dissertation defence

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Dissertation defence format of dissertation

Dissertation defence

IDEAS FOR A ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY

Could videoconference defenses become the new normal? Looking at the rising conference participant count on the bottom of her screen, however, Rasmussen grows nervous again. There are dozens of people here -- some 75 at one point. A hot water heater frames the shot on the right. Yet another voice booms into the Zoom call now, breaking the tension. I promise not to ask about the p-values.

Rasmussen is an astronomer, not a biotechnologist. But everyone is invited to her defense. She put out a call on Twitter the day prior to make the best of a disappointing situation. There is a short question-and-answer period with all viewers before her thesis committee kicks everyone else off the call, as convention dictates. She celebrates by ordering herself a cheese pizza. Dessert is the apple crisp her MIT supervisor made for the occasion. Ashton Merck, a historian at Duke University, also earned her doctorate this week following a Zoom defense.

She celebrated with her partner in their off-campus home by finishing off the bottle of prosecco in their fridge. This was not the way Merck imagined her defense would go, either. But she said it would make for an interesting story eventually -- just like the new lines in her curriculum vitae that say "canceled due to COVID" or "delivered remotely due to COVID There were some clear disadvantages to the scenario: Merck said it was harder to gauge her committee's reaction to things, for example.

That said, Merck, like Rasmussen, gained observers by going virtual. History defenses are typically private affairs, Merck explained, whereas 15 viewers saw her Zoom presentation. Her committee members went into a Zoom breakout room alone to deliberate. Many more have since seen the informal paper Merck wrote for and on her experience.

The document, which she shared with her committee members in advance, includes notes on where to position your screen, what to wear shoes do matter, at least for the candidate! Tri Keah Henry defended her work in criminal justice and criminology virtually this week, as well, via Zoom with colleagues at Sam Houston State University.

In the end, Henry said defending virtually was actually a "little less stressful than an in-person defense, simply because I had more control over the presentation. Virtual defenses have quickly become the norm, thanks to the social distancing and stay-at-home orders related to the coronavirus. But they are not new. Graduate students who cannot be on campus, or whose committee members can't be there, have been Zooming and otherwise virtually defending research for years.

Merck notes, for example, that her own how-to guide was inspired by thoughts from Alyssa Frederick , who conducted her Ph. Ethan White, an associate professor of interdisciplinary ecology at the University of Florida, said his research group has had a remote component for most Ph.

The question, White said, is, "How do we try to match the energy and feeling of accomplishment that comes from presenting to a live audience? He argued that there are also benefits to remote defenses, including gaining experience presenting research in this way.

As for whether virtual defenses might catch on, post-pandemic, White said he hoped so -- at least as an option. Remote presentations provide more flexibility for students who are away from campus and those who have started other positions. Not terribly long, considering all the ground that gets covered. To be on the safe side, plan to spend about two hours in your dissertation defense. Though it will vary by departments and fields, two hours is generally ample time for your oral defense—a basic outline of the problem you addressed, the methods you used, and your findings—as well as questions from your committee.

Near the end, you will be asked to leave the room and they will talk amongst themselves. For me, this was the most nerve-racking part of my dissertation defense. My presentation of my dissertation took about twenty minutes, though in reality it went by in a blur. The wait to return to the defense, however, felt like an eternity. It was surreal to know that my committee was on the other side of the door, deciding my future.

It felt like that door would never open. My dissertation defense took a little over an hour, which is on the short side; it was efficient and professional. Attendance at a dissertation defense is limited to you and your committee. There are some programs that require a public presentation of dissertations, typically in the presence of members of the department or college, but they are sometimes open to the public as well.

In the age of online programs, these presentations are becoming less popular. The dissertation defense itself happens behind closed doors, and with good reason. This gives your committee an opportunity to discuss your work in detail, and also to pose questions.

Your dissertation chair also serves an important role as an advocate for your research. The total committee, including the chair, is usually people, making the dissertation defense an intimate affair. Luckily, defending your dissertation should be the easy part. By the time you reach your dissertation defense, no one understands the inner workings of your research better than you do. During my dissertation defense, I remember being excited to have an opportunity to talk about my writing.

It was a wonderful experience to have a dedicated time and place to talk about my work with a brilliant group of faculty whom I respected deeply. The dissertation defense also gave me a sense of completion, and of a job well done. While there is no set list of questions asked during a dissertation defense, there are a few usual suspects that can help you prepare. You will likely be asked about the genesis of your research question, and how it was shaped by your literature review.

You will also probably be asked about the theoretical underpinnings of your conceptual framework, and the critical scaffolding that brings it all together. When trying to anticipate questions that may be asked during your dissertation defense, review your notes from previous meetings with your committee and chair.

Were there any suggested changes to your prospectus? Did comments on your literature review lead you to broaden or narrow your focus? Any of these recommendations could be fair game for questions during your dissertation defense. The good news is, by the time a doctoral candidate has reached the point of having their dissertation defense scheduled, failing this final hurdle is incredibly unlikely.

Has it happened? Keep in mind, your committee is deeply invested in your success. Be prepared for your committee to cite passages or sentences that feel inaccurate, incomplete, or, more likely, insufficiently defended. Expect your committee to request revisions before they put the final rubber stamp on your dissertation. For me, addressing these revisions was the most maddening part of the process. Though revisions are typically very minor in the context of the scope of your dissertation, they are essential.

Other questions about the dissertation defense relate to practical issues, which are understandable. While our research may be abstract and above mundane concerns, we as people are not. When I was preparing for my dissertation defense, my most anxious questions were firmly grounded in reality:. Ah, the eternal dilemma. While in truth you can wear whatever you want, there are certain considerations to keep in mind when choosing your dissertation defense ensemble.

Professionalism is always appreciated, and many doctoral candidates dress the way they would for a conference or a job interview. Dress accordingly. Sit there, mostly. The dissertation defense is almost equal parts talking and listening. At this point, you know your material inside and out. 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.

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Of all the academic things I turned out to be good at, defending my dissertation is perhaps the most surprising.

Dissertation defence 40
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Issues to write a research paper on 256

EXAMPLE ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY TOPICS

When you finish your dissertation and your committee has said you are ready to move forward, there is a formal meeting—your dissertation defense—where you have the opportunity to explain what you did and what you found. Your committee then has the opportunity to ask questions related to your work, the implications of what you found, and your future. It is a chance for you to stand before your peers and be welcomed into the academy. Defending your dissertation is one of the great rites of passage into the world of academia.

After chairing and sitting on countless dissertation committees, these are the steps I recommend you take. Perhaps the most important thing to have as you prepare to defend your dissertation is a revised view of your academic self.

One way to look at the dissertation defense is as a rite of passage. You are being tested, and just as with any rite of passage, the more rigorous the test, the prouder you will be of making it through. With this attitude in mind, you will want to prepare to demonstrate your expertise. That means anticipating questions the committee may have about your research. If your dissertation asserts the likelihood of a recession in the presence of particular economic indicators, your committee will want to know what socio-political conditions are linked to these indicators.

If you found that high achieving students are more likely to have had parents who volunteered in their schools, your committee members will likely ask you to speculate about how to increase parent involvement in schools. To ready yourself for potential questions, give your abstract to a few friends outside your academic program and have them ask you questions about your study.

Practicing like this will also help you relax during the actual defense. Keep in mind that your presentation to your committee can double as your presentation to the faculty at any university to which you apply; your preparation will serve a dual purpose.

I have provided a list of questions to help prepare your dissertation defense. If you have time restrictions I would put more emphasis upon your results and the implications of your work. Think of organizing your slides according to these questions:. Why did I choose to study this? Your committee members will appreciate this humanizing element but keep it brief!

What have other people interested in this topic found? If your study is the next clue in the hunt for answers about this topic, what were the clues that led you here? What paths have past researchers gone down — both fruitful and not? What solid theoretical foundation stands under your study? This portion of your presentation is the easiest to overdo. You will likely need to edit it again and again to ensure it is both concise and comprehensive. Stick to the major themes in your presentation but be prepared to answer questions about less dominant streams of research.

How did my research question evolve? Answering this question links your research to what has already been established, placing your study in the stream of knowledge. How did I organize my study? You can expand a bit here, as the decisions you made at this stage demonstrate your ability to think critically about approaching a research question. Why did you choose your particular methodology? What was the benefit of this design over another option you might have chosen?

What did I find? You can begin this section with what you expected to find and why, then explain what you actually found. 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.