Elite Research announces 10 helpful pointers for defending your dissertation. Elite Research is a global provider of research design and statistical consulting. They support academic, corporate, medical/health, and non-profit researchers in designing, collecting, analysing, and reporting accurate results.
Defending your dissertation can be a nerve-racking and stressful endeavour. Here are 10 helpful pointers to prepare you for the big day:
1. Plan ahead. Having a well thought out plan is mentally reassuring. Set aside a reasonable amount of time to complete your preparation (allow extra time for error or waiting on assistance).
2. Use your resources. Make time to visit your classmates, colleagues, and committee members. These are the best people to ask for advice. Ask other students about the committee questions. Look for logged questions and responses to get an idea of what to expect. Visiting committee members will show them how serious you are.
3. Reassess your plan. It is okay to go back to the drawing board. Adjust your plan as you gain more information and knowledge in the process. The ultimate goal is to create a defense strategy within your comfort zone.
4. Be prepared. Visual aids and materials are sometimes necessary and welcomed in your defense. A lack of tools and appearing unprepared can exhibit a lack of credibility. Create a list of things your need to remember on the day of your defense.
5. Practice practice practice. Feeling comfortable in the spotlight is important to defending your dissertation. Ask your peers to hold mock orals for you. Take practices seriously and use it to mentally prepare yourself for the “on the spot” pressure.
6. Engage the question. Don’t try to create a diversion. Your committee members are experts and they know what they are asking. Answer the question to the best of your ability and move on.
7. You don’t know everything. If a question goes beyond your scope of study, point it out. They don’t expect you to know everything.
8. Just stop talking. If you don’t know the answer, try giving a reasonable response and the stop talking. Rambling about things might make it more obvious that you are unsure.
9. Your committee wants you to succeed. Your committee has overseen your project and they know that it is ready for defense. They will challenge you but unanswerable questions are unlikely.
10. Sleep. Try to rest up the night before. It will help to calm your nerves the next day and keep you more alert.
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