Dissertation Defense Advice
As the last stage of a dissertation project, the dissertation defensemay create the most anxiety. The nail-biting moment when the dissertation defense committee gets their hands on this major paper you have prepared can mean the difference between passing and failing school. Plus, the dissertation paper requires so much effort that it can be certainly disappointing if it is not met with approval or appreciation. Just when you think you’re in the homestretch, if that all important dissertation paper is not accepted, well then it can be disastrous for a college student’s career.
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The dissertation defense is comprised of a committee of members who critique, review and either accept or deny a paper. The student is given a chance to defend their work and to justify their research and determinations based on the findings throughout the process of writing the dissertation. You must bypass the dissertation defense committee in order to earn a diploma. Imagine the bad luck if one of the members disagrees with the rest! The dissertation defense candidates are often like jurors who are listening to a trial and awaiting the chance to give a verdict of guilty or not-guilty. And for the student, the pressure is on!
Don’t fear the dissertation defense preparation
The dissertation defense committee may ask a lot of tough questions, so the best advice is to get prepared, do a dissertation proofreading and practice ahead of time. You may feel like you are being grilled by a tough parole board. The whole dissertation defense process is something many students fear, and for good reason. Fear not! Here are some of the typical questions you may be asked by the dissertation defense board members, so have your answers in mind before the big day.
- What is your dissertation paper about?
- What are your personal stance and/or hypothesis?
- What research has been done before you regarding this topic?
- How is your dissertation a contribution to the overall knowledge of society?
- What is the reason you chose this topic?
- What is your intent?
- Where did you obtain your research and/or why is it significant?
- Did you validate your problem and/or provide a solution?
- Did you find any limitations or weaknesses in your hypothesis?
- Does your dissertation paper make an impact?
- Will this dissertation be relevant to your career plans?
- Is your dissertation properly formatted with the proper framework and elements or is missing anything important?
Dissertation defense tips survival
Despite overcoming your biggest fears, the key to dissertation defense tips survival is to remain cool and to prepare. You can attend sessions of other students or attend defense of dissertations from other departments. Attending a pre-defense meeting is also a good idea.
Here are some other dissertation defense tips to keep in mind:
- Coordinate the date sometime after your dissertation is due so you have time in between writing the dissertation and the meeting with the dissertation defense committee.
- Get your dissertation manuscript evaluated by a mentor or dissertation advisor. Call on the experts at DissertationLab.org if you need help in this area.
- Ask questions in the pre-defense meeting so that you can be most prepared for your final dissertation evaluation.
- Keep everything as organized as possible so that you can answer questions. Read and re-read your dissertation final draft a few times so you can memorize it.
- Dress nice and remain cool, poised and confident.
- Always answer questions to the best of your knowledge and provide as thorough answers as possible when asked by the dissertation defense faculty.
- Prepare several drafts of your dissertation in a spiral or perfectly bound format so that it looks nice upon presentation. Make a few extra copies to give special people in your life or educators who have influenced you and helped you through the dissertation writing process.
Follow these guidelines to make the “DD Day” (dissertation defense day) go as smoothly as possible and good luck!