Practical Advice On How To Survive Your Doctoral Dissertation Defense

The defense is an important part of completing one’s doctoral dissertation and in most cases, it must be done successfully in order to proceed. It may seem a little strange at first, being called upon to give account for research you have done, however, this is an important stage of scientific progress and you will always be called upon to defend your position when you make a claim.

While this may seem like a show stopper for many, any student or researcher can succeed at their defense if they prepare for it while completing their paper. This way, you will have answered most of the questions and adjusted your work accordingly to enable to you be successful. The following points will outline some simple tips to help you survive you doctoral dissertation defense:

  1. Attend the defenses of other candidates
  2. This experience can greatly prepare you for your own defense as you will be able to see first hand, how the process works. Make sure you take notes and pay close attention to aspects of the trial that are closely related to your own work.

  3. Make a list of the questions and strategies used by board members
  4. There are various ways that a paper may be attacked so it would be advantageous to attend more than one defense if possible. You should also research past defenses to see how they turned out and determine why.

  5. Create a practical hypothesis
  6. When considering your path of research, keep in mind that you may be called upon to defend you paper. You may be able to find trends that reflects the types of papers that have the hardest time in the defense and use this knowledge to your advantage when creating your thesis statement.

  7. Conduct your activities with the defense in mind
  8. There are many accepted formats and guidelines that most boards prefer, being knowledgeable and making full use of these guidelines can make your defense much easier.

  9. Seek advice from experienced scholars
  10. Seeking advice from someone actually involved in the process can be a great asset as they may be able to directly state the criteria by which a paper is evaluated.

  11. Be confident and know your work well.
  12. Most importantly, you must know and understand the contents of your paper so, especially in the case persons who worked with a team, be sure to review and familiarize yourself with all the contents of your presentation.

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