How to Defend Your PhD Thesis?

Posted by on Dec 20, 2018 in PhD Thesis | 0 comments

Having submitted your thesis, you will be called for your viva to defend your thesis. Thesis defence seems a daunting task as your doctorate title depends upon how perspicaciously you argue down your doctoral committee.


Every university has specific rules and regulations for viva voce. Some allow for a public event where a researcher gives a lecture explaining his research to the audience present as well as a panel of examiners. However, some universities allow only a panel of examiners, one (or few) from another university, to conduct thesis defence.


How to prepare for viva voce

Though you have created an impeccable thesis, you cannot underestimate the preparation of your thesis defence. You should know your thesis thoroughly to make sure that you know everything about your research topic. Make a summary of each chapter, and prepare points that will give a big picture of your research. You should have enough knowledge about the background of your research. Try to frame a list of questions that you expect your committee to ask. Make sure that you have stayed abreast of relevant literature.


What you need to do during the viva

During a thesis defence, you have to discuss both strengths and weaknesses of your research. It is not unusual that examiners criticise your research owing to these research limitations. Do not become overwrought and take it as an indication of an adverse outcome. Instead, you should robustly justify each of their arguments like the sole expert owner of your research. Ask for clarification if you do not understand a question or an ambiguous term used, but answer in the most apt  manner as possible to portray sheer confidence on your research work. Feel free to take your time to think before answering the questions. Discuss your research in the context of work by previous scholars or researched reviewed.


What to do after your viva voce?

Once your viva is done, your examiners will recommend your university to grant your degree. However, you may also be asked to do more substantial work to be eligible for the title. Work upon the comments given by the panel and incorporate the necessary points noted.

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