Writing a PhD dissertation and defending it are two different things. The dissertation defense is something more challenging and requires more knowledge to pass it. Being a PhD student, you have already gone through the defense in your masters. But that defense is nothing as compared to PhD defense. A lot of scholars are present in the room and judge you from every aspect. It might be the scarier part, but trust me it would be one of your best days if you did well.
Most people are afraid to do a PhD because it requires a great amount of hard work. Spending sleepless nights, working late at night is something that a normal person can’t do it. So thinking about defense from a PhD perspective, let’s see what it is.
What is dissertation defense?
The dissertation defense is the day where you present your work of PhD that primarily includes, your study, methodology, results, problems in conducting studies, and what plans are. All these key points are discussed in front of committee members.
These members are scholars and professor that will judge your thesis. They pinpoint every aspect of the defense presentation so it is better to go for defense with full preparation. For instance, they can ask for recent publications in your thesis, they can demand a separate copy of your dissertation before the defense, and much more. You need to full fill the criteria of their demands and requirements.
Defense usually takes place two hours and sometimes longer than that, depending upon university policies.
The basic role of committee member
Committee members are there to judge. Of course, they play important role in passing in your defense. When you hand out your dissertation before defense then it is their responsibility to read and give feedback on it. The professors are a busy person so most of them don’t bother to read your whole thesis. They read the portion they are interested in. They will tell you about where you have to fill in the gap and gives you a date and time for a defense. Do they even analyze if you are ready for the defense or not?
Another role of a committee member is asking questions from you. Their main objective is to see how much knowledge you have about the topic. The discussion may last up to 2 hours until they are not satisfied.
Suggestions for defense
To prepare your defense, it is better to hear some suggestions for the senior. They will give you valuable feedback about their experiences. For PhD defense, it is recommended to dress formally and refreshments are also provided because it may take longer. Some other hints are to work specifically yourself on a single area because giving answers to those questions will be easier. Your dissertation summary should be one page in easy wording understandable to every professor.
Moreover, do check your thesis before submitting it. Correct any spelling mistakes if you have. Make sure your editing is proper. Capitalize each word. Make sure to mention the list, tables, and figure inappropriate way.