How to Prepare for a Dissertation Defense

How to Prepare for a Dissertation Defense
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Students often spend years preparing their dissertations. When a dissertation is ready, the only thing you need to get a doctorate degree is to go through the defense process. This process is different in each university so we recommend that you prepare for your defense so that you can know what to expect. We hope that these tips from College Writers will help you.


You should approach the defense prepared, which requires you to practice a lot. Review your slides, practice your speech, etc. The main idea of practicing is to not only sharpen your skills but also to help you overcome anxiety. Most students feel anxious when defending their dissertation. For example, they may tend to speak too fast or forget about the logical order of their ideas. Practice will help you overcome such difficulties. We also recommend that you attend other students’ defenses to better understand how this process works.

Learn More About Your Committee

You’ll be able to prepare better if you learn more about your audience. We recommend that you consider their previous feedback and look for common questions and themes. Remember how you addressed this feedback before and prepare to encounter the same questions this time. Consider the preferences of particular members of the committee and try to determine which ones can be the toughest obstacles. Plan your arguments to persuade these members.

Prepare for Surprises

All universities have different rules and procedures when it comes to dissertation defenses. Therefore, you should understand that your defense is unique. You may expect certain questions but you should also prepare for something unexpected, as well. Preparing for the unexpected means being confident under any circumstances. You’ve put a lot of effort into preparing your dissertation so you should feel confident about it. Let your friends or relatives ask you any tough questions and answer them. Stay focused on your subject and don’t get distracted by tricky questions.

Act Professionally

No one knows your dissertation better than you. Don’t forget about during the defense. However, you’ll be speaking to a professional audience of people who might know more about your topic. Thus, you should make sure that your delivery is professional and understandable. Don’t use too specific terms and don’t focus on how you’ve prepared and worked. Nobody needs to know that you’ve been working at night seven days a week. Your only goal is to present a complete piece.

Get Enough Sleep

You won’t be able to perform well if you don’t get enough sleep and don’t care about your health. Your brain needs to get rest because otherwise you will feel exhausted and stressed out. Getting enough sleep will also help you stay more focused.

Don’t Worry, You’re an Expert

You’ve prepared the whole dissertation so you know a lot about the topic. Even if you cannot answer some questions, don’t make a problem out of it. For example, you can always say that you plan to research some difficult issue in the future. Besides, make sure to clearly indicate the area of your study.


If you have to go through several revisions, it’s just a regular process, in fact, revisions help you make your dissertation better. Don’t get frustrated because of the revisions. Instead, just embrace them and use them to your advantage.

Picture Achieving Your Goal

Picture your emotions when the defense is over and you have your degree. It will help you stay motivated and avoid getting stressed out. However, don’t use this exercise as a distraction. Don’t focus on the celebration too much but motivate yourself and stay confident, no matter what.

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