PhD Dissertation Defense: All Tools to Make a Great Impression on a Committee Board
Many years ago, when universities were quite new, a PhD was examined by means of the defense of an idea, the defense of a thesis; you would have an idea about something, let’s say theology, you would spend years reading this, and when you thought you had sufficient knowledge, you would request examination. Now, of course, the PhD is a written assignment, usually around 80,000 words. But, the defense, your ability to vocally defend the ideas of that thesis, is still a vital element, and in borderline cases the defense will determine a pass or a fail. So, what can you do to give the best impression to a PhD committee?
- Know Your Work
- Know Its Weaknesses
- Be Firm
- Be Flexible
- Be Confident
The single most important tool in a thesis defense is knowledge of the paper; you must read the entire thesis through in the days before the examination, and never assume that you ‘remember’ what is in it! This is the paper that is the foundation of the exam, so know it.
Knowing the paper means knowing its weak points. There will be several areas, in any thesis, that are not as convincing as the majority. Prepare defenses for these aspects, to show an awareness of them, and to show that you have considered them and their place in the thesis carefully.
This is a defense; be firm. Your examiners will be trying to see if you back down on any of your points, so try to calmly rebut any criticism that they put forward. They may challenge you on things that they themselves agree with, simply to hear your defense.
If an examiner does have a good point, however, then be flexible and do not belligerently stick to your guns. Say that you had not considered it from that angle, and that it is helpful.
Be confident in your defense. You are, as a PhD candidate, an authority on the subject of your thesis, so make sure that you present yourself as a training academic, and as someone who can confidently handle criticism in a professional and confident manner.
Your PhD is your work, so you will know it better than anyone else. The only way to go wrong in a defense is to not re-read the work before examination!
- Completing your paper successfully
- 5 tips for Doctoral thesis paper
- Dissertation defense: overcoming fear
- Purchasing dissertation
- Writing a dissertation prospectus
- Finding compliant proposal samples
- Topics for education dissertation
- PhD dissertation topic ideas
- Buying a thesis for university
- Mastering your drama dissertation
- Visiting libraries for your thesis writing
- Topics for finance postgraduate paper
- Methodology section writing tricks
- Use our list with art dissertation topics
- Consulting the Internet: PhD paper
- Making your PhD thesis a success
- Great media dissertation subjects
- Dissertation proposal benefits
- Master's thesis suggestions
- Avoiding mistakes in proposal writing
- Formatting dissertation rules
- Working on an English PhD thesis
- Getting an online dissertation writer
- Turning to paper writing agencies
- Good dissertation proposal templates
- Psychology PhD paper subject sources