Defending Your Dissertation: What You Should Avoid


Preparing for your dissertation defense is a lengthy exercise which requires you to allocate enough time for developing and analyzing your dissertation in order to defend it with full confidence and based on facts. So you have to allocate at least a week to prepare for the defense and undertake a SWOT analysis on the dissertation. You must ensure that you critically examine the work and idea presented in your dissertation from a fresh perspective by donning your reading glass. Therefore a subsequent edit to remove the loop holes in the dissertation must be conducted. Testing of the logic of the dissertation work must be done well in advance to ensure its practical applicability. Predicting the possible questions and concerns your examiner may raise is crucial for a strong defense. Also attending some of the defense interviews will prove useful for you.

The things you must avoid are listed below:

  • Don’t let any fear creep in your mind as it will block your creative flow of ideas and also hinder your thought process and reasoning ability. Work towards giving an excellent oral examination for your dissertation defense without panicking with fear.
  • Do not assume anything by your own and especially on the questions that the interviewer poses on to you in the presentation of your dissertation defense. Be ancient and careful to understand what information the examiner expects from you by carefully studying his question or concerns. Do not be in a hurry to finish the process and give an open ear to all the concerns raised in the process.
  • If you do not know the answer of any question plainly reveal the same to the examiner without providing or assuming a wrong answer for the question. And when you need some clarification on the question politely request for the same.
  • Do not be defensive in tackling difficult questions, even when the examiner is critiquing the work done by you. But rather debate it on a scholarly level and take the criticisms positively. You must not be afraid to show your emotion towards your work.
  • Be free to invite your friends and family to attend your dissertation defense as it will give you the required moral support from having them beside you during the process. And when you are done with the defense take their honest feedback on your performance. This will be useful for your future endeavors. Also making them part of this important event will boost your self-confidence.

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