How To Defend Your Thesis? Top 10 Tips For Success


I RECENTLY DEFENDED MY DOCTORAL THESIS. IN PREPARING FOR MY OWN THESIS DEFENSE, I
WATCHED MANY PHD DEFENSES ON YOUTUBE, I WATCHED A NUMBER OF INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS ON HOW TO
PREPARE FOR A THESIS DEFENSE, I DID MOCK DEFENSES WITH MY COLLEAGUES AND ADVISORS. NOW THAT I AM DONE WITH THE WHOLE THING, LET
ME PUT TOGETHER MY TOP 10 LIST OF USEFUL TIPS TO HELP YOU PREPARE YOUR OWN THESIS DEFENSE. NUMBER 10: THIS IS A VERY OBVIOUS ONE — READ
YOUR OWN THESIS. MOST LIKELY YOUR DOCTORAL THESIS IS COMPOSED
OF MULTIPLE EMPIRICAL CHAPTERS REPRESENTING A SERIES OF STUDIES THAT YOU HAVE DONE THROUGH
THE YEARS. IT IS ALSO VERY LIKELY, AS A RESULT OF THE
SUBMISSION AND REVIEW PROCESSES, A SPECIFIC EMPIRICAL CHAPTER IS NO LONGER THE MOST UP
TO DATE VERSION OF THAT STUDY. BETWEEN THE TIME OF WHEN THE THESIS WAS SUBMITTED
AND PRINTED TO THE TIME OF THE ACTUAL DEFENSE, A FEW CHAPTERS MAY HAVE GONE THROUGH THE REVISION
PROCESS FOR VARIOUS JOURNALS, SO WE REALLY NEED TO REFRESH OUR MEMORY RIGHT BEFORE THE
DEFENSE WHICH VERSION OF THOSE EMPIRICAL STUDIES ARE ACTUALLY IN THE THESIS. SO, GIVE YOUR THESIS A QUICK READ A COUPLE
OF DAYS BEFORE THE DEFENSE. NUMBER 9: MAKE USE OF REVIEWER AND EDITOR
COMMENTS. THE EMPIRICAL CHAPTERS OF YOUR THESIS HAVE
PROBABLY BEEN SUBMITTED TO ACADEMIC JOURNALS FOR REVIEW AND PUBLICATION. AS PART OF THAT PROCESS, YOU MUST HAVE BEEN
CONFRONTED WITH A LARGE NUMBER OF REVIEWER AND EDITOR COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS. MAKE USE OF THEM. THOSE JOURNAL REVIEWERS ARE USUALLY EXPERTS
ON THE SUBJECT AND THEY READ YOUR MANUSCRIPTS VERY CAREFULLY. SO, THEIR QUESTIONS AND REMARKS ARE USUALLY
VERY GOOD ONES. USE THOSE QUESTIONS IN THE PREPARATION FOR
THE DEFENSE. PRETEND THAT THEIR QUESTIONS ARE THE ONES
WE NEED TO RESPOND TO. I FOUND THIS TO BE HELPFUL. NUMBER 8: RESEARCH YOUR COMMITTEE MEMBERS. THE COMMITTEE MEMBERS WHO WILL FUNCTION AS
OUR OPPONENTS DURING THE DEFENSE ARE LIKELY TO ASK QUESTIONS THAT ARE SOMEHOW RELATED
TO THEIR OWN EXPERTISE. IT IS VERY POSSIBLE THAT THEY WILL LOOK AT
YOUR THESIS FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THEIR OWN TOPICS. SO, LOOK THEM UP, READ A FEW OF THEIR PUBLICATIONS,
LOOK FOR PRESENTATIONS OR SPEECHES THEY GAVE, GET AN IDEA OF WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE THEY ARE,
SO THAT WE WON’T BE SURPRISED. NUMBER 7: KNOW THE RULES AND REGULATIONS AND
NORMS OF YOUR FACULTY. OBVIOUSLY, DIFFERENT UNIVERSITIES AND FACULTIES
WILL ORGANIZE THEIR THESIS DEFENSES DIFFERENTLY. FOR INSTANCE, ARE YOU ALLOWED TO CONTACT THE
COMMITTEE MEMBERS BEFOREHAND AND TALK ABOUT YOUR RESEARCH? CAN THEY GIVE YOU AN INDICATION OF THE TYPE
OF QUESTIONS THAT THEY PLAN TO ASK? HOW ABOUT DRESS CODE? WHAT’S TYPICALLY DONE WITH THE RECEPTION? IS THERE A DEFENSE PROTOCOL? LOOK INTO THESE THINGS, SO THAT WE CAN BE
SURE THAT WE ARE NOT BREAKING ANY RULES WHILE TAKING FULL ADVANTAGE OF WHAT THE RULES AND
REGULATIONS ALLOW FOR. NUMBER 6: DO A FEW MOCK DEFENSES. THIS IS ALSO AN OBVIOUS ONE. TAKE THE TIME TO ORGANIZE A FEW DRESS REHEARSALS
WITH COLLEAGUES AND FELLOW RESEARCHERS, FOLLOWING THE FORMAT OF A REAL DEFENSE AS CLOSELY AS
POSSIBLE. LOOK, WE CHAT WITH COLLEAGUES ABOUT OUR RESEARCH
ALL THE TIME, WE GO TO CONFERENCES AND PRESENT OUR RESEARCH AND ANSWER QUESTIONS FROM THE
AUDIENCE, BUT THEY ARE ALL DIFFERENT FROM THE SETTING AND THE ATMOSPHERE OF AN ACTUAL
DEFENSE. SO, DO A COUPLE OF MOCK DEFENSES, COULD BE
VERY USEFUL. NUMBER 5: BRING THE RIGHT ATTITUDE AND EMOTION. I KNOW THIS SOUNDS VAGUE. THE POINT IS — DON’T FALL INTO THE WRONG
STATE OF MIND DURING THE DEFENSE. WE WANT TO STAY SERIOUS, BUT NOT TOO SERIOUS. WE WANT TO PUSH BACK A LITTLE ON OUR OPPONENT’S
CRITICAL REMARKS BUT WE DO NOT WANT TO GET TOO COMBATIVE OR TOO DEFENSIVE. WE WANT TO STAY PLEASANT AND MAYBE THROW IN
A COUPLE OF HUMOROUS REMARKS HERE AND THERE, BUT WE DO NOT WANT TO MAKE TOO MANY JOKES. SO, REMEMBER TO SMILE, BE PLEASANT, BE HOSPITABLE. PERSONALLY, I THINK THE WORST MISTAKE ONE
CAN MAKE, OR THE BIGGEST AND MOST UNFORTUNATE DOWNFALL DURING A DOCTORAL THESIS DEFENSE,
IS TO SOMEHOW FALL VICTIM OF ANGER OR A SENSE OF DEFEAT OR DESPAIR OR EXHIBITING WRONG EMOTIONS. THAT’S GONNA RUIN IT. SO, BE AWARE OF OUR STATE OF MIND. BE CALM, BE PLEASANT, AND BE IN CONTROL OF
OUR OWN EMOTIONS. NUMBER 4: DON’T BE TOO NERVOUS. BUT HOW? IN MY EXPERIENCE, A FEW THINGS HELP — YOU
WANT TO WEAR SOMETHING IN WHICH YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE; IN WHICH YOU FEEL LIKE YOURSELF. I KNOW SOME PEOPLE WOULD BUY A NEW SUIT TO
WEAR AT THE DEFENSE, BUT BECAUSE IT IS A NEW SUIT, IT FEELS NEW AND DIFFERENT AND JUST
AWKWARD. THAT’S NOT GONNA HELP WITH THE NERVES. SO I WOULDN’T DO THAT. I’D RATHER WEAR SOMETHING THAT I KNOW I’LL
FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH. WHAT I ALSO LIKE TO DO IS TO CHEW SOME GUM
RIGHT BEFORE THE DEFENSE. I KNOW QUITE SOME PEOPLE WHO SAY GUM CHEWING
MAKES THEM LESS NERVOUS BECAUSE THIS MOTION OF CHEWING AND EATING DOES SOMETHING TO THE
BRAIN. SOMETHING ELSE WHICH MIGHT HELP — TAKE A
DEEP BREATH EVERY NOW AND THEN. TAKE A LITTLE BREAK, SLOW THINGS DOWN, DON’T
RUSH. AND FINALLY, YOU CAN ALSO SIMPLY ACKNOWLEDGE
YOUR NERVOUSNESS. TELL THE AUDIENCE AND THE COMMITTEE MEMBERS
THAT YOU FEEL A LITTLE NERVOUS. IN MY EXPERIENCE, AS SOON AS I TELL THE AUDIENCE
THAT I AM A LITTLE NERVOUS, I ALREADY FEEL A BIT BETTER, COZ I FEEL LIKE I AM BEING HONEST
AND TRANSPARENT, AND THAT MAKES ME A BIT LESS NERVOUS. YOU MIGHT HAVE YOUR OWN TRICKS TO DEAL WITH
NERVOUSNESS, SO USE THEM. DON’T BE TOO NERVOUS. NOW, THE LAST A FEW TIPS ARE ABOUT ANSWERING
QUESTIONS. PEOPLE CAN CATEGORIZE POTENTIAL QUESTIONS
INTO A NUMBER OF CATEGORIES — QUESTIONS ABOUT THEORIES, QUESTIONS ABOUT METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES,
QUESTIONS ABOUT DATA ANALYSIS, QUESTIONS ABOUT PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS, QUESTIONS ABOUT THEORETICAL
CONTRIBUTIONS, SO ON AND SO FORTH. NOW IF WE THINK ABOUT IT, WHEN IT COMES TO
DEFENSE, THERE ARE JUST TWO KINDS OF QUESTIONS REALLY — QUESTIONS I KNOW THE ANSWERS TO,
AND QUESTIONS I DON’T. SO, LET’S FIRST TALK ABOUT THOSE QUESTIONS TO WHICH WE HAVE AN
ANSWER. NUMBER 3: LET THEM FINISH AND THEN GIVE A
STRUCTURED ANSWER. YOUR OPPONENT MIGHT TAKE QUITE A BIT OF TIME
TO ASK A QUESTION, THEY MIGHT SAY A LOT IN ORDER TO BUILD UP TO THEIR QUESTION. FINE, LET THEM. IT IS ACTUALLY A GOOD THING THAT THEY ARE
TAKING THEIR TIME. SO, LET THEM TAKE A LOT OF TIME. OBVIOUSLY, DON’T INTERRUPT THEM, DON’T RUSH
THEM, LET THEM TALK, LET THEM FINISH, THANK THEM AND COMPLIMENT THEM FOR THEIR GREAT QUESTION,
THEN GIVE A STRUCTURED AND ORGANIZED ANSWER. SAY SOMETHING LIKE — I’D LIKE TO THANK MY
HIGHLY LEARNED OPPONENT PROF. SO AND SO FOR THIS VERY INTERESTING AND IMPORTANT
QUESTION. WITH RESPECT TO THE ISSUE OF BLABLA, I’D LIKE
TO SAY 3 THINGS IN RESPONSE, FIRSTLY, SECONDLY, AND FINALLY. GIVE YOUR ANSWER IN A STRUCTURED MANNER, THANK
YOUR OPPONENT AGAIN, AND MOVE ON TO THE NEXT. NUMBER 2: WHAT YOU CAN ALSO DO IS TO MAKE
CONNECTIONS AMONG QUESTIONS. AFTER YOU HAVE RESPONDED TO A FEW COMMITTEE
MEMBERS, YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO MAKE CONNECTIONS AND LINKS AMONGST THEIR QUESTIONS. SO, IT IS NICE AS PART OF THE ANSWER TO A
PARTICULAR OPPONENT TO REFER TO AN EARLIER QUESTION FROM ANOTHER OPPONENT. YOU CAN SAY SOMETHING LIKE — THE ISSUE OF
BLABLABLA IS INDEED A TRICKY ONE. EARLIER, PROF. SO AND SO ALSO TOUCHED UPON THIS ISSUE IN
HIS REMARKS. AS SUCH, I CAN IMAGINE A POTENTIAL READER
MAY INDEED BE CONFUSED ABOUT THIS ISSUE, SO, LET ME CLARIFY THIS A BIT FURTHER… OR, LET ME ADD TO WHAT I ALREADY MENTIONED
IN MY EARLIER RESPONSE TO PROF. SO AND SO… BECAUSE THESE COMMITTEE MEMBERS WANT TO SEE
THAT WE ARE ABLE TO REASON AND THINK, SO BY MAKING CONNECTIONS AND LINKS AMONG THEIR QUESTIONS,
WE DEMONSTRATE THAT ABILITY. AND THAT’S SOMETHING NICE. AND NOW, FOR TIP NUMBER 1, LET’S TALK ABOUT
THE QUESTIONS THAT WE HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA HOW TO ANSWER. NO MATTER HOW WELL WE ARE PREPARED, NO MATTER
HOW CAREFULLY AND THOROUGHLY WE HAVE DONE EVERYTHING WE COULD, THERE WILL ALWAYS BE
QUESTIONS THAT WE DID NOT ANTICIPATE, AT ALL, QUESTIONS THAT WE JUST SIMPLY HAVE NO IDEA
HOW TO ANSWER, AT THAT TIME, OFF THE TOP OF OUR HEAD. AND TO BE HONEST, SOMETIMES WE DO NOT KNOW
HOW TO ANSWER A QUESTION BECAUSE WE ARE NOT WELL PREPARED, SOMETIMES IT COULD JUST BE
BECAUSE OUR MIND GOES BLANK, OR BECAUSE WE ARE NERVOUS IN THIS PRETTY INTIMIDATING SITUATION. OR MAYBE BECAUSE IT IS JUST A QUESTION WHICH
IS NOT ANSWERABLE WITHOUT FIRST DIGGING INTO THE LITERATURE AND THINKING ABOUT IT CAREFULLY;
THERE MAY BE MANY REASONS FOR WHY WE MIGHT JUST DRAW A BLANK AND CAN’T ANSWER A QUESTION. SO, WHAT TO DO THEN? SO, THIS IS MY TIP NUMBER 1 AND YOU MIGHT
AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH IT. BUT IN MY EXPERIENCE, IT IS HELPFUL TO HAVE
A ROUTINE PREPARED FOR WHEN OUR MIND GOES BLANK AND WE ARE SIMPLY UNABLE TO ANSWER A
QUESTION. THIS IS NOT TO SAY WE WANT TO FAKE AN ANSWER. THIS IS JUST SO THAT WE HAVE SOMETHING PREPARED,
SOMETHING RESPECTFUL AND INTELLIGENT TO SAY FOR WHEN WE DON’T KNOW AT ALL HOW TO ANSWER
A QUESTION. SOMETHING LIKE — LOOK LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, IN THE SUBMISSION
AND REVIEW PROCESS OF MY PAPERS, I WAS CONFRONTED WITH A LARGE NUMBER OF CRITICAL QUESTIONS
FROM REVIEWERS AND EDITORS, AND YET NONE OF THOSE QUESTIONS TOUCHED ON THE IMPORTANT ISSUE
THAT MY OPPONENT HAS JUST RAISED. THIS REALLY GOES TO SHOW THE LEVEL OF CRITICAL
THINKING AND ATTENTION TO DETAIL FROM MY OPPONENT HERE. BUT SINCE THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I AM CONFRONTED
WITH THIS QUESTION, I AM GENUINELY NOT SURE HOW TO BEST ANSWER THIS OFF THE TOP OF MY
HEAD. COULD WE PERHAPS MOVE ON TO THE NEXT QUESTION
AND REVISIT THIS ISSUE IN JUST A MOMENT? OR, WE COULD SAY — … BUT SINCE THIS IS
THE FIRST TIME I AM CONFRONTED WITH THIS QUESTION, I AM GENUINELY NOT SURE HOW TO BEST ANSWER
THIS OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD. HOWEVER, I COULD THINK OF A FEW ISSUES RELATED
TO THE QUESTION, PERHAPS I COULD MENTION THESE THINGS IN RESPONSE. LOOK, I AM SURE YOU CAN COME UP WITH BETTER
ROUTINES THAN I. THE POINT IS — I BELIEVE IT IS BEST TO PREPARE SOMETHING RESPECTFUL
AND POLITE TO SAY FOR WHEN WE HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA HOW TO ANSWER A QUESTION. IT IS IN MY VIEW BETTER TO GO WITH A PRE-PLANNED
ROUTINE THAN TO HAVE DEAD AIR, BECAUSE THAT’S GONNA CONTRIBUTE TO THIS SENSE OF DEFEAT AND
LOSS OF CONTROL. SO, PREPARE A FEW ROUTINES, JUST IN CASE. IN ADDITION TO THESE 10 THINGS WHICH WE CAN
DO IN ORDER PREPARE FOR THE DEFENSE, THERE ARE ALSO A FEW REFLECTIONS THAT I’D LIKE TO
SHARE WITH YOU ALL. THESE ARE NOT REALLY TIPS PER SE OR ACTIONS
THAT WE CAN TAKE IN ORDER TO PREPARE, BUT THEY ARE THINGS WHICH MIGHT INTERESTING OR
USEFUL TO KNOW. THE FIRST POINT IS THIS — I BELIEVE IF A
QUESTIONER IS BEING PARTICULARLY TOUGH ON YOU, BEING UNREASONABLY TOUGH ON YOU, ASKING
YOU REALLY DIFFICULT QUESTIONS, IMPOSSIBLE QUESTIONS, YOU KNOW WHAT, IT IS NOT PERSONAL! THE REASON THEY ARE DOING THIS IS PROBABLY
NOT BECAUSE THIS PERSON DOESN’T LIKE YOU. IT MAY BE BECAUSE THIS PERSON DOESN’T QUITE
LIKE YOUR SUPERVISOR. MAYBE THIS GUY HOLDS SOME KIND OF A GRUDGE
OVER YOUR SUPERVISOR; MAYBE THERE IS SOME TENSION OR ANIMOSITY BETWEEN THEM, THAT’S
WHY THEY ARE DOING THIS, AND YOU ARE SIMPLY THE VICTIM. SO, JUST KEEP IN MIND THIS POTENTIAL POSSIBILITY. IF AN OPPONENT IS BEING REALLY TOUGH ON YOU,
IT PROBABLY ISN’T REALLY ABOUT YOU. ANOTHER THING IS THIS — AS A COMMITTEE MEMBER,
AS A PROFESSOR WHO IS SERVING ON THE COMMITTEE, THIS PERSON WOULD OF COURSE WANT TO ASK GOOD
AND SMART QUESTIONS THAT ARE IMPORTANT AND INTELLIGENT, THEY WANT TO DO JUSTICE TO THEIR
OWN REPUTATION. AND IT IS NOT EASY — THEY HAVE TO SPEND TIME
READING THROUGH YOUR THESIS AND THEN THINK OF THINGS THAT CAN BE THE BASIS OF A GOOD
QUESTION AND THEN THEY HAVE TO FORMULATE THE QUESTION IN AN ELOQUENT WAY. IT TAKES EFFORT. BUT YOU KNOW WHAT? THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ASKING A QUESTION
THAT’S INTELLIGENT AND IMPORTANT VS. ASKING A VERY DIFFICULT QUESTION THAT THE
CANDIDATE SIMPLY CANNOT ANSWER ON THE SPOT. SO, AS A PHD CANDIDATE, OR AS A STUDENT WHO
IS DEFENDING A THESIS, WHEN YOU ARE CONFRONTED WITH AN INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT QUESTION WHICH
IS IMPOSSIBLE TO ANSWER WITHOUT DIGGING INTO ADDITIONAL LITERATURE AND ENGAGING IN PROPER
REFLECTION, CHANCES ARE, THIS PERSON WHO IS ASKING YOU THIS DIFFICULT QUESTION IS NOT
TRYING TO MAKE IT DIFFICULT FOR YOU, BUT RATHER, THEIR REAL MOTIVE IS THAT THEY ARE JUST TRYING
TO SEEM SMART IN FRONT OF OTHER PROFESSORS AND THE AUDIENCE. SO AGAIN, DON’T TAKE THIS PERSONALLY. GO WITH YOUR ROUTINE, SEE TIP NUMBER 1, AND
JUST CARRY ON. WHAT YOU CAN ALSO DO IS TO POLITELY TOSS THE
QUESTION BACK OVER. BECAUSE IF THE REASON THAT THEY ARE ASKING
THAT QUESTION IS TO SEEM SMART, I’LL BET YA THAT THEY HAVE AN ANSWER AND THEY ARE EAGER
TO TELL IT. SO YOU COULD OF COURSE FIRST MAKE YOUR ATTEMPT
AT ANSWERING THE QUESTION, AND THEN POLITELY ASK YOUR OPPONENT TO SHARE THEIR THOUGHTS
AND PERSPECTIVES ON THAT QUESTION WITH THE AUDIENCE. CHANCE ARE, THEY ARE QUITE EAGER AND HAPPY
TO DO SO. ONE MORE REFLECTION: WHAT DO YOU THINK THE
MOST DIFFICULT KIND OF QUESTIONS ARE DURING A DEFENSE? IN MY VIEW, DEFENSE QUESTIONS COME IN THREE
MAIN FLAVORS — ASKING FOR CONTENT EXPLANATIONS; ASKING FOR REFLECTIONS AND HYPOTHETICALS;
ASKING FOR YOU TO REFUTE AN ARGUMENT. SO, ASKING FOR EXPLANATIONS COULD BE SOMETHING
LIKE THIS — ON PAGE 120, YOU SAID THIS AND THAT, CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT YOU MEAN EXACTLY? CAN YOU EXPLAIN THIS POINT IN MORE DETAIL? CAN YOU ELABORATE A BIT FURTHER? THESE QUESTIONS USUALLY ARE NOT THAT DIFFICULT. YOU HAVE YOUR THESIS IN FRONT OF YOU, YOU
WROTE THE WHOLE THING, YOU CAN EXPLAIN. RIGHT? THEN REFLECTIONS AND HYPOTHETICALS, AN EXAMPLE
COULD BE — WELL, HYPOTHETICALLY SPEAKING, IF YOU WERE TO REDO THE STUDY DESCRIBED IN
CHAPTER 3, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY? THESE TYPES OF QUESTIONS ARE ALSO NOT THAT
DIFFICULT. IT’S REFLECTIVE AND HYPOTHETICAL, SO FEEL
FREE TO SPECULATE. THE MOST DIFFICULT TYPE OF QUESTIONS IN MY
VIEW IS WHEN THE OPPONENTS PRESENT YOU WITH A WELL REASONED ARGUMENT FOR YOU TO REFUTE. THAT CAN BE REALLY DIFFICULT. AN EXAMPLE — ON PAGE 76 YOU SAID THIS, THEN
ON PAGE 98 YOU SAID THAT. THIS CLEARLY SHOWS YOU SUBSCRIBE TO WHICHEVER
THEORY OF PARADIGM. NOW, ACCORDING THIS PUBLICATION BY PROF. SO AND SO IN THIS OR THAT JOURNAL, THEY HAVE
CONCLUDED THAT THE THEORY OR MEASUREMENT YOU USED IS IN FACT INVALID BECAUSE OF THIS AND
THAT REASON. SO, PLEASE EXPLAIN WHAT LED TO YOUR DECISION
TO HAVE CHOSEN TO USE THIS PARTICULAR OUTDATED OR INVALID THEORY OR MEASUREMENT. THIS COULD BE QUITE DIFFICULT. WE COULD TRY TO REFUTE PART OF THEIR PREMISES
OR FIND FLAWS IN THE LOGIC. BUT THE BOTTOM LINE IS — THEY SPENT MUCH
TIME COMING UP WITH THIS QUESTION BUT YOU DON’T HAVE TIME TO REALLY THINK ABOUT THIS
QUESTION ON THE SPOT. SURE, IF THEY GAVE YOU THIS QUESTION A COUPLE
OF DAYS BEFOREHAND, THEN YOU CAN PREPARE AN ANSWER. BUT HEARING THIS QUESTION ON THE SPOT, WITH
NO TIME TO THINK, WITH NO OPPORTUNITY TO DIG INTO LITERATURE, IT IS VERY HARD TO ANSWER
IT WELL. SO, FEEL FREE TO GIVE IT A TRY. IF IT DOESN’T WORK, YOU HAVE YOUR ROUTINES. ALL RIGHT, FINALLY, LET ME END ON A POSITIVE
NOTE. WHETHER YOU ARE DEFENDING YOUR THESIS IN CONTINENTAL
EUROPE, OR THE UK, OR IN NORTH AMERICA, OR AUSTRALIA, WHEREVER, THE STATS ARE CLEARLY
IN YOUR FAVOR. SOME PEOPLE SAY — OH THE BRITISH VIVA SYSTEM
IS REALLY TOUGH; OR COMPARED WITH EUROPE, AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES ARE MUCH MORE LIKELY
TO FAIL YOU ON YOUR DEFENSE. WELL, IT IS TRUE THAT THERE ARE SOME GEOGRAPHICAL
DIFFERENCES. IN SOME COUNTRIES AND UNIVERSITIES, THE PHD
DEFENSE IS REALLY MORE OF A CEREMONY WHEREAS IN OTHERS, IT IS MORE OF AN EXAMINATION. BUT THE FACT IS — FAILING A THESIS DEFENSE
IS REALLY RARE, REGARDLESS WHERE YOU ARE DEFENDING IT. IF YOU GET TO DEFEND YOUR THESIS, YOU WILL
MOST LIKELY PASS. A PHD CANDIDATE FAILING A DEFENSE WILL REFLECT
VERY POORLY ON THE ADVISOR, THE COMMITTEE, THE FACULTY, AND EVEN THE UNIVERSITY. AND ALSO, IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, ONE CAN ONLY
SCHEDULE A DEFENSE ONCE THE THESIS HAS BEEN APPROVED OR AT LEAST PRELIMINARILY APPROVED,
BY THE ADVISORS AND SUPERVISORS AND RELEVANT REVIEWERS. IF YOU ARE NOT READY, YOUR ADVISORS WILL NOT
ALLOW YOU TO SCHEDULE YOUR DEFENSE. SO, IF YOU GET TO DEFEND YOUR THESIS, YOU
WILL MOST LIKELY SUCCEED. THE STATS ARE CLEARLY AND OVERWHELMINGLY IN
YOUR FAVOR! SO, JUST GO FOR IT. THANK YOU FOR WATCHING THIS RANYWAYZ RANDOM
VIDEO, PLEASE LIKE AND SUB, I’LL SEE YOU NEXT TIME.

34 Replies to “How To Defend Your Thesis? Top 10 Tips For Success

  1. Do you guys know how we call a thesis defense in French? "Soutenance de
    thèse", literally translated as "Thesis support". I think it is a nice
    way to see it.

  2. I defend in three days. I haven't done the PowerPoint yet. I am sure panic mode will kick in and save my ass as it always happens. 😬

  3. Thank you very much for your information i denfese my thesis next saturday but i'm tensioned now! help me and pray for me.

  4. Defense in 8 hours. Its 0h11 am here, i will defense at 8h, should have prepared more. Just like dark souls "Prepare to die"

  5. Thank you so much for the tips. It really helps me a lot in calming down my emotion and preparing for my PHD thesis defense.

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