Possible questions in defending thesis

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Contents:
  1. Advice for the Defense
  2. List Of 20 Common Thesis Defense Questions You Should Be Prepared For
  3. The Last Big Hurdle: How to Prepare for a Successful PhD Defence | Canadian Science Publishing
  4. A checklist of ‘viva’ issues that always come up

Read a bunch of stuff written by your external examiner, and refresh yourself on the work of your committee members. This one is both the easiest and the hardest: find a useful list of common defence questions for your discipline, and prepare answers to them.

Advice for the Defense

And then review those answers a bunch before the defence. I drove my husband a bit crazy with this, as I spent the weeks before my defence constantly monologuing about my research. But it worked! You should also ask your supervisor and other committee members to share with you, to the extent that they can, the areas of your work on which you should focus your preparation.

Doing this works. Those were the answers that most impressed my committee. The one I personally liked the best answered a challenging question from my supervisor about an unusual and often-denigrated approach I take in my research by pointing out, with specific examples, that her widely acclaimed work also sometimes takes the same approach, just without directly acknowledging it. My preparation and knowledge of my committee paid off—I was sure she was going to ask me some version of that question, and I prepared a strong answer that directly referenced her own scholarship.

You feel confident in your ability to defend the choices you made in conducting this research.

List Of 20 Common Thesis Defense Questions You Should Be Prepared For

The defence outfit is crucial, and it must meet three key standards:. I knew that my external examiner had a reputation for being prickly. I knew that my supervisor was a superstar who can theorize me under the table any day. But I decided to frame the defence in my mind as a rare and valuable opportunity to spend a few hours discussing my research with six brilliant people who were going to help me make it better. I was going to be happy and excited to be there and delighted to answer questions that were going to help me think about my project more deeply.

I also — as you should — figured out where the room was, got there early, got everything set up, and was calm, cool, and collected by the time the rest of the committee arrived.

Know your thesis paper lines

The scientific validity of power poses is hotly contested , but they work for me, so I did a bunch. You do you. All my preparation, practical and mental, totally worked. As my committee came into the room and we started talking, the atmosphere became more and more celebratory—a tone I set.

The Last Big Hurdle: How to Prepare for a Successful PhD Defence | Canadian Science Publishing

Between my determination to have a good time and my preparation, I got my brain to interpret all questions as helpful and supportive, even when they were hard and prickly, and answering them was no. Drink the Champagne. Fantastic advice in here! I did a lot of these things too especially the rehearsal — I even practiced my opening talk in front of photographs of my committee , and it really helped.

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What a fantastic idea to practice your opener in front of a mock committee of photographs! I'm going to add that idea to the post and credit you, if you don't mind! This advice is terrific!

A checklist of ‘viva’ issues that always come up

I think most of it applies to a master's defense. Your Fill the Bank section is spot on — it worked for me too.


  • Top ten questions for the PhD oral exam.
  • How to prepare for your thesis defence.
  • Top 40 Potential Viva Questions.
  • How to Prepare for the Oral Defense of Your Thesis/Dissertation;
  • Top 20 Questions Frequently Asked During Thesis Defense.
  • How to prepare for your thesis defence.

Talked at home about my defense so much my spouse could have answered most of the questions that were asked. But it paid off. This is fabulous advice. I especially agree with bringing in a marked up copy of your diss. Often questions are about specific sentences and having an annotated diss with you can help you quickly contextualize that sentence.


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The one thing I don't agree with is 4. I have seen candidates shoot themselves in the foot by assuming that a question comes from a specific position and not actually listening to the question itself. Answer the question being asked, if possible. One thing you don't mention is what to do if you draw a blank. This happens in most defences at one point or another and really often in job interviews. You can also speak back to the question later in the defence if it finally comes through then. Do you have any suggestion on how I can can control this feeling? Asked on 08 Jan, Getting cold feet or being nervous is normal before your defense.

However, preparing well in advance for your defense and going through prcatce sessions can help you feel more confident.

Here are a few things you can do before your thesis defense:. Make sure you know your thesis well and are sure about the evidence you are going to present in order to defend your thesis. Make sure you go through all your material several times before the actual defense so that you know your material thoroughly. Try to anticipate at least 10 questions that your professor can ask and keep the answers to these questions ready.

Go through these a few times before your defense. This will help you feel more confident. On the actual day of the defense, try to be calm and keep a clear mind. Think through before you reply. It is okay to request your teachers to repeat their question and take a few seconds before you respond. If you have prepared well, you should be able to answer.

But, you are not expected to know everything. Keep in mind that you know more about your work than anyone else in that room, that you are the expert, the one with the most knowledge on your thesis subject! You are so close to getting that degree. Good luck! Answered by Editage Insights on 15 Jan, This content belongs to the Post Publication Stage.