Six Fundamental Tips For Surviving A Dissertation Defense


The dissertation defense is a process by which a student, after having done and submitted their thesis, must now defend their position as stated in their papers. Many students are often unprepared for this process and it often looms as a major hurdle between their status of a student and a full fledged professional academic. The following are some steps that will help you maintain a strong position when defending your dissertation:

  1. Make sure you do honest work with adequate referencing and accuracy checks.
  2. If your work is undeniable and well written, then you basically have no need to defend it, it will stand on its own. Make sure that while you are conducting your research and collecting evidence, you do so in an honest and scientifically accurate manner. Also equally important is your analysis of the data you collect. It is best if you have one or several of you peers review you paper before submitting it.


  3. Attend the defenses of others.
  4. Experience with the process can shed some light on how your paper may be attacked and thus allow you to prepare for it when your turn comes. Take some time to attend the defenses of others like yourself, it will help better prepare you for whats to come in your own.


  5. Understand the different aspects involved in the process defending a paper.
  6. Take notes while attending the defense of others and be sure to record all the significant points. There is a structure that prosecutors follow and knowledge of this structure and its capabilities can help you devise strategies to improve your chances of success.


  7. Attack your own paper to help discover your weaknesses.
  8. Before submitting, put yourself in the position of a prosecutor and attack you own work. Invite some friends in on the process and see how well you do. This can help you identify any weakness you may have before the actual event.


  9. Take some time to build your case considering all possible attacks that may be launched at you.
  10. It is impossible to arm yourself properly if you do not know what you’re up against and this is true for a dissertation defense.


  11. Proceed with confidence and do not waver from your position.
  12. There is no need to fear, with enough preparation and honest work, every student should be able to successfully defend their papers, despite the opinions and doubts of critics. Be confident, an uncertain defender is an easy target for an experienced panel.

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