Successful PhD Dissertation Defense: Questions and Answers

Are you looking for common questions and answers about PhD dissertation defense? You may want to check out the following for some of those you might be asked during the PhD defense of your paper. Before that, though, make sure to take note of them, but not limit yourself just to these common questions.

phd dissertation defense

Questions and Answers

What is your study about?

Using a few sentences, tell them what your study is about, but you don’t have to be choked for answering it. To answer it correctly, make sure you understand your paper from end to end. The answer to this is like the summary of your paper; thus, it might be helpful to review your abstract.

How significant is the topic?

You should be able to identify and state the importance of the study to answer the question. Thus, you should be able to highlight how your study will aid in future legislation, for instance, as well as implementations. Plus, tell the panel how your study will help future students in tackling the same issue or subject matter. Lastly, mention how the paper can benefit organizations and the whole society.

How can the research topic contribute to currently available research on it?

Be realistic. What do you think are potential contributions of the study to the society or knowledge (e.g. in law, accounting, business)

What were the limitations encountered?

This is another challenging question, as it could go a long way for the panel to start criticizing your paper. They are not looking to sympathize you but to find any loopholes in your study. Avoid selling yourself out or being reckless with words, which may be used against you later. Avoid mentioning limitations in data analysis and methods or else they will think your paper isn’t well researched but it is biased.

The Importance of Your PhD Thesis Defense

At the end of all your hard work, you will be required to defend the research that you have done in front of your peers. For many this is something that they will approach with great trepidation. Few people like to talk in public, and defending your own research in front of real experts in your own field that will want to pick holes in what you have done can be a real challenge.

This is why you really do need to spend a lot of time and effort in ensuring that your PhD defense is up to scratch and that you are fully prepared for what may be asked of you. Each institution and even country will approach a PhD defense differently. Yours could be just defending to a board of two professors through to a wider public audience with several professors asking questions of you. Whatever it is that is expected of you, however, you will need to prepare accordingly.

phd dissertation help defense

How to Prepare for Your Defense of Dissertation

After you have submitted your dissertation there really is no time for you to relax. While you cannot do any more to your paper it is now time to very much concentrate on how you are going to defend it. A poorly defended dissertation could result in you being tasked with a huge number of revisions and even additional research. A successful PhD thesis defense, however, should result in only minor changes, it is very rare that a panel will allow you to escape this ordeal with nothing to do.

The following tips will provide you with a good framework to help you with preparing both your presentation and yourself for your PhD proposal defense:

  • Be sure that you know precisely what the format of your defense will be. Every institution differs in some way with regards to the length of your PhD defense presentation, the makeup of your audience, through to how long they will ask questions for. Make sure that you understand exactly what you are walking into.
  • Don’t leave things to the last minute before you begin your preparations. It can be very easy to fall into the party trap as soon as you have submitted your dissertation, however, you should wait until after your defense PhD thesis before you begin your celebrations.
  • Read and reread your dissertation several times. Re-familiarize yourself with everything that you have done. Also go back to some of your main sources and reread those also.
  • Prepare your PhD defense papers:
    • Don’t produce too many or too few slides for your presentation: 100 slides for a 10-minute talk is going to be far too many and 10 will not be enough for 20 minutes.
    • Cover the main points of your research: clearly show why you have done it, why it is important, what impact it will have as well as the usual what you actually did and found.
    • Don’t neglect details on your slides: label axes and try to use the same format throughout.
    • Tell a story: you want your presentation to actually flow so take the time to work on your transitions between slides.
    • Don’t just read the slide: a slide should be a prompt for what you have to say not just a teleprompter for you to read from.
  • Practice. Then practice again. Give your presentation for PhD defense several times to your friends so that you are totally comfortable with what you are doing.
  • Try out the room. walking into a presentation and finding that the projector will not talk to your laptop or some another disaster is avoidable.

While you are never going to be able to prepare for every question for PhD defense you should be able to answer anything around the core area of your research. If asked something that you really do not know the answer to simply say that you don’t know or explain how you would go about trying to find an answer. Just because someone asks you a difficult question, it does not mean that they have an answer to it either.

dissertation defense phd

Our Dissertation Advice Services

One of the mistakes that most graduate students commit when writing is not having any plan at all. This causes them to spend time on doing pointless tasks when they could have focused all their energy in tackling their research, analyzing the information they have gained and translating data into a well written paper. Although many rely on online help, having a clear idea on how or where to begin is an advantage. The good news is that our PhD comics thesis defense writing service can do more than just write dissertations but we can also help coach you into getting your dissertation done in time. From formatting to reviewing and editing we are your one stop shop for all your needs.

We Can Help

It’s not surprising to find graduate students having a hard time getting started on their PhD oral defense especially when they lack a plan of attack. The idea of having to go through this final hurdle often put pressure on students that they can’t seem to focus on their work. This is not a good sign especially if you want to achieve your MBA or PhD. We are ready to help you with all the writing issues!