Strategies for successfully defending your dissertation

Strategies for successfully defending your dissertation
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Even after a decade, I still vividly remember my dissertation defence as if it happened yesterday. I had almost a three-month gap between finishing and presenting my dissertation, which gave me ample time to reflect and fret. Drawing from my own experience, I’ve put together a list of useful tips that can benefit you.


  • Take a break from your dissertation for a specific duration, like a week or two, and distance yourself from it. Maximize this opportunity to spend quality time with your family and friends while unwinding through activities such as going on a vacation, attending an event, or engaging in relaxing activities. After the break, revisit your dissertation with a fresh perspective and identify its strengths and weaknesses objectively.
  • Ask someone else to review your dissertation and point out the weaknesses and areas of improvement. Additionally, request them to ask some basic questions you may encounter during your defence. You may prepare notes or scripts to answer such questions, which will help you feel more confident during your defence.
  • Consider the potential future research projects that can build on the findings of your dissertation. Even though you may feel exhausted and not interested in considering any more research, it’s essential to identify what future studies can follow.
  • Observing other dissertation defenses could provide you with a clearer idea of what to anticipate during your own defense. Discuss with your supervisor about the defence process, questions that may arise, and other information that can help you prepare.
  • Remember, your professors have invested much of their time and energy in your research, and the defence is a time to celebrate your accomplishments. Have faith in your abilities and feel a sense of satisfaction in what you have achieved!


  • Avoid letting your fears and anxieties overpower you during the dissertation defence. Rather than focusing on them, concentrate on your preparation and actively work towards your oral examination.
  • Refrain from assuming you know everything that will be asked during the defence. Be prepared to say “I don’t know” to some questions, even after extensive research and writing. Also, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification if you need it.
  • Consider asking someone you trust, such as another student, a professor, or a spouse, to conduct a practice defence. Request that they practice not only the questions you’ve prepared for, but also some unexpected ones.
  • Try to avoid becoming defensive during the defence. Professors may ask challenging questions or critique aspects of your research or writing. Make sure to distinguish yourself from your work and be open to receiving constructive criticism.
  • Feel free to show emotion during the defence.Although it’s important to show your enthusiasm for your research, you should also be capable of having a scholarly discussion about the subject.
  • Consider inviting your loved ones and colleagues to attend your dissertation defense. They may be amazed by your expertise and capacity to discuss intricate subjects. They can also provide honest feedback and support.

Author Bio: Mark Edmonds is a professional academic writer with years of experience providing students with high-quality assignment writing services. He has extensive dissertation writing knowledge and specializes in providing dissertation help to students. Mark works at Academic Assignments, a renowned assignment writing service provider that has helped thousands of students to achieve their academic goals. With his expertise in academic writing, Mark has helped many students successfully defend their dissertations and attain academic success.