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Defending Your Dissertation

What is a thesis defense?

❶Some universities also demand a combination of several of these forms. Details of a defense vary by college, but there are some general things to keep in mind as you embark on the graduate process.

Thesis defense rehearsal

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What is a thesis?

If your example is a piece of a larger system, how realistic are your assumptions about input and output? The same kind of defense applies here as in the previous case, but now serious comparisons with previous systems are required. Can your result do the same examples the previous results did, or can you make them do yours? Can you prove they couldn't do your examples? If you claim to be more efficient, what are you measuring? This is usually defended by a logical argument. It is usually very tough to do, even if the argument doesn't have to be formalized.

Many students make the mistake of picking this kind of thesis to defend. It requires serious experimental evidence to defend, unless your real thesis is of the previous form, i.

Selected excerpts from protocols and surveys of your officemates are not psychological evidence, no matter how much they might have inspired your work. This is a reasonable thesis if process X is a serious contender. The defense would be an analysis of the limits of process X, i. Defending a real thesis is hard. If you think you have a lot of theses, you probably just have a bunch of undefended claims. One good thesis, or two so-so theses, with adequate description and defense, is more than enough to fill up a dissertation.

If you're bright, educated, and have worked hard on a topic for more than a year, you must have learned something no one else knew before. The first mistake that students make is to think that a thesis has to be grander than the theory of relativity. A thesis should be new and interesting, but it doesn't have to change the foundations of all we believe and hold dear. Don't try to come up with a thesis first, and then investigate it. Start by exploring some task domain.

Take some initial ideas and push them hard for a year or so. Now, stop and think about what you've done and what you've learned. Among your accomplishments and experience, there will be several good candidate theses. Test it out on your advisor and other faculty members. Test it out on other students.

Is it a claim that you can describe clearly and briefly? Is it a claim that anyone cares about? Attend the defenses of some of your departmental colleagues or attend defenses in other departments. It is very important to adhere to graduate school rules and deadlines covering the scheduling of a defense.

Begin very early to schedule and coordinate the date, time and place for the defense. Committee members and chairs have very busy schedules. Have your manuscript reviewed before the defense to be sure it is consistent with formatting requirements.

You want to present a polished document for the faculty to work with in preparation for the defense. Maximize your opportunity in the pre-defense meeting to raise any issues or concerns. Or ask your chairs what questions and issues might be raised during the defense. Prepare to address them. Organize you material for presentation. Create flawless presentation of the material you will be covering on the defense.

Finally, practice presenting the material and answering questions. Meetings may begin with brief comments by the chair followed by your comments thanking advisors and committee members for their time and efforts on your behalf. Your presentation material should briefly cover the research question, literature review as it relates to your theory, methods and analysis, major findings and recommendations for future research.

During the defense, the faculty may take turns asking you questions and discussing among themselves points of interest or disagreement. Two questions to anticipate include identifying the weaknesses of your study and post-dissertation research plans.

When all questions have been asked and answered, you will be asked to leave the room while the committee deliberates. At this time faculty will be deciding by vote whether to pass you on your defense and dissertation. The desired outcome of this meeting is the chair's greeting you with the statement "Congratulations, Dr.

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The dissertation defense is a significant milestone signaling closure on your graduate student career. The dissertation defense can be divided into three distinct components (Foss and Waters): the preparation, the defense, and follow-up.

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Thesis: process X is a feasible way to do task Y. One defense for this kind of claim is an analysis of the complexity, or completeness, or whatever, of the theoretical algorithm. In computer science, the more common defense is based on .

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Do you know what to wear to a dissertation defense meeting? Are you prepared to defend a thesis paper? Read our dissertation defense tips below! 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. What is a Thesis Defense? 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.

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Oct 28,  · A dissertation defense in the humanities and social sciences looks and feels different from its scientific counterparts. It resembles an examination in which the candidate is questioned closely about work that the faculty committee has read in Author: Leonard Cassuto. A thesis or dissertation is a document submitted in support of candidature for an academic degree or professional qualification presenting the author's research and findings.