How Does A Dissertation Defense Work: Tips For Students

Are you required to perform a dissertation defense, but have no idea what it is, or how to prepare for one? Then take the time to learn some important defense tips, and by doing so you will be adequately prepared to get a passing grade. If you’re unprepared then the examiners will pick up on it, and that might be a recipe for disaster. Therefore, read on for the top tips on how a defense should be handled.

What Is A Dissertation Defense

During the defense you will be asked questions about your selected topic. These questions have the purpose of evaluating how well you know your chosen topic. You must be prepared to answer all manner of questions, because some examiners will try to catch you off-guard by asking difficult questions.

Keep Your Answers Short

When people don’t understand their topic very well they tend to over-compensate by talking too much. Therefore, you should try to keep your answer short and to the point. It will go down well with the examiners. Knowing when to shut up is just as important and knowing when to speak.

Furthermore, if there is something that you don’t know, then don’t be afraid to say so. Trying to put wool over the eyes of the examiners will not be to your advantage. That’s because they are less likely to believe you when telling the truth.

Don’t Expect Trick Questions

The committee that will be charged with making you defend your dissertation actually want you to pass. Therefore, they will not come up with any trick questions, or intentionally make it difficult for you. However, they will need to test you so expect some difficult questions that with adequate preparations can be answered. Having said that, you cannot be expected to know all the questions. So don’t get discouraged if there are questions that you cannot answer.

Seek Out Someone Who Has Completed Your Dissertation

If you are lucky enough to find an individual who has completed a paper on a topic that’s identical or similar to your one then ask for advice. They will already have defended their paper, and can therefore give you an idea on what type of questions you’ll be asked.

To find such an individual try to meet those in your department, but just a few years ahead of you. Alternatively, you can seek out relevant online forums and social media groups.

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