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Details of a defense vary by college, but there are some general things to keep in mind as you embark on the graduate process.In most schools, the thesis represents a student's collective understanding of his or her program and major.Facing a defense can be stressful, but think of it as an opportunity to share what you've learned.
Students who major in English, for example, typically explore language, literary themes, a specific author's work or a similar topic when writing a thesis paper.
Universities often require theses to consist of a prospectus, which outlines the intent of the paper, and a full-length paper treatment of a particular topic.
Instead, a proper thesis defense gives you and your faculty advisers the chance to discuss your topic and research in greater detail.
One thing’s for sure; I’ve got respect for the process. Your supervisor has found your thesis worthy to be defended. There will be a few really tough questions, and it can therefore be good to know of a few “life savers”.
Students work with a faculty committee or adviser on a close basis to make sure that the research stays on schedule.
Depending on the level of degree, a thesis paper can be extremely complex.
A defense might take only 20 minutes, or it might take an hour or more depending on the goal of the committee and the requirements of the program. Schools want graduate candidates to be as prepared as possible when attending a defense, which means that neither the date nor faculty committee will be a surprise to the student.
It's important to keep in mind that if you go into a defense with the right attitude and preparation, failing is nearly impossible.
A Ph D defense is – and should be – a serious ceremony. These tips and tricks on how to defend your Ph D dissertation are not just my own; many thanks to all the professors at NTNU who shared their advice with me. The most usual one, which you can pull a few times and that will quickly end any difficult question is this one: “An excellent point, I would like to look into that in the future” or “Unfortunately, I did not have the time and resources to investigate that, I’ll leave it to future studies”.
A difficult thing during a Ph D defense is to reach your audience. In any case, the most important advice is this one: . Be confident about your choices and results, but agree that it could have be done better or differently. Here’s a few standard openings that might come in useful: “A good point, I’m aware of that debate…”; “Yes, on one hand (…) but on the other hand…”; “I see your point, but I respectfully disagree, because…”; “I’m not an expert in that area, but here’s how I view that…”; “I understand that question as follows… No one knows what you have seen and heard, hence you own the truth and can speak freely and in pictures.