5 dissertation defense advice you definitely will be thankful for
After completing your PhD dissertation in english, you may feel that you have lived breathed and eaten your way through the process, but there is one final stage.
The final stage of finding out if you have been awarded your doctorate is the ritual of attending an examination panel. this panel will be made up of faculty staff as well as other assessors.
This panel will decide whether you are able to defend your paper and its contents to an academic audience. This may sound really scary, but it is part of the formal custom of being awarded your doctorate.
Here are 5 very useful tips that you will be very thankful to know about before your dissertation defense,:
- The session can last between 90 minutes and 2 hours. That is a long time to be sat down and facing scrutiny. During this time you need to remain focused, calm and unflappable.
You need to feel comfortable, so wearing a suit may not be the best option. Wear something comfortable, something that you don't need to adjust or fiddle with. Smart casual is good.
- Confidence. Do not feel over whelmed that you are in the presence of the senior members of the faculty. They should show some empathy as they have been through the same process.
Take a deep breath and remember that you are the expert on your paper. Answer the questions that are put forward with authority. Show that you have ownership over the knowledge in your paper.
- Although most meetings will provide simple refreshments. The problem is that often there is not enough or the refreshments are set out away from the immediate presentation area.
Think ahead and be prepared. Bring water with you. You will be doing a lot of talking and the room may be very warm. Rather than risk a dry mouth bring water.
- As the panel is made up of faculty staff, there will be individuals that will have a clash of personalities or use it as a chance to expound their pet irritations about students.
Do not be fazed by these personalities, even when they try to pose questions that will have nothing to do with your work. If you get stuck throw the question back at them.
- The defense session may finish within an hour. At the end of it you may actually feel that you did not get the chance to cover all of the points that you wanted,
Make a note of the things that you wished you had the opportunity to say as these are the things that you can use when you go for interviews.
Remember that although it is a performance ritual, it does not mean that you are automatically given your doctorate. You must remain calm, composed throughout the process which at the end you will be told you have your doctorate.