There is a truly perplexing challenge that is confronted by anyone formulating a dissertation project. A defensible dissertation project is simply explained and simply presented.Â It may take 200-300Â pages to present the project, but when asked, you can explain your dissertation in 2-3 sentences to any stranger who asks.
It is simple after the fact. But getting there is another issue altogether. It takes thought. It takes trial and error. It takes time to incubate the idea. It takes a massage of the original idea. It takes time to get feedback from committee members. It takes time to get over the frustration of being criticized.
Each time you explain the project, it gets simpler and easier. The easier it is to explain to a friend who knows nothing about research – the closer you are to landing a viable project.
The process is terribly frustrating because you will beat up on yourself withÂ criticisms of your slow progress:
“All I need is to come up with one simple idea. How hard can that be?”
The answer is that it is extremely difficult to come up with a simple idea that has merit. It may sound simple after the fact, but getting there can be time consuming and tortuous.
The people who finish are determined. They do not give up.
Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.