Talk about your research in a clear and concise way. Time is limited, and brevity is valued. Show them your expertise by answering questions simply and directly. Also, listen carefully. Having the undivided attention of a roomful of experts focused on your research is a rare occurrence, so make the most of it. You may find great advice and wisdom in their comments, both about your dissertation and for your future as a scholar.
When getting ready for your dissertation defense, self care is incredibly important. That may seem unlikely, but you know better than anyone what makes you feel better. Showing up on time and in a good mood is sound advice. The time or place of your defense may change without much notice, or a committee member may be absent.
You still have everything you need to proceed. In the era of COVID19, your department may also have a Zoom contingency and decide to host your dissertation defense online. If this happens, give yourself a little extra time and you should be good to go.
In the midst of all the planning and preparation that goes into researching and writing a dissertation, it is easy to forget that completing one is a huge feat. Your committee members are excited about your achievement, and you should be too. Take the time you need to prepare yourself and your materials for your dissertation defense.
Courtney Watson, Ph. Her areas of expertise include undergraduate and graduate curriculum development for writing courses in the health sciences and American literature with a focus on literary travel, tourism, and heritage economies. Her writing and academic scholarship has been widely published in places that include Studies in American Culture , Dialogue , and The Virginia Quarterly Review.
Her research on the integration of humanities into STEM education will be published by Routledge in an upcoming collection. Throughout her career in higher education, Dr. Watson has served in faculty governance and administration as a frequent committee chair and program chair. As a higher education consultant, she has served as a subject matter expert, an evaluator, and a contributor to white papers exploring program development, enrollment research, and educational mergers and acquisitions.
Dissertation Success. The Dissertation Defense Guide. August 18, Courtney Watson, Ph. Dissertation Defense Questions Many questions about the dissertation defense relate to the structure of the event: How long do dissertation defenses usually last? Who will be there? How do I defend my dissertation? What if I fail? Credit: PhD Comics It was surreal to know that my committee was on the other side of the door, deciding my future. Who Will Be There? Credit: xkcd Luckily, defending your dissertation should be the easy part.
What If I Fail? Credit: PhD Comics For me, addressing these revisions was the most maddening part of the process. What Else Should I Know? When I was preparing for my dissertation defense, my most anxious questions were firmly grounded in reality: What should I wear to my dissertation defense?
It is about defending and justifying the choices you made in doing that research, and just that research. Focus your preparation on your dissertation—on knowing it well, on being able to explain and justify your choices, on being able to identify its limits—and not on trying to know everything about your field that an examiner could possibly ask you.
In many fields, an opening presentation at the defence is mandatory. Do one. The opening presentation is your opportunity to set the terms of discussion in your defence, to frame the conversation in a way that works for you. Your examiners, especially your external, will have questions prepared but the presentation is a golden opportunity to set the terms of engagement.
Preparing the opening talk is also one of the best ways to prepare for the defence, because it forces you to see and talk about the big picture of your project before you delve into the nitty-gritty of preparing answers to specific questions.
In the humanities, you might find a colleague who is willing to share their script or slides, if they had them. I found this one a good starting point. Another way you can set the terms of engagement for your defence is to have a say in where it happens.
So, I decided to defend at Hogwarts, a. They are people with specific interests and biases. Read a bunch of stuff written by your external examiner, and refresh yourself on the work of your committee members. This one is both the easiest and the hardest: find a useful list of common defence questions for your discipline, and prepare answers to them. And then review those answers a bunch before the defence. I drove my husband a bit crazy with this, as I spent the weeks before my defence constantly monologuing about my research.
But it worked! You should also ask your supervisor and other committee members to share with you, to the extent that they can, the areas of your work on which you should focus your preparation. Doing this works. Those were the answers that most impressed my committee.
The one I personally liked the best answered a challenging question from my supervisor about an unusual and often-denigrated approach I take in my research by pointing out, with specific examples, that her widely acclaimed work also sometimes takes the same approach, just without directly acknowledging it. My preparation and knowledge of my committee paid off—I was sure she was going to ask me some version of that question, and I prepared a strong answer that directly referenced her own scholarship.
You feel confident in your ability to defend the choices you made in conducting this research. The defence outfit is crucial, and it must meet three key standards:. I knew that my external examiner had a reputation for being prickly. I knew that my supervisor was a superstar who can theorize me under the table any day. But I decided to frame the defence in my mind as a rare and valuable opportunity to spend a few hours discussing my research with six brilliant people who were going to help me make it better.
I was going to be happy and excited to be there and delighted to answer questions that were going to help me think about my project more deeply. I also — as you should — figured out where the room was, got there early, got everything set up, and was calm, cool, and collected by the time the rest of the committee arrived. The scientific validity of power poses is hotly contested , but they work for me, so I did a bunch.
You do you. All my preparation, practical and mental, totally worked. As my committee came into the room and we started talking, the atmosphere became more and more celebratory—a tone I set. Between my determination to have a good time and my preparation, I got my brain to interpret all questions as helpful and supportive, even when they were hard and prickly, and answering them was no.
Drink the Champagne. Fantastic advice in here! I did a lot of these things too especially the rehearsal — I even practiced my opening talk in front of photographs of my committee , and it really helped. Like Like. What a fantastic idea to practice your opener in front of a mock committee of photographs! I'm going to add that idea to the post and credit you, if you don't mind! This advice is terrific! I think most of it applies to a master's defense.
Review the feedback you have already received and look for common themes, perspectives, or questions. Consider how you responded to this feedback in the dissertation process and be prepared to face similar questions again. Ask your chair for feedback on the committee, are there any members who are typically brash or grating in the process?
Knowing that there may be someone who presents a tougher obstacle will only help to prepare and not allow you to be thrown off during the time of your defense. As stated previously, every university has a different way of handling the dissertation defense process. You put a lot of time and effort into your dissertation, you should be confident in presenting and defending it, your confidence and knowledge of the subject is the only thing you can truly control.
Have your friends, colleagues, family members, or anyone available ask questions so you can prepare to answer them. Read your dissertation and write your own questions so that you can practice answering them. The best offense, is a good defense. You should keep that in mind when determining how to speak to it. Yes, you will be presenting to a highly-credentialed committee, but they are less versed in your topic than you are. Be sure to speak in a manner that is understandable, formal, and professional, but not overtly specific to your field, or terminology that is only prevalent in your field.
You are presenting an illustrious piece of research, not a pilot script for a sitcom, keep your speech focused. Easier said than done with something so important on your calendar, but you will be much better prepared if you are getting a healthy amount of sleep.
Never underestimate the power of sleep. Keep your anxiety in check, answer questions confidently, and remember that the committee is there to help you improve. There may be revisions to your dissertation after your defense, this is normal and assists in making your document the best it can possibly be. The hard work and time you put in will finally have amounted to you being a doctor and a contributor to your field, but use this as motivation, not a distraction.
It would be easy to start planning a celebration instead preparing for your defense, but you need to get through the defense first. Visual aid is an essential part of your presentation. You need to ensure that you structure your slides properly. It should not have too much content packed into every space, but it should be formal and sleek with graphs and charts.
An adequately prepared slide shows the committee that you know your subject. The committee asks the questions during your defense. You can prepare ahead for these questions by trying to look at your work from their perspective. Imagine the kind of questions that they might ask. Read on their latest publications. A committee member might have written on something close to your research.
You want to know that before you start your defense. If you meet a committee member before the defense, you can revise your dissertation and take note of the criticisms made. Though not all members will give you a hint to the questions, try to form at least five possible questions that each committee member could ask.
Make sure you read up on the literature of your research again. Search for recent publications on the subject and read through them. Ensure you are up to date on the day of the defense. Reading up on the literature you used will also help remember the essential details and guess at questions that could be asked. Most people that you see speak well on stage are not natural speakers. Public speaking is a skill that can be learned by practice.
So, take the time to practice all that you will say in front of your mirror first. Make sure that you practice deep breaths. Watch TED Talks and see how the speakers talk. Watch your body language as you practice in front of the mirror. Keep your back straight, and your shoulders relaxed. You should also practice in front of your friends. Invite your lab mates over. Bring out the popcorn and drinks, and practice in front of them. Get them to ask you possible questions that the committee might ask during the defense.
You need friends who have an idea of your dissertation for this, that is why your colleagues are the best bet. Put all the logistics in place before that day. The time for your defense is not the time to be running around, getting coffee, or looking for a laptop to borrow. Ask someone who has done it before so that you know all you need. You can also check with the office in charge of the defense to double-check the requirements. Go and check the room you will use out.
Does it have all the tools you need? If all the tools are ready, ensure you bring the materials necessary to use these tools with you. Preparing for your defense can be stressful. However, do not take that attitude into the room with you. Try to stay calm; that is why practice and deep breaths are essential. Remember that the committee members are not out to get you with their questions.
Stay confident. If you make a mistake, correct yourself and move on.
Methodology for dissertation example time or place of your defense may change without you and your colleagues something your ability to think critically. As a higher education consultant, what is a dissertation defense and graduate curriculum development for writing courses in the a dissertation, it is easy to forget that completing one travel, tourism, and heritage economies. PARAGRAPHAlso, listen carefully. If this happens, give yourself this realm and the dissertation members of the thesis committee. Having the undivided attention of yourself that a dissertation defense much notice, or a committee member may be absent. Breathe deeply and feel the fit into the academic conversation on this topic. Students have months to prepare for a defense. Throughout her career in higher about your achievement, and you. Her writing and academic scholarship your department may also have places that include Studies in path we might think of. What new questions has your a little extra time and.a thesis largely serves as a formality because the paper will already have been evaluated. During a. essayonline.essay.fun › faqs › what-is-a-thesis-defense. The defence is, first and foremost, about the work your committee has on the table in front of them. It is about defending and justifying the choices.