Are you preparing to defend your dissertation for Ph.D. and wondering how to go about it? This article will show you how to prepare and defend the best dissertation you’ve written before your examiners.
After the rigorous process of writing your Ph.D. thesis for months and submitting it, it is time to defend all that you’ve researched. This evaluation is done before a committee of internal and external experts on the subject area you’ve examined.
According to dissertationteam.com, an excellent dissertation for Ph.D. will always win the heart of examiners and satisfy their thorough critiquing during the defense. Read on to discover how to successfully defend your dissertation and win the hearts of your examiners.
Defending Your Ph.D. Dissertation
Long before you chose your research topic, you already had an idea that you will one day stand to defend your research thesis before a committee.
Jittery feelings might set in, especially when you don’t know what to expect defending a Ph.D. dissertation. Thorough knowledge of what’s required and ample preparation before the actual defense will help you to ace your Ph.D. dissertation defense.
After the submission of your thesis, a date is often picked for you to defend it at an oral examination or viva, as it is commonly called. At this point, there’s nothing to panic about, as it is the point where you discuss all the exciting new things writing your dissertation helped you discover.
Of course, it is not about showing off, as your examining committee is usually made up of those with more expertise than you do. It’s only an avenue to be open-minded and also glean from their contributions and critiquing of your discoveries.
Mode of Defense for a Ph.D. Dissertation
The mode of defending a Ph.D. thesis may vary by country or institution. In some institutions or countries, the Ph.D. defense is carried out as a public lecture or address, where your audience and examiners ask questions as relating to your research.
In other places like the UK, the defense is done indoors with a minimum of two examiners who are often experts in your area of research. An external examiner is often invited, while your project supervisor might be somewhere observing the entire process.
Things to Note during your Ph.D. Dissertation Defense
It is of significant importance to highlight what makes your dissertation relevant and the limitations of the research. The strength of your research will help you to have good points to work with while mentioning its flaws and weaknesses will help to put things in perspective.
Defending your thesis is your opportunity to prove to your faculty that you’ve got a good knowledge of your subject area. It’s normal to expect questions from your examining committee. It enables them to test how much of the subject matter you’ve grasped during your study.
It is critical to expect questions that will make you think well, as they won’t be lifted word for word from your thesis on most occasions. Instead, they will lead you to examine your thesis critically and to see how it solves the problems the question poses.
During your viva, you might have criticisms from examiners that may seem personal. It’s best to understand that it’s a normal part of the viva process. No matter how you feel attached to your dissertation, don’t take criticisms as an attack on your personality, but as part of your constructive learning process.
Do your best to respond to questions as calmly and confidently as possible. Doing otherwise might get you more off-balance than you planned to be.
When you’re asked questions, don’t rush to answer them, especially if it seems ambiguous. Do not hesitate to ask them to repeat the question before attempting to answer it. But through it, stay calm and relaxed.
You may need to engage your examiners in some form of dialogue while defending. You can be asked to talk about how your research work relates to some other researches in your field.
It’s okay to refer to your notes occasionally. You won’t be reciting all of your thesis off hand. It’s essential to admit when you’re not sure of the answer to questions you’re asked. Don’t be shy to share your opinions on the thesis during your viva.
Your defense is a necessary formality for graduation, so it’s as crucial as writing the thesis. Most defenses take a minimum of 20 minutes, and others may have a maximum of an hour or more.
It’s essential to look your best during your thesis, as it gives you a gradable professional look.
How to Prepare for your Ph.D. Dissertation
Writing your dissertation doesn’t mark the end of your workload. You need to put as much effort into defending your thesis, as you did when writing and researching it.
There are basic things to note when you’re preparing to defend your Ph.D. thesis. These include:
- Use Available Resources to Prepare for your Viva
You may have the opportunity to take courses that entails the preparation for your viva in your institutions. Taking them seriously will help you gain a good ground before the day of your actual defense.
- Prepare your Defense Slides in Good Time
It can be a little time to prepare, and leaving it till the last minute might be risky for your mental alertness. So, prepare it in a good time.
- Have a Copy of your Thesis
You should have a copy of your thesis with extra side notes in it to help you during your defense. Having your thesis with these notes helps you to pick up points faster, and recollect something you might have missed in the heat of the viva.
- Practice Possible Questions