How to Be Prepared for Dissertation Defense and Pass It

It is one thing coming up with a compelling dissertation and another thing having to defend what you’ve written. It is a university requirement that once you complete a dissertation, you need to defend it to prove you are the author.

As a master’s or Ph.D. candidate, you need to prepare adequately before stepping out to defend your research. It is best if you employ a defense strategy during the writing process. The thing is, you can have an award-winning dissertation, but failing to defend it can bring it to nothing. Any wrong answer you provide during this process may raise questions. So, in this piece, we will help you with how to prepare for the D-day.

Preparing for your dissertation defense

Various questions come to mind when having to defend your research. What if it doesn't work? Should I prepare a presentation? And many other questions that can make you tense. But the most important of all is what to expect and how to prepare for it.

Prepare adequately

Take your dissertation defense as a job interview. As such, preparation is crucial and must be done from about two weeks to your session. The preparation process must include reading your work, rehearsing, and improving your communication skills, among others.

Know your format and content

Wrong formatting of your dissertation can get you into trouble during the defense process. Every university has its way of formatting, so be abreast of the system and save yourself from embarrassment. If you are not sure, consult your supervisor for help.

Secondly, you should know the content of your dissertation by heart. Yes, you prepared the research and did the writing yourself. But note that, since it took a long time to complete, some points may escape you. To prevent being an alien to your content, try to review everything before the time. Doing this keeps your memory fresh; hence, very confident when facing the defense committee.

Come up with a presentation

Preparing a presentation is one of the best strategies to employ for your defense. This may mean you should also have excellent communication skills. If you are not aware of your communication skills, you can practice in front of colleagues. Before your appointment, prepare a PowerPoint presentation, which altogether represents your dissertation. Make sure the presentation is exciting and captures the attention of the committee.

Structure your dissertation speech

Like the main dissertation, you should also structure your dissertation defense speech. It should follow a planned structure so that you don’t jump from one chapter to the other. You start with an introduction then end with a conclusion. It is somewhat proven that the speech is similar to the abstract structure to follow that path.

Prepare for the uncertainties

We wish for the best, but certainly, the worst can meet us halfway. Though you have prepared for a set of questions peculiar to your field, be ready for the unexpected questions. Also, the way you answer questions can bring forth several other random questions. So be brief yet be detailed in your answers.