6 Stages of Preparing for the Doctoral Thesis Defense

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You are so close! Congrats! A doctoral thesis defense is among the last tasks that you have to complete before finishing your program. All the hard work is over because you’ve already written your thesis paper. Now, you just need to defend it.

A doctoral thesis defense is very different from a written thesis because it involves giving a spoken presentation. Speaking skills and writing skills are very different. Here, we will equip you with the ways to prepare for the defense in different stages.

Stage 1: Read Your Paper a Million Times

Since your defense will be based on your thesis, it only makes sense to read it a million times over. Well, maybe not exactly a million times, but reread it a lot so you know what it contains in a very intricate manner. Most likely, you did this throughout the writing process, but it won’t hurt to do it again. This is especially true if you asked a custom thesis writing service to help you out with your paper.

Stage 2: Know Your Material Inside and Out

Just like you will get to know your thesis because of stage 1, you need to get to know all the details of everything that was involved with your subject matter. Most likely, there were some trivial facts and information that was left out of your thesis paper. Keep these handy in your brain. They will not only show that you have extended and extensive knowledge of what you have studied but also that you didn’t just memorize your thesis.

Stage 3: Create Your Presentation

Depending on your specific school guidelines, your doctoral defense thesis may involve a short presentation about your work. You, therefore, will need to create one! You can use a simple tool such as PowerPoint to make a professional presentation.

Remember that your defense is spoken. You’ve already done all the written work, so don’t redo it. The people you will be defending the paper in front of have most likely already read your piece and don’t need to do it again.

Stage 4: Practice

You know what they say: practice makes perfect! Practice in front of the mirror, in front of your friends, and even in front of strangers if the mood strikes! The defense meeting will take place with some people you know and some you don’t, so it’s a good idea to get a feel for what that might be like by practicing in front of the people you don’t know that well.

Stage 5: Write up and Answer Some Mock Questions

As a continuation of practice, another excellent way to be prepared is to think up questions your panel may ask you, write them up, and practice giving your answers. The types of questions that may be asked will be anything relating to your thesis. This may be hard for you to do, but any questions you can think of will be useful so you get used to the idea of answering in general.

If you have friends and family members who are eager to help you, and who have the time, ask them to read your paper and think of some questions. No doubt, they will have some if they are not familiar with your field of study. If they are familiar, then, the questions will be even more useful. Either way, it’s good practice.

What happens if you get a question you don’t know the answer to? This is definitely something you need to consider and be ready for. It may happen, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe your research didn’t cover the question asked or maybe it’s something you have never considered before. Either way, the best way to handle it is to be honest yet still sound professional.

Stage 6: Prepare for the Big Day

The day of your doctoral defense is very important, but the day/night before may be even more so. Just like you would before any big test or event, you need to make sure you get enough rest. Choose some good and healthy foods to make sure you have optimum strength before giving your presentation or answering questions.

Know the format of the defense meeting for your specific program. This will also help you to be prepared and know what to expect. Exact details vary from country to country, school to school.

Self-confidence will play a key role in your defense. You know your work better than anyone, and it should show. Don’t be hesitant or too nervous. The professors and experts on the panel will understand what you are going through and that you may have some nerves because they have done it too! Try to keep this in mind when you present.

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the thesis defense is one of the last things you will need to complete before you get your degree! Make all your hard work pay off. It’s your time to shine! Best of luck to you! We know you will do well.

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