Dissertation Hell | Documentary Idea

by Russ Sprinkle
(Toledo, Ohio, USA)

Not me, an illustration of my clients!

Not me, an illustration of my clients!

I am a professional dissertation coach, and I struggle daily to provide psychological, emotional, educational, statistical, and rhetorical help to clients working on their doctoral dissertations.

I'm continually amazed at the educational and life struggles that these individuals face as they attempt to journey up the dissertation mountain.

I consider myself a "dissertation Sherpa" because I have been working exclusively with doctoral candidates on their dissertation projects for the past seven years.

I am constantly amazed at the ways that candidates find to confound themselves, to sabotage their projects, to hide their weaknesses, and otherwise struggle to complete a project that they have no idea how to complete.

My vision is to chronicle the emotional, educational, and academic journeys of five dissertation candidates from their initial concept to their final submission. This process typically takes anywhere from nine months to three years on average, and I have seen it all--the death of a child by suicide, a house burning to the ground, legal action against a university, and the kind of personal difficulties I would not wish on my worst enemies.

My hope is to reveal the utter and complete failure of the educational system to prepare and equip most doctoral candidates to complete this project, all while promising the rewards and riches of a terminal degree.

In addition, this journey is characterized most prevalently by a complete failure on the part of universities to support candidates in a way that makes this process an interesting, nurturing, educational journey instead of a brutalizing, torturous trip through dissertation hell.

A secondary purpose is to expose in a general way the importance of upholding standards of certification and the dire consequences for our educational system of not doing so.

I see a film in my mind's eye that interposes images of high-altitude mountain climbing as an appropriate analogy for the dissertation journey.

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