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Facing the Thesis Defense Successfully

24 Feb 2017Writing Tips

Thesis Defense is simple if you plan well ahead.

When you are required to defend your thesis which is the last hurdle of completing your thesis, you get nervous especially if this is the first time you are facing this type of situation. A little bit of nervousness is always good because you work with a better care and you get more energy that was not available before. Thesis defense is also called viva voce. First of all it is good to study the whole process of the defense. It is the normal practice of colleges and the Universities to make all the details available to the student. The information may be available in the university website or in the form of a booklet.

Understand the Process of the Defense

Your first task for preparing for the defense is to learn about the process carefully, and the people involved in this process. Your supervisor will be a great help in this. Learn about the chairman of the examiners’ Panel and about other examiners. What are their backgrounds, what are the researches they have done, what special areas of your field they are interested in and the expertise they have. This is very useful to guess or predict the questions they may ask at the defense. Normally number of the examiners for the defense or viva or the oral examination is minimum three and maximum five in the case of a Doctoral thesis defence. You may invite people like your friends and colleagues to be present at your defense. But if you get nervous when there are more people it is best not to invite any.

Thesis Defense Strategies

Now let us face the situation straight. Thesis defense brings to our mind that it is a war or a battle. Then take it as it is. Prepare your defense strategy and the tactics. Winning the war depends upon carefully planned strategy and tactics. To prepare for your defense you should know the strengths weaknesses of your research and your weakness in facing the oral examination too. Then think of the strengths and weaknesses of the panel and the university too. Of course ultimate aim for the whole exercise of thesis writing is to pass the course. For you this is strength.

If the examiners keep failing the students it is not good for the university although they are expected to keep an academic standard among the community of other education institutions. If you have written a good thesis then it is strength for you and it is not difficult to defend. Therefore you must read and re-read your research paper before submitting it. Make the copies available to the examiners with sufficient time for them to read the paper. Enlist thesis help from a professional service to plan for viva defense questions.

Practice Your Presentation and Answers

Normally you’ll be given fifteen to twenty minutes to present your paper. Don’t rush. Take time and pause where necessary, for them to take in what you said. As there is a limitation for time you cannot tell every tiny detail of your research. Make it your strength by leaving out one or two very important bits you are very familiar with. These pieces are useful for you to get control of the situation if it becomes necessary. Perhaps one bright examiner will notice that you have left out an important part. He may ask you a question about that and you can answer it very well as you have mastered it.

Accept your Mistakes Modestly

If you are asked something that has not been covered and you are not familiar with just do not try to show that you know it well, but tell something like “yes I see that this is an important area that I have overlooked in my research but could have been easily accommodated”. It is always good to rehearse the Thesis defense in a mock situation with a few of your friends acting as examiners.

Enlisting thesis help can improve the quality of your thesis dramatically. You can also refer to a good thesis sample or two from PhDify.com and get further insight in to writing good theses.

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