, I asked him any writing tips he had for current students wanting to complete their dissertation or thesis.
He gave some simple, albeit, vital advice.
"Don't add hurdles," he said. He realized that he could pick a project that would require hundreds of research hours on a topic he knew nothing about or worked with what he knew.
Already an employee at the EPA, he chose environmental negotiation and as a result produced a great dissertation and now book that builds on his accomplishments in his field.
Many people - myself included - can become lured by foreign travel or esoteric interests when selecting a topic or working on their research.
As a masters student in Paris, I actually pondered doing my research in India. Luckily I realized the insanity of that and the benefits of working right where I was -- in France.
So, when thinking about your topic or even your research approach, remember this is not your final piece of work. Focus on how you can finish...save India for another day.
Sarah Federman, PhD