Prep up! Defend your Thesis the Right way with these 8 Preparation Tips

The best thesis defense is the best thesis offense. The thesis defense is one of the most important and challenging tasks one will encounter during the Ph.D. journey. Although it is intimidating, the defense provides an opportunity to share the research with peers, colleagues, and members of the community at large and take a critical view of it. It allows showcasing the efforts one has put into the research process and helps to present the findings in a supportive environment.

Thesis defense consists of two segments:  

1) The presentation of the findings by the scholar

2) Questioning session by the thesis defense committee followed by the presentation

Here are some tips on how to prepare for thesis defense:

  1. Prepare a sample outline of your presentation.

  2. Practice the presentation at home. This will help increase you gain confidence, know the timing of each slide and allow you to remain within the recommended time for the presentation.

  3. The findings and recommendations are an important part of the thesis defense presentation. Develop your presentation starting with your findings and recommendations and work backward.

  4. Understand which pieces of the literature review and theoretical framework are needed to support the findings, and ensure they are included in your presentation.

  5. Include keywords or phrases in the presentation. The picture speaks more than words; Include diagrams, graphs, tables, charts etc.

  6. Familiarize yourself with the guidelines and requirements of your department. Speak with your advisor to be sure that you know exactly what is expected from you.

  7. Record the questions that your committee members ask you during meetings. These questions, or questions similar to them, may be asked at your thesis defense.

  8. Before your thesis defense, take some time and brainstorm about the questions you would ask at a thesis defense. Then, think of the answers. This will help get you in the mindset for the question period.

While presenting the thesis, firstly, state your thesis/research question, describe the importance of your topic and detail how your research was conducted, including any methods of measurement you have used. The major findings of the thesis should be made clear, as well as how your thesis contributes to the body of knowledge in your field. Finally, state the conclusions and recommendations you have made based on the research. During the question session, write down the questions thrown at you (if they consist of two parts). Having this information in front of you will help you answer the question more comprehensively.

Category : Thesis
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