If you can find someone to sit through a practice defense, take advantage of that. Your audience may ask some of the questions the committee is liable to ask, which can help you identify the portions of your defense that need to be honed.
At some point before you defend your thesis, you should sit down with your advisor for a strategy session. Use this time to organize and plan your defense. Pay close attention to your advisor's reactions to your thesis and heed any advice they give you - he or she has heard many defenses and knows what committees look for.
Having your thesis defense structured well ahead of time will make you feel more comfortable and focused during your presentation. The thesis defense is your opportunity to take the stage and to demonstrate the growth and progress you have experienced in your years as a graduate student. This is your chance to showcase your research abilities, as well as to finish your degree requirements. Defending your thesis statement can help you obtain helpful feedback and recommendations that you can incorporate into your final draft.
Make sure to get across the fundamentals while defending your thesis. You need to describe the importance of your topic and detail how your research was conducted, including any methods of measurement you have used. The major findings of your thesis should be made clear, as well as how your thesis contributes to the body of knowledge in your field.
Finally, you must state the conclusions and recommendations you have made based on your research. You must expect, in some fashion, to be required to answer the crucial question "So what? Professors will tell you that graduate students tend not to be bold enough, in making claims for what they have discovered or compiled, during the process of working on their thesis. If you don't express confidence about your findings in the thesis, your committee may develop their own doubts about the value of your work.
Be aware of the fact that you probably know your topic far better than most or all of the professors who form your thesis committee. You've likely been researching and contemplating your topic for well over a year, and the material will be fresher and more immediate for you than for them. If you pause to think about this, it should give you extra confidence going into the thesis defense.
At the same time, your thesis committee members will likely know your field in a much broader sense than you. They may well ask you to indicate where in the larger scheme of things, where in your field, your thesis will fit. That's where the big "So What? You've been warned; prepare for it. Additionally, one question you should anticipate from your thesis committee is, "What do you plan to do with the thesis, beyond graduate school?
Do you intend to do further research on your topic once you've gotten a job coming out of grad school? Do you intend to seek grants to help you further develop your project?
Do you intend to collaborate with another scholar before you offer your work to a broader audience? When defending your thesis, you want to prove to your committee and advisor that you are capable of producing more broad-ranging, in-depth pieces of scholarly writing. With this in mind, you should look the part.
You will want to wear professional attire that is comfortable - the last thing you want is to distract your audience from the masterpiece that is your thesis by tugging at clothing while you are presenting your defense or fielding questions.
Nor do you want to disrupt your own ability to concentrate by squeezing into those cute shoes. No matter how nervous you are, be sure to focus and to listen with care to the questions posed to you. Take a moment to pause before you give your answer if you need to - they are not looking for quick responses, but they are looking for solid ones.
You should expect to be asked to address the more controversial aspects of your thesis. Keep in mind that you don't have to defend everything about your thesis. If you don't have an answer to a question, don't fake it or make any promises - reply that the question is interesting and that you will consider it in the future. Defending your thesis requires you to be political to a certain extent. If you are having trouble with managing your fears while defending your thesis, you may find it helpful to use visual aids during your presentation.
Details of a defense vary by college, but there are some general things to keep in mind as you embark on the graduate process.
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. In the natural sciences, theses might cover experiments or hypothetical situations in which a student researches certain elements of his or her field.
Theses projects demand full attention, and many schools require that students devote an entire semester to completing the research and resulting paper. 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. Once students submit their theses papers to the thesis committee, they will be assigned a date to defend their work.
Rather, the thesis defense is designed so that faculty members can ask questions and make sure that students actually understand their field and focus area. Defending a thesis largely serves as a formality because the paper will already have been evaluated. During a defense, a student will be asked questions by members of the thesis committee.
Home / Graduate School FAQs / What is a Thesis Defense? If you’re researching a master’s degree, you’ll likely come across the phrase “thesis defense” among the list of requirements for earning an advanced degree.
Thesis writing is one of the most important and challenging tasks you will encounter as a graduate student, and the thesis defense is the culmination of that process. The thesis defense procedure may vary from college to college but generally you will be expected to announce your thesis defense appointment in your graduate department, and your.
Thesis, Final Defense & Graduation. The Thesis Defense. Again see the graduate school web page for precise deadline dates. You should allow at least two hours for the defense. See someone in the front office for help finding a room. Many defenses are held in the lounge, but that is also an inconvenience for people who want to access coffee. Thesis Defense You must then pass a dissertation defense, which is a final examination on your dissertation and related topics. In the defense, you will be expected to explain your research clearly and concisely, and discuss how it relates to other research in the field.
Master's Thesis Defense. Committee Composition. The Master's thesis committee is appointed by the Dean of the Graduate College on the recommendation of the student's department or program. This committee consists of at least three persons, one of whom must be a tenured full member of the UIC graduate faculty. The Corrected draft copy of your Thesis/Dissertation must be submitted to the Major Advisor, Advisory Committee, Reader(s) and The Graduate School 2 weeks (or more) before final oral exam. Two Weeks Prior to Oral Defense The following must be submitted to The Graduate School at least 2 weeks before the final oral exam.