Thing To Remember Before You Start Preparing For Your Dissertation Defense

A dissertation defense is the last step towards a desired doctoral degree. It is a critical stage in your academic career upon which you’ll be recognized as an experienced researcher and a true expert in the field. Don’t underestimate the importance of thorough preparation for this final exam of yours because it’ll be impossible to present your thesis effectively and respond to the questions confidently impromptu. You should also know what you should be prepared for at the defense, and this knowledge will help you consider all nuances of the event and establish a plan of actions for the remaining days.

Your Defense Format

Before taking any steps, make sure that you know what format your defense should take. The defense formats vary in different countries and even in different institutions. Sometimes, it is a mere formality, which doesn’t take much time and when you are not embarrassed by tough questions. In some other cases, it is a nerve-wracking experience when you are interrogated endlessly by true experts in the field. Learn the following things:

  • Audience
  • Find out who is supposed to be present at the defense. Normally, all dissertation defenses are public. This is where you will present your work not only to the committee members but also to the other people, including your colleagues, friends, and relatives. However, there may be a closed version of your defense, where you will meet only your examiners face to face.

  • Type
  • There are two common types of the dissertation defense. A specific thesis defense focuses only on your paper and on the research scope you covered. To succeed, you should just know your work and its context. However, your defense may look like a general final exam. If this is the case, the questions of the committee members will relate both to your research project and to the other topics in the field.

  • Presentation
  • Get to know how long your presentation is supposed to be and whether you are required to prepare slides and other visual materials. Learn how you should look like and what formalities you are expected to follow.

Defining the Requirements

Here are the best ways to figure out what defense format you should follow:

  • Attend other defenses in your institution.
  • Attending other dissertation defenses will help you understand main requirements and develop your own successful strategy.

  • Turn to your advisor.
  • Your advisor will not only outline the requirements but also hint as some common questions you should be prepared for.

  • Read the program description.
  • Pay close attention to the regulations for the procedure.

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