Reference management. Clean and simple.

How to prepare an excellent thesis defense

Thesis defence

What is a thesis defense?

How long is a thesis defense, what happens at a thesis defense, your presentation, questions from the committee, 6 tips to help you prepare for your thesis defense, 1. anticipate questions and prepare for them, 2. dress for success, 3. ask for help, as needed, 4. have a backup plan, 5. prepare for the possibility that you might not know an answer, 6. de-stress before, during, and after, frequently asked questions about preparing an excellent thesis defense, related articles.

If you're about to complete, or have ever completed a graduate degree, you have most likely come across the term "thesis defense." In many countries, to finish a graduate degree, you have to write a thesis .

A thesis is a large paper, or multi-chapter work, based on a topic relating to your field of study.

Once you hand in your thesis, you will be assigned a date to defend your work. Your thesis defense meeting usually consists of you and a committee of two or more professors working in your program. It may also include other people, like professionals from other colleges or those who are working in your field.

During your thesis defense, you will be asked questions about your work. The main purpose of your thesis defense is for the committee to make sure that you actually understand your field and focus area.

The questions are usually open-ended and require the student to think critically about their work. By the time of your thesis defense, your paper has already been evaluated. The questions asked are not designed so that you actually have to aggressively "defend" your work; often, your thesis defense is more of a formality required so that you can get your degree.

  • Check with your department about requirements and timing.
  • Re-read your thesis.
  • Anticipate questions and prepare for them.
  • Create a back-up plan to deal with technology hiccups.
  • Plan de-stressing activities both before, and after, your defense.

How long your oral thesis defense is depends largely on the institution and requirements of your degree. It is best to consult your department or institution about this. In general, a thesis defense may take only 20 minutes, but it may also take two hours or more. The length also depends on how much time is allocated to the presentation and questioning part.

Tip: Check with your department or institution as soon as possible to determine the approved length for a thesis defense.

First of all, be aware that a thesis defense varies from country to country. This is just a general overview, but a thesis defense can take many different formats. Some are closed, others are public defenses. Some take place with two committee members, some with more examiners.

The same goes for the length of your thesis defense, as mentioned above. The most important first step for you is to clarify with your department what the structure of your thesis defense will look like. In general, your thesis defense will include:

  • your presentation of around 20-30 minutes
  • questions from the committee
  • questions from the audience (if the defense is public and the department allows it)

You might have to give a presentation, often with Powerpoint, Google slides, or Keynote slides. Make sure to prepare an appropriate amount of slides. A general rule is to use about 10 slides for a 20-minute presentation.

But that also depends on your specific topic and the way you present. The good news is that there will be plenty of time ahead of your thesis defense to prepare your slides and practice your presentation alone and in front of friends or family.

Tip: Practice delivering your thesis presentation in front of family, friends, or colleagues.

You can prepare your slides by using information from your thesis' first chapter (the overview of your thesis) as a framework or outline. Substantive information in your thesis should correspond with your slides.

Make sure your slides are of good quality— both in terms of the integrity of the information and the appearance. If you need more help with how to prepare your presentation slides, both the ASQ Higher Education Brief and James Hayton have good guidelines on the topic.

The committee will ask questions about your work after you finish your presentation. The questions will most likely be about the core content of your thesis, such as what you learned from the study you conducted. They may also ask you to summarize certain findings and to discuss how your work will contribute to the existing body of knowledge.

Tip: Read your entire thesis in preparation of the questions, so you have a refreshed perspective on your work.

While you are preparing, you can create a list of possible questions and try to answer them. You can foresee many of the questions you will get by simply spending some time rereading your thesis.

Here are a few tips on how to prepare for your thesis defense:

You can absolutely prepare for most of the questions you will be asked. Read through your thesis and while you're reading it, create a list of possible questions. In addition, since you will know who will be on the committee, look at the academic expertise of the committee members. In what areas would they most likely be focused?

If possible, sit at other thesis defenses with these committee members to get a feel for how they ask and what they ask. As a graduate student, you should generally be adept at anticipating test questions, so use this advantage to gather as much information as possible before your thesis defense meeting.

Your thesis defense is a formal event, often the entire department or university is invited to participate. It signals a critical rite of passage for graduate students and faculty who have supported them throughout a long and challenging process.

While most universities don't have specific rules on how to dress for that event, do regard it with dignity and respect. This one might be a no-brainer, but know that you should dress as if you were on a job interview or delivering a paper at a conference.

It might help you deal with your stress before your thesis defense to entrust someone with the smaller but important responsibilities of your defense well ahead of schedule. This trusted person could be responsible for:

  • preparing the room of the day of defense
  • setting up equipment for the presentation
  • preparing and distributing handouts

Technology is unpredictable. Life is too. There are no guarantees that your Powerpoint presentation will work at all or look the way it is supposed to on the big screen. We've all been there. Make sure to have a plan B for these situations. Handouts can help when technology fails, and an additional clean shirt can save the day if you have a spill.

One of the scariest aspects of the defense is the possibility of being asked a question you can't answer. While you can prepare for some questions, you can never know exactly what the committee will ask.

There will always be gaps in your knowledge. But your thesis defense is not about being perfect and knowing everything, it's about how you deal with challenging situations. You are not expected to know everything.

James Hayton writes on his blog that examiners will sometimes even ask questions they don't know the answer to, out of curiosity, or because they want to see how you think. While it is ok sometimes to just say "I don't know", he advises to try something like "I don't know, but I would think [...] because of x and y, but you would need to do [...] in order to find out.” This shows that you have the ability to think as an academic.

You will be nervous. But your examiners will expect you to be nervous. Being well prepared can help minimize your stress, but do know that your examiners have seen this many times before and are willing to help, by repeating questions, for example. Dora Farkas at notes that it’s a myth that thesis committees are out to get you.

Two common symptoms of being nervous are talking really fast and nervous laughs. Try to slow yourself down and take a deep breath. Remember what feels like hours to you are just a few seconds in real life.

  • Try meditational breathing right before your defense.
  • Get plenty of exercise and sleep in the weeks prior to your defense.
  • Have your clothes or other items you need ready to go the night before.
  • During your defense, allow yourself to process each question before answering.
  • Go to dinner with friends and family, or to a fun activity like mini-golf, after your defense.

Allow yourself to process each question, respond to it, and stop talking once you have responded. While a smile can often help dissolve a difficult situation, remember that nervous laughs can be irritating for your audience.

We all make mistakes and your thesis defense will not be perfect. However, careful preparation, mindfulness, and confidence can help you feel less stressful both before, and during, your defense.

Finally, consider planning something fun that you can look forward to after your defense.

It is completely normal to be nervous. Being well prepared can help minimize your stress, but do know that your examiners have seen this many times before and are willing to help, by repeating questions for example if needed. Slow yourself down, and take a deep breath.

Your thesis defense is not about being perfect and knowing everything, it's about how you deal with challenging situations. James Hayton writes on his blog that it is ok sometimes to just say "I don't know", but he advises to try something like "I don't know, but I would think [...] because of x and y, you would need to do [...] in order to find out".

Your Powerpoint presentation can get stuck or not look the way it is supposed to do on the big screen. It can happen and your supervisors know it. In general, handouts can always save the day when technology fails.

  • Dress for success.
  • Ask for help setting up.
  • Have a backup plan (in case technology fails you).
  • Deal with your nerves.

tips for a good thesis defense

  • Translators
  • Graphic Designers
  • Editing Services
  • Academic Editing Services
  • Admissions Editing Services
  • Admissions Essay Editing Services
  • AI Content Editing Services
  • APA Style Editing Services
  • Application Essay Editing Services
  • Book Editing Services
  • Business Editing Services
  • Capstone Paper Editing Services
  • Children's Book Editing Services
  • College Application Editing Services
  • College Essay Editing Services
  • Copy Editing Services
  • Developmental Editing Services
  • Dissertation Editing Services
  • eBook Editing Services
  • English Editing Services
  • Horror Story Editing Services
  • Legal Editing Services
  • Line Editing Services
  • Manuscript Editing Services
  • MLA Style Editing Services
  • Novel Editing Services
  • Paper Editing Services
  • Personal Statement Editing Services
  • Research Paper Editing Services
  • Résumé Editing Services
  • Scientific Editing Services
  • Short Story Editing Services
  • Statement of Purpose Editing Services
  • Substantive Editing Services
  • Thesis Editing Services


  • Proofreading Services
  • Admissions Essay Proofreading Services
  • Children's Book Proofreading Services
  • Legal Proofreading Services
  • Novel Proofreading Services
  • Personal Statement Proofreading Services
  • Research Proposal Proofreading Services
  • Statement of Purpose Proofreading Services


  • Translation Services

Graphic Design

  • Graphic Design Services
  • Dungeons & Dragons Design Services
  • Sticker Design Services
  • Writing Services


Please enter the email address you used for your account. Your sign in information will be sent to your email address after it has been verified.

17 Thesis Defense Questions and How to Answer Them


A thesis defense gives you the chance to show off your thesis work and demonstrate your expertise in your field of study. During this one- to two-hour discussion with the members of your thesis committee, you'll have some control over how you present your research, but your committee will ask you some prodding questions to test your knowledge and preparedness. They will all have read your thesis beforehand, so their questions will relate to your study, topic, methods, data sample, and other aspects.

A good defense requires mastery of the thesis itself, so before you consider the questions you might face,

1. What is your topic, and why did you choose it?

Give a quick summary in just a few sentences on what you've researched. You could certainly go on for hours about your work, but make sure you prepare a way to give a very brief overview of your thesis. Then, give a quick background on your process for choosing this topic.

2. How does your topic contribute to the existing literature? How is it important?

Many researchers identify a need in the field and choose a topic to bridge the gaps that previous literature has failed to cover. For example, previous studies might not have included a certain population, region, or circumstance. Talk about how your thesis enhances the general understanding of the topic to extend the reach beyond what others have found, and then give examples of why the world needs that increased understanding. For instance, a thesis on romaine lettuce crops in desert climates might bring much-needed knowledge to a region that might not have been represented in previous work.

3. What are the key findings of your study?

When reporting your main results, make sure you have a handle on how detailed your committee wants you to be. Give yourself several options by preparing 1) a very general, quick summary of your findings that takes a minute or less, 2) a more detailed rundown of what your study revealed that is 3-5 minutes long, and 3) a 10- to 15-minute synopsis that delves into your results in detail. With each of these responses prepared, you can gauge which one is most appropriate in the moment, based on what your committee asks you and what has already been requested.

4. What type of background research did you do for your study?

Here you'll describe what you did while you were deciding what to study. This usually includes a literary review to determine what previous researchers have already introduced to the field. You also likely had to look into whether your study was going to be possible and what you would need in order to collect the needed data. Did you need info from databases that require permissions or fees?

5. What was your hypothesis, and how did you form it?

Describe the expected results you had for your study and whether your hypothesis came from previous research experience, long-held expectations, or cultural myths.

6. What limitations did you face when writing your text?

It's inevitable — researchers will face roadblocks or limiting factors during their work. This could be a limited population you had access to, like if you had a great method of surveying university students, but you didn't have a way to reach out to other people who weren't attending that school.

7. Why did you choose your particular method for your study?

Different research methods are more fitting to specific studies than others (e.g., qualitative vs. quantitative ), and knowing this, you applied a method that would present your findings most effectively. What factors led you to choose your method?

8. Who formed the sample group of your study, and why did you choose this population?

Many factors go into the selection of a participant group. Perhaps you were motivated to survey women over 50 who experience burnout in the workplace. Did you take extra measures to target this population? Or perhaps you found a sample group that responded more readily to your request for participation, and after hitting dead ends for months, convenience is what shaped your study population. Make sure to present your reasoning in an honest but favorable way.

9. What obstacles or limitations did you encounter while working with your sample?

Outline the process of pursuing respondents for your study and the difficulties you faced in collecting enough quality data for your thesis. Perhaps the decisions you made took shape based on the participants you ended up interviewing.

10. Was there something specific you were expecting to find during your analysis?

Expectations are natural when you set out to explore a topic, especially one you've been dancing around throughout your academic career. This question can refer to your hypotheses , but it can also touch on your personal feelings and expectations about this topic. What did you believe you would find when you dove deeper into the subject? Was that what you actually found, or were you surprised by your results?

11. What did you learn from your study?

Your response to this question can include not only the basic findings of your work (if you haven't covered this already) but also some personal surprises you might have found that veered away from your expectations. Sometimes these details are not included in the thesis, so these details can add some spice to your defense.

12. What are the recommendations from your study?

With connection to the reasons you chose the topic, your results can address the problems your work is solving. Give specifics on how policymakers, professionals in the field, etc., can improve their service with the knowledge your thesis provides.

13. If given the chance, what would you do differently?

Your response to this one can include the limitations you encountered or dead ends you hit that wasted time and funding. Try not to dwell too long on the annoyances of your study, and consider an area of curiosity; for example, discuss an area that piqued your interest during your exploration that would have been exciting to pursue but didn't directly benefit your outlined study.

14. How did you relate your study to the existing theories in the literature?

Your paper likely ties your ideas into those of other researchers, so this could be an easy one to answer. Point out how similar your work is to some and how it contrasts other works of research; both contribute greatly to the overall body of research.

15. What is the future scope of this study?

This one is pretty easy, since most theses include recommendations for future research within the text. That means you already have this one covered, and since you read over your thesis before your defense, it's already fresh in your mind.

16. What do you plan to do professionally after you complete your study?

This is a question directed more to you and your future professional plans. This might align with the research you performed, and if so, you can direct your question back to your research, maybe mentioning the personal motivations you have for pursuing study of that subject.

17. Do you have any questions?

Although your thesis defense feels like an interrogation, and you're the one in the spotlight, it provides an ideal opportunity to gather input from your committee, if you want it. Possible questions you could ask are: What were your impressions when reading my thesis? Do you believe I missed any important steps or details when conducting my work? Where do you see this work going in the future?

Bonus tip: What if you get asked a question to which you don't know the answer? You can spend weeks preparing to defend your thesis, but you might still be caught off guard when you don't know exactly what's coming. You can be ready for this situation by preparing a general strategy. It's okay to admit that your thesis doesn't offer the answers to everything – your committee won't reasonably expect it to do so. What you can do to sound (and feel!) confident and knowledgeable is to refer to a work of literature you have encountered in your research and draw on that work to give an answer. For example, you could respond, "My thesis doesn't directly address your question, but my study of Dr. Leifsen's work provided some interesting insights on that subject…." By preparing a way to address curveball questions, you can maintain your cool and create the impression that you truly are an expert in your field.

After you're done answering the questions your committee presents to you, they will either approve your thesis or suggest changes you should make to your paper. Regardless of the outcome, your confidence in addressing the questions presented to you will communicate to your thesis committee members that you know your stuff. Preparation can ease a lot of anxiety surrounding this event, so use these possible questions to make sure you can present your thesis feeling relaxed, prepared, and confident.

Header image by Kasto .

Related Posts

A Breakdown of the Four Styles of Academic Writing

A Breakdown of the Four Styles of Academic Writing

Top 20 Online Tools for Academic Writing

Top 20 Online Tools for Academic Writing

  • Academic Writing Advice
  • All Blog Posts
  • Writing Advice
  • Admissions Writing Advice
  • Book Writing Advice
  • Short Story Advice
  • Employment Writing Advice
  • Business Writing Advice
  • Web Content Advice
  • Article Writing Advice
  • Magazine Writing Advice
  • Grammar Advice
  • Dialect Advice
  • Editing Advice
  • Freelance Advice
  • Legal Writing Advice
  • Poetry Advice
  • Graphic Design Advice
  • Logo Design Advice
  • Translation Advice
  • Blog Reviews
  • Short Story Award Winners
  • Scholarship Winners

Take your thesis to new heights with our expert editing

Take your thesis to new heights with our expert editing

Thesis Defense: 10 Tips That Are Proven to Work

The thesis defense is a significant event in a graduate student’s journey towards getting a higher degree. Many students find this occasion daunting. But this need not be an unpleasant experience as there are ways to get rid of that uneasy feeling on that momentous day.

What preparations do you need to make your thesis defense a success? This article describes 10 tips that will give you the confidence that you need and prepare for the thesis defense adequately.

Table of Contents

Know the members of the panel in the thesis defense.

If possible, know the members of your panel, their habits, and personalities. It would be great if another graduate student had experience with those panel members to tell you how to respond to their questions.

Anticipate the questions

Anticipate the possible questions related to your study’s objectives, methodology, highlight of results, and conclusions. Write them down the day before the presentation and try your best to answer those questions.

Example Questions

  • Why did you undertake your study? What gaps have you identified? (Additional tip: Give updated statistics)
  • Why did you choose a particular framework as a guide in your study? What is unique in the conceptual framework that you prepared? What are its strengths and weaknesses (if any)? What are the pieces of evidence or essential indicators in the framework?
  • What is the overarching theory that guided your study? (Additional tip: Mention the specific theory and its author)
  • Why did you choose a particular model instead of any other model?
  • How did you gather the data? (Additional tip: Cite the sources and justification)
  • How did you analyze qualitative data obtained through your instruments or data gathering process (e.g. questionnaire, key informant interview, physical measurements)
  • How did you ensure the reliability and validity of your data? (Additional tip: remember the triangulation method)
  • What is the significant contribution of your study to the body of knowledge?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of your study? (Additional tip: This refers to the scope and delimitation of your study)
  • Why do you think that your thesis is appropriate or relevant to your degree? (Additional tip: refer to your course description

Dress in dark colors

Color is an essential factor of impact. You will appear intelligent and credible if you wear black or similar color. It would help if you looked authoritative as someone who is thoroughly familiar with the topic during the thesis defense.

thesis defense

Get plenty of rest before your presentation

It would help if you looked confident and energetic during the thesis defense. Get enough sleep before the day of the presentation to sustain your energy while facing the panel of examiners.

Highlight the important findings of your study

Use a few (3-5) bulleted short phrases in each slide during the thesis defense. Emphasize the point using a figure, statistics, or graphics that complement the idea [Additional tip: Show updated (with the last three to five years) statistics].

Talk at moderate speed

Make sure that your pacing allows the understanding of your report. See if your audience nods or shows an understanding of your point.

Directly answer the question then expound a little

Don’t beat around the bush. Go straight to the answer. Be honest if the question is not within the scope of your study. State its limitations. There will always be vague areas, but present the contribution of your research. Refer to the scope and delimitations and recommendations of your study. Ask for clarification if the question is not clear. Make sure that you address the issue of the panel.

Be thoroughly familiar with the literature that you have cited

Make sure that you are thoroughly familiar with the literature that you have cited during the thesis defense. Remember the highlights or findings of those studies as well as the limitations.

Be grateful

Don’t forget to thank the members of the panel for their inputs. Also, ensure that you have noted down those inputs.

Always remember the one-to-one correspondence

Ensure that for every objective that you mentioned, you have ready answers or pieces of evidence to show that you fulfilled those objectives. There should be a one-to-one correspondence in the Objectives –> Method –> Results and Discussion (includes corresponding tables or figures for each objective with explanations) –> Conclusion sections. You may prepare a matrix for each objective with the following columns for method, results and discussion, and conclusion/s.

©2020 August 9 P. A. Regoniel

Related Posts

13 Ways on How to Prepare for a Job Interview

13 Ways on How to Prepare for a Job Interview

Private Schools and Public Schools: Which is Better? 15 Attributes to Consider

Private Schools and Public Schools: Which is Better? 15 Attributes to Consider

5 examples of psychology research topics related to climate change, about the author, patrick regoniel.

Dr. Regoniel, a faculty member of the graduate school, served as consultant to various environmental research and development projects covering issues and concerns on climate change, coral reef resources and management, economic valuation of environmental and natural resources, mining, and waste management and pollution. He has extensive experience on applied statistics, systems modelling and analysis, an avid practitioner of LaTeX, and a multidisciplinary web developer. He leverages pioneering AI-powered content creation tools to produce unique and comprehensive articles in this website.

In addition to the effective tips mentioned above, for those who are not used to presenting or talking in front a lot of people, practicing in front of a mirror helps a lot. Recording your voice or taking a video while practicing can also help determine the length of the presentation.

Thanks for the additional tip Ijaye. 🙂

I’m having my thesis defense in an hour and these questions have helped me have something to focus on instead of panicking. Thank you for the tips they are quite helpful

Leave a Reply Cancel Reply

  • How It Works

Dissertation Defense: Steps To Follow To Succeed

dissertation defense

A dissertation defense is arguably one of the most important milestones in every student’s career. While it signals that your tenure as a student is soon about to close, it validates all your efforts towards your thesis.

Being cautious about including all the necessary details is very important to successfully complete your dissertation proposal defense. This article tells you everything that you need to know about writing a defense that can add great credibility to you as a student.

What is A Dissertation Defense?

The first thing that you need to learn is what is a dissertation defense and what is its purpose. In simple terms, it is a presentation made by a student to defend all the ideas and views that are presented in a dissertation.

The presenter must include details like what is the reason for choosing specific research methods, the theory that has been selected for the paper, and other such points. This presentation is made before an audience that comprises of the university committee, professors and even fellow-students. It is met with questions and answers that gives the student an opportunity to provide more clarity on the dissertation in order to convince the committee to approve it.

Stages of a Dissertation Defense

One of the most important dissertation defense tips provided by several professors is to breakdown the process into three steps:

  • Preparation : This stage involves collection of all the necessary information that must be included in the defense dissertation and making all the arrangements for the actual meeting.
  • The defense meeting : This is where you decide how you will present the defense. The actual meeting is hugely reliant on the performance, body language and the confidence in your oral defense.
  • After the defense meeting : This stage, also known as the follow up, requires you to make the necessary revisions suggested by the university committee. You can even provide bound copies of the whole dissertation to distribute among different members of your departments. In the follow up stage, one must also think about expense that are related to publishing the Ph.D. dissertation defense as well as printing additional copies of the manuscript, if required.

How Long is a Dissertation Defense?

The first thing that a student should know is how long does a dissertation defense last? The length has to be carefully calculated to make the impact that you want. One of the most important steps in the dissertation preparation is to understand how much time each department allocates to the closing oral defense. When you plan in the early stages of your dissertation itself, you can write it in a manner that allows you to defend it in the allocated time.

Usually these meetings including the presentation, the oral defense and the question and answer session last for about two hours. In most cases, these two hours also encompass the time needed by members of the committee to deliberate.

How to Prepare for the Dissertation Defense

Now that you know how long is a dissertation defense, the next step is to prepare well enough to make your presentation impressive.

Here are some tips on how to prepare for a dissertation defense:

  • Watch other students in action to learn about different presentation styles. You can attend defenses of different colleagues in your department as well as other departments in your university.
  • Get all the details about the deadlines and the rules of your college or university about scheduling your defense.
  • Scheduling is also a very important part of your preparation. It is important to note that members of the committee and University chairs need to make time for these defences in a very packed schedule. Coordinate the date, venue and time of your defense as early as possible.
  • Prepare a manuscript adhering to the necessary formatting rules. Review your manuscript thoroughly before you hand it in. During your PH.D, your faculty will also assist you with the defense. For this, they must have a crisp and polished copy of your manuscript.
  • Most colleges have the facility for a pre-defense meeting. This is the best opportunity to sort out any concerns that you may have about the actual meeting. It is a good idea to ask the chairs what types of questions may be put forward and if there are any problems with the defense that need to be resolved. When you prepare for a pre-defense meeting, think of it as the final one and give it your all.
  • Put together all the material that you need for the defense. A detailed, yet to-the-point presentation must be prepared.
  • The final stage of preparation is practicing your presentation over and over again. It is not just the presentation but also the approach towards the questions that you must practice.

Tips To Nail Your Actual Meeting

With these tips you will be one step closer towards a successful defense that will help your dissertation pass and be approved:

  • All meetings should begin by addressing the chair. Make sure you thank all the committee members and the advisors for the efforts that they have put it. This gives you a professional start to the presentation.
  • The presentation should cover the following subjects in brief:
  • The research topic
  • Literature review
  • The methods used for analysis
  • The primary findings of the research
  • Recommendations of additional research on the subject in the focus.
  • Do not get rattled by any discussions among the chairs. They will deliberate on any disagreements or topics of interest. This is a part of the process and is not a reflection of the presentation itself.
  • There are two questions that are commonly asked that you should be prepared for. This includes the weaknesses of the dissertation and the research plans that you have made post-dissertation.
  • Use subtle gestures when you are talking. Do not overuse your hands when doing so. The whole meeting including the question and answer session should have a very formal appeal.
  • The tone of your voice must be assertive without making it seem like you are trying to hard. Be clear and enunciate when you speak.

Once the questions have been answered, the committee will leave the room. Then, after the deliberation, you will be informed if your dissertation has passed or not.

For affordable thesis writing assistance , get in touch our team today. The pricing is cheap but students can be assured of top notch quality in all our final products.

How To Choose a Thesis Topic

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment * Error message

Name * Error message

Email * Error message

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

As Putin continues killing civilians, bombing kindergartens, and threatening WWIII, Ukraine fights for the world's peaceful future.

Ukraine Live Updates

  • Skip to primary navigation
  • Skip to content


Thesis defense: tips and know-how

' src=

If you are preparing to defend your thesis, you’ve come to the right place! This guide explains some pointers to consider when preparing for your thesis defense, both prior and during the thesis presentation. Before we can begin discussing some tips and best practices for preparing a thesis defense, we first need to define and differentiate between the different types of defenses that exist. Doctoral defenses (PhD defenses) follow a different format than bachelor or master thesis defenses. The format tends to vary greatly, depending on the country, so there are is no one size fit all policy with regards to the structure. There are however some general guideliens that are important to consider, regardless of the format.

What is a thesis defense?

The thesis defense, also known as thesis presentation or disputation in certain countries, signifies what is often the last and final part of your thesis journey. This is your moment to shine, where you are the center of the stage, to promote your thesis and discuss your results and your research. To some, this event is stressfull, particularly those who prefer not to speak in front of others (see our guide on public speaking) and for others, it’s an opportunity to finally be able to let the world know what you have been up to for the last few months (for master/bachelor theses) or for the last few years for PhD/doctoral theses work.

So how do we learn how to deliver a good thesis defense?

Learn from the mistakes of others…

Many years ago, when I was still in the early phases of my PhD, one of my academic supervisors, a late Professor of Civil Engineering, suggested that I enroll in a dissertation analysis course. The “course” was comprised of me sitting through several thesis / dissertation defenses and jotting down anything that I could learn from them. This included, how well the PhD candidate defended their thesis, what kind of criticism or points were reoccurring, and any other observations that I had regarding the thesis defense. This proved to be a very valuable exercise. This is an exercise that you can (and perhaps should) undertake yourself, not in a formal “course” setting, but rather by listening in and taking part in other peoples’ public thesis defenses. Although not all thesis defenses are public, most tend to be, and there is a lot that you can learn by observing the defense from the point of view of the audience.

So how do you find a thesis defense to listen in on?

The best case scenario would be to listen to theses defenses delivered by students in the same research area and university, if that’s not possible, a different thesis topic but still fairly tangential to your research area would also be useful. These days (I am writing this guide during the covid pandemic of 2020/2021), it is extremely easy to take part in thesis defenses online via Zoom as they are often publicized in advance and can be found by browsing your universities’ online events calendar.

So what did I learn through the numerous theses that I listened to?

The first thing I noticed that was a recurring theme, a question that seemed to appear in all the theses defenses that I attended, had to do with how the student’s work contributed to their research field. What is special with your research? What new findings have you been able to lay forth; or which previously known findings have you been able to amend? This is the the central point that all of your research enquires revolve around, the raison d’être of your research, what are the contributions that you are bringing, and why should we care?

Of course, the bar is much set much higher for doctoral theses work compared to bachelor and master thesis, but the point still stands. This does not mean that each and every thesis that is published needs to be groundbreaking and ignite a paradigm shift. In fact, most thesis work do not lead to any revolutionary contributions. This point is perhaps best illustrated by satirical web sites such as lolmythesis where students submit their real thesis titles alongside a more comical title in plain English. This gives rise to titles such as this one from Yale University with the plain title “UAV deployment for fine-scale CO2 estimation in a mid-size city” which the author claims could also be titled as “I collected all my data then realized I didn’t record the variables needed for the one thing I promised to do in the title of my thesis”.

Do not stress over the significance of your research contributions, but do be prepared to defend them publicly.

What concrete contributions can you claim came about as a result of you having done this study of yours? If you can not answer that question (or at least explain why why your results were or were not remarkable), then you are out on dangerous water. There is an expectation that these contributions that we bring should actually have some form of substance, which they unfortunately do not always have. The site lolmythesis is a testimony to that, it perfectly encapsulates what it means to publish theses. Here are some more examples to put your mind at ease:

Keeping a strong mind set

The table above reminds us not to take things too seriously. If you feel that your results are underwhelming, you may consider yourself a member of the academic club, everyone tends to produce results at one point in their research career that they themselves consider underwhelming. For the defense however, the key here is not to focus on the results themselves, but rather on the overall arguments and the overarching discussion that surrounds your results and provides a context to your key points. Be ready to defend and explain anomalies in data, or the specific choices that you made with respect to why you chose a specific research method instead of another. The thesis defense should be viewed as an exercise for you to be able to explain your overall argument and show why it is consistent. Remember that the thesis defense does not exist for you to be criticized with regards to other peoples data or research. As long as you have a strong grasp of your own research topic, you should be able to breeze through the defense. You can feel assured that (for most cases) no external expert or review committee will know more about your specific thesis than you do. As long as this disparity in knowledge holds true, it doesn’t matter how much more they know about the overall research field, if you are more knowledgeable of your specific research inquiries and their underlying assumptions.

tips for a good thesis defense

The second point that I want to highlight is that all of your conclusions should follow from the results that has been presented (which in turn come from the data that you collected, depending on research area). With other words, all of the conclusions that are mentioned should follow logically from the underlying premises. I remember once attending a thesis defense where it was clear that the doctoral student highlighted certain conclusions that had no basis in the person’s data, and that sort of things tends to get highlighted real fast. So you need to be careful about that.

The third point concerns quality. The work must of course be of high quality, this is understood by all, but it also means that the data was gathered properly and that the sources that you cite are relevant and authoritative. Make sure that the image/story that you are presenting during your defense is internally consistent. Thus, even if an opponent has issues with a specific method that you chose, they cannot claim that your research contradicts itself. Apparent contradictions can be very problematic, and if you suspect that there might be a contradiction somewhere in your thesis, you need to be ready to explain that paragraph if asked to.

The last thing I want to mention has to do with the mental state of the one who is presenting. There is no doubt that public speaking is stressfull for a lot of people, and it is therefore extra important to remember to not place to much weight on the matter. It is after all only a speech. You know the topic, why worry, you literally wrote a book on it! As one says in swahili, hakuna matata is an appropriate attitude to have towards the thesis defense. It is important to remember that studies, specifically doctoral studies, are more than just a written dissertation. Instead, it encapsulates the whole process where you gradually learn more about your specific research work. Regardless of whether you achieve a undergraduate, postgraduate or doctoral degree at the end of your research, that degree only symbolizes the start of a learning journey, and not the end. Unlike the common conception, PhD studies shouldn’t be viewed as a dreadful and draining undertaking that finally culminates in this large-scale orgasmic metamorphosis where you are transformed from this lowly caterpillar to become a fully-feathered and competent butterfly.

The list below contains a few links to real examples of theses defenses. Do check out the presentation by Dr. Ben Conrad which is really good example of a thesis defense done right, it manages to be informative, to the point as well as engaging the audience and the material.

You may also like

tips for a good thesis defense

How to improve your h-index

tips for a good thesis defense

How to write a methods section of a research paper

Leave a comment cancel reply.

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Privacy Overview

Adding {{itemName}} to cart

Added {{itemName}} to cart

  • Have your assignments done by seasoned writers. 24/7
  • Contact us:
  • +1 (213) 221-0069
  • [email protected]

Thesis Defense Steps: Full Guide How to Prepare and Present

Thesis Defense Steps: Full Guide How to Prepare and Present

How To Prepare For Your Thesis Defense

How To Prepare For Your Thesis Defense

If you are conducting post-graduate research within your discipline, you will come across the phrase “thesis defense”. A thesis defense is part of the things you will need to accomplish before acquiring a postgraduate degree. 

The thesis defense comes at the end of the graduate program. It is used to determine or define your education milestone while in the university. For this, you need a thesis defense comprehensive guide to be outstanding.

tips for a good thesis defense

You should do a thesis defense after you have completed the course work and attended practicum or internship programs.

How Long does a Thesis Defense Take?

On average, a thesis defense takes somewhere between 30 minutes and one hour. However, the time it takes to do a thesis defense depends on the academic level you are in. While there is no standard or general length for a thesis defense, post-graduate sessions will take longer compared to undergraduate sessions.

Yes, some institutions, professors, or some disciplines may require you to do a thesis defense at your undergraduate level. But the length of the presentation depends on your academic level.

What is thesis defense?

Defending your thesis

A thesis defense is an act of presenting your academic work to a panel or committee of professors and other involved scholars. From this, they can gauge or grade your abilities in presenting your work.

The arguments presented during the thesis defense are to ascertain that you have understood the course and your selected topic.

You will have to first hand in your work or paper to the professor for grading. Thereafter, you will be summoned for thesis defense.

When summoned for a thesis defense, you will be required to answer all the questions presented to you by the panel of professors. After this, you will be required to leave the room. The panel is to decide whether your paper or thesis is ready for publication. In addition, the panel checks whether your work needs corrections. 

In other words, a thesis defense is a forum that allows postgraduate students to defend the topic of their thesis before a panel of professors. Therefore, the thesis defense is part of the requirements that postgraduate students must accomplish to receive advanced degrees in whichever academic disciplines they pursue. 

Factors that Determine the Length of a Thesis Defense

Just like a dissertation that you have to write a thesis , it is important that you will have to present it. The time is taken to do this varies. The following four factors determine the length of a thesis defense

Determining the length of thesis defense

  • As noted earlier, the level of education will determine the length of your thesis defense.
  • The second factor is the institutional requirements. Some institutions will have a specified amount of time allocated for a thesis defense. In some institutions, that time is longer than and vice versa.

Very recognized institutions of higher learning will have the autonomy to decide on the length of a thesis defense.

  • The third factor that will determine the length of a thesis defense is the consensus of the panel of professors. Some will give students very limited time to do a thesis defense while others will give more time to their students.

Some institutions, scholars, applaud limiting the amount of time for thesis defense and educators because it gauges the student’s ability to accurately defend their work within a short time. If they succeed, then they are good learners.

  • Another factor determining the time of a thesis defense is the academic discipline that is explored by the topic.

While every academic discipline deserves respect, they are not the same in terms of the complexity of the concepts and what the student covers.

Some disciplines will require students to come up with much longer papers. This means that the time it could take to do a thesis defense will be longer. 

From the aforementioned factors, it is evident that it would be difficult to predetermine the standard length of a thesis without holding some parameters or factors constant such as the academic level of the thesis. 

Also, the length of your dissertation or thesis determines the time you will take to present it at your defense session. Longer documents will take you longer to defend.

How to Defend a Thesis – 5 Comprehensive Steps

Some steps can help you defend your thesis effectively. You should follow the steps below if you are summoned by a panel of professors to defend your thesis. 

1. Adequate Preparation

preparing for thesis defense

When you are required to defend your thesis, you will be given a specific date you will appear before the panel of professors for the actual exercise.

As long as you have submitted your paper to the professor for grading, you should always be aware that you will have to defend your thesis.

Therefore, between the period of submitting your paper and the date provided for thesis defense, you should do adequate preparation.

Students will have several months to prepare for a thesis defense. This is because the institutions themselves want their students to be well prepared before they meet the panel of professors.

After all, they would wish their students to excel in their studies. As noted, there will be a specified date for the thesis defense. Therefore, it will not surprise their committee members or students when the time comes for defending the thesis. 

Adequate preparation entails knowing or rather anticipating what is required of you. You should be prepared for the kinds of questions your thesis topic will provoke from the panel and practice on them.

When you have the right attitude and have adequately prepared for the thesis defense, it would be nearly impossible to fail. Also, be prepared to wear decently during the defense. 

2. Carry an in-depth knowledge of the thesis

This is a very important step when defending your thesis. Since you are the one who has written the paper, you should be fully aware of the topic and the contents of your paper. What this means is that you should adequately research the topic of your thesis so that you can be ready for any question you are asked by the panel of professors. For a postgraduate student who wishes to master their discipline, it would be a shame if you do not know about your topic.

For example, if you are within the field of environmental sciences and have written your paper based on the discipline, you should narrow down the scope of your knowledge to that of your topic, the topic of your paper should act as the guide to the amount of knowledge you are supposed to give for the sake of the thesis defense. Avoid too much knowledge because it may overwhelm you. At the same time, do not narrow down the scope of your topic too much because you will have limited knowledge during the thesis defense.

Your instructor or professor can help you in terms of giving you direction on the type and scope of knowledge you are required to have during a thesis defense. 

3. Prepare an Introduction

writing resources for thesis defense introduction

Have you ever heard of the first impression and its significance?

The first impression of a person will determine how the other person will perceive them.

If it is terrible, the other person may consider them a terrible person and even dislike them.

An introduction plays the same role as the “first impression” of your thesis defense to the panel of professors.

You should prepare a good introduction that should summarize the contents of your paper, the reasons why you selected the topic and its relevance to the discipline, and any other detail that you will anticipate to be asked during the thesis defense.

Make sure that the thesis is crystal clear and concise to avoid making any contradictions of your topic and confusing the panel.

Since you will be given several months to prepare for your thesis defense, take time to refine your introduction.

Make adjustments or corrections whenever necessary so that you will have a perfect introduction for your thesis defense. You may recite the introduction or carry it with you if the panel will allow it. 

4. Making the actual presentation

The action presentation of the thesis defense is quite scary to many students. This is because you will have to face a panel of professors to defend your paper. Based on your paper’s content, you will answer several questions. Therefore, if you fail during the actual presentation, your paper may not be published and you will have to do further revisions. 

During the actual presentation, you should be well dressed because grooming tells a lot about the character of a student. Carry the necessary equipment you will require during the presentation. Such equipment can include a laptop that contains a PowerPoint presentation, a pen, and a notebook. The PowerPoint presentation should be legible, objective, and strategically written to maximize the time used to defend your thesis. Ensure that you arrive early to the place where you will face the panel of professors to give you time to reflect and lessen your anxiety.  

As aforementioned, adequate preparation, understanding your topic or thesis, and a good attitude will guarantee success. Therefore, if you adhere to the aforementioned guidelines during the presentation, there is a high probability that your paper will be published. 

5. Do a good conclusion

Doing a good introduction and effectively presenting your defense is not enough without an equally good conclusion. Just like you took a good time to write your thesis , you will also need a good time to write a presentation and a good conclusion.

A good conclusion of your presentation leaves the panel of professors with a good impression of you and your overall ability to defend your work within the academic community. 

A good conclusion will sum up your work. What this means is that you should include a summary of the topic’s background, the literature review, the methodologies, the findings, and the discussions. Make sure that the conclusion compresses the details of your paper logically. It should be brief and straight to the point.

Finally, the conclusion of your thesis defense should clearly describe the limitations or setbacks encountered while you were conducting the study.

Even though you are trying to show that you are a good post-graduate student, it is important to be clear about the limitations. This will demonstrate your academic integrity and ability to conduct actual research in the field. 

Tips on how to do a good thesis defense

A good score

1. Anticipate the questions 

As aforementioned, you should anticipate the questions you may be asked by the panel and prepare for them.

The questions’ base is on your thesis. As such, you should go through your paper and list the possible questions.

At the same time, the academic expertise of the committee members determines the types of questions you may be asked.

Try to have an informed idea, based on your paper, on the areas to receive much focus. 

2. Dress for success

Do you remember that we have talked about first impressions? Well, your dress code and overall grooming will have a degree of impact on the outcomes of your presentation. Dress well. Mostly, you are required to dress in an official attire because you are going to do a presentation to a panel of academic experts. You should try as much as possible not to wear casual or provocative clothes. 

3. Delegate

To avoid being overwhelmed during the day of your presentation, you can delegate some of the less complicated activities to a trusted person or friend. The activities that you can delegate include setting up the equipment you will use for your presentation or distributing handouts to the panel. 

4. Create a backup plan

This especially involves the mode of presenting your defense. Since you will be using your laptop and a projector, they may fail during the presentation. It is therefore important to have a plan B. such can include having printed handouts. 

FAQs on Thesis Defense

Can you fail a thesis defense.

The answer to this question is yes. Though it is rare, it is possible to fail a thesis defense if you are not adequately prepared and you don’t know much about the topic. This would indicate that you haven’t understood the course or you did not write the paper. You hired someone to do it for you. 

How long is a Ph.D. thesis defense?

A Ph.D. thesis defense is about 2 hours long. However, it may differ from one country to the other.

How long is the master’s thesis presentation?

A master’s thesis is usually one-and-a-half hours long. It takes a lesser time compared to a Ph.D. thesis. 

Josh Jasen

When not handling complex essays and academic writing tasks, Josh is busy advising students on how to pass assignments. In spare time, he loves playing football or walking with his dog around the park.

Related posts

Chegg Plagiarism Checker

Chegg Plagiarism Checker

Chegg Plagiarism: Review of Chegg Plagiarism Checker and its Service

Titles for Essay about Yourself

Titles for Essay about Yourself

Good Titles for Essays about yourself: 31 Personal Essay Topics

How to Write a Diagnostic Essay

How to Write a Diagnostic Essay

How to Write a Diagnostic Essay: Meaning and Topics Example

tips for a good thesis defense

The Plagiarism Checker Online For Your Academic Work

Start Plagiarism Check

Editing & Proofreading for Your Research Paper

Get it proofread now

Online Printing & Binding with Free Express Delivery

Configure binding now

  • Academic essay overview
  • The writing process
  • Structuring academic essays
  • Types of academic essays
  • Academic writing overview
  • Sentence structure
  • Academic writing process
  • Improving your academic writing
  • Titles and headings
  • APA style overview
  • APA citation & referencing
  • APA structure & sections
  • Citation & referencing
  • Structure and sections
  • APA examples overview
  • Commonly used citations
  • Other examples
  • British English vs. American English
  • Chicago style overview
  • Chicago citation & referencing
  • Chicago structure & sections
  • Chicago style examples
  • Citing sources overview
  • Citation format
  • Citation examples
  • College essay overview
  • Application
  • How to write a college essay
  • Types of college essays
  • Commonly confused words
  • Definitions
  • Dissertation overview
  • Dissertation structure & sections
  • Dissertation writing process
  • Graduate school overview
  • Application & admission
  • Study abroad
  • Master degree
  • Harvard referencing overview
  • Language rules overview
  • Grammatical rules & structures
  • Parts of speech
  • Punctuation
  • Methodology overview
  • Analyzing data
  • Experiments
  • Observations
  • Inductive vs. Deductive
  • Qualitative vs. Quantitative
  • Types of validity
  • Types of reliability
  • Sampling methods
  • Theories & Concepts
  • Types of research studies
  • Types of variables
  • MLA style overview
  • MLA examples
  • MLA citation & referencing
  • MLA structure & sections
  • Plagiarism overview
  • Plagiarism checker
  • Types of plagiarism
  • Printing production overview
  • Research bias overview
  • Types of research bias
  • Example sections
  • Types of research papers
  • Research process overview
  • Problem statement
  • Research proposal
  • Research topic
  • Statistics overview
  • Levels of measurment
  • Frequency distribution
  • Measures of central tendency
  • Measures of variability
  • Hypothesis testing
  • Parameters & test statistics
  • Types of distributions
  • Correlation
  • Effect size
  • Hypothesis testing assumptions
  • Types of ANOVAs
  • Types of chi-square
  • Statistical data
  • Statistical models
  • Spelling mistakes
  • Tips overview
  • Academic writing tips
  • Dissertation tips
  • Sources tips
  • Working with sources overview
  • Evaluating sources
  • Finding sources
  • Including sources
  • Types of sources

Your Step to Success

Plagiarism Check within 10min

Printing & Binding with 3D Live Preview

Thesis Defense – a guide to prepare best

How do you like this article cancel reply.

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.



  • 1 Definition: Thesis Defense
  • 2 In a Nutshell
  • 3 Before the Thesis Defense
  • 4 What happens in a Thesis Defense?
  • 5 What to include?
  • 6 Tools for Thesis Defense
  • 7 Thesis Defense Anxiety
  • 8 Manage Thesis Defense Anxiety

Definition: Thesis Defense

A thesis defense is an act of presenting your work to a panel of professors so they can grade your presentation abilities. In retrospect, the argument is essential to ascertain that you understood the topic. You have to hand in your paper first so that the lecturer can grade it before you appear for the defense.

As a university student, you need to hand in a high-quality thesis paper and defend it before a panel of professors. So what is this that takes place during a thesis defense? Read along to find out.

In a Nutshell

So, there you have it. These tips should help you present your thesis defense and ace it. Remember that:

  • You should present facts that are in the paper. Do not add any new information
  • Make the thesis defense as enjoyable as possible
  • Arrive early enough
  • Do not exceed your allocated time
  • Confidence goes a long way

Before the Thesis Defense

Before the day of the thesis defense, the qualifying students receive a timetable that shows the chronology of how the day will be. You are required to keep time, or else you will have to wait until the next allocated defense to present your paper. To qualify as a defending student, you have to hand in your paper at least one month before the thesis defense date.

What happens in a Thesis Defense?

Once you get to the hall, you need to introduce yourself and your topic, then present your paper to the lecturers. The professors will allocate you ¾ of the allotted time for the thesis defense. The remaining time is used up in the question and answer forum. Prepare yourself to answer several questions, such as:

  • Your plans after completing the research
  • The limitations you faced
  • Things that you would change if given a chance
  • How you chose your target audience
  • How you intend to further your study on the subject
  • The reasons for choosing your topic
  • The most significant deductions you learned from the survey
  • Reasons for choosing your research methodology, etc.

In some cases, the board may ask you to summarize your deductions from the study. The questions asked are not standard, which means you have to be thoroughly prepared to answer whatever the panel throws your way during the thesis defense. Other things that take place during the thesis defense include:

  • Deliberations – At this point, the board of lecturers will ask you to leave the room as they deliberate on your thesis defense performance. They will then decide whether you move to the next level or you will defend again.
  • Verdict – Finally, the team will invite you back in and tell you how you performed in the thesis defense. These panel members may ask you to make a few corrections before you can go ahead and publish your paper. You have to present your corrections to your facilitator, who will then give you the go-ahead to publish.
  • Signing – The members will then sign your document to ascertain that you were part of the thesis defense team on the selected date.

How much time does a Thesis Defense take and how many people should be in the room?

During a thesis defense, each student appears before the panel individually. The facilitators will ask you questions concerning your topic to see if you fully grasped the concept. Each thesis defense will vary from the other depending on the technicality of your paper and the kind of degree you are pursuing.

  • Undergraduate degree – Your panel may include at least three lecturers from your faculty. Additionally, the defense may last up to one hour.
  • Masters degree – You get to interact with four professors at this level, and each student is allotted 1½ hours to present and answer questions.
  • Ph.D. degree – Considering that this is the highest education level, five professors avail themselves to vet you. More so, you may have to engage them for two hours.


Thesis printing & binding

You are already done writing your thesis and need a high quality printing & binding service? Then you are right to choose BachelorPrint! Check out our 24-hour online printing service. For more information click the button below :

What to include?

A thesis defense follows a particular format, which cuts across all types of degrees, which is:

  • Introduction  – Explain the need for this study
  • Literature review  – Explain what other scholars have found on the subject
  • Research methodology  – What research method did you use, and why did you use it?
  • Findings and discussions  – In your research, what were the key deductions that you came upon?
  • Implications, limitations, suggestions, and  conclusion  – Here, you have to exhaust the setbacks you encountered during the study, the consequences that your target audience will face if they do not follow the deductions, and then finally sum up the discussions.

Tools for Thesis Defense

Considering that a thesis defense may take you at least 45 minutes to present, it is essential to make the presentation lively. So, you can incorporate a slide show and use images to make it less wordy. Bullet points also make the text easier to digest as opposed to a block of text. So, a laptop and a projector will help you ace your presentation.

Thesis Defense Anxiety

Standing before a panel of people waiting to hear how you conducted your research can be intimidating. This is especially so considering that you will be standing before a group of professors, who you believe to be superior to you in regards to the topic knowledge. More so, if you are not familiar with public speaking, it is easy to develop stage fright while defending.

Manage Thesis Defense Anxiety

In case you find yourself fidgeting before you begin presenting, use the following tips to help you get your composure back.

  • If you have a problem with eye-balling the lecturers, look at the tips of their foreheads instead.
  • Take a few seconds to breathe in and out so you can stabilize your speech if you begin to stammer.
  • Go into the room with a positive mind, knowing that you will do your best.
  • Most importantly, rehearse your thesis defense severally before the D-day.

What is a thesis defense?

A scholarly thesis defense is a forum that allows students to present their paper’s contents and defend their thesis topic before a panel of professors. The student is then required to answer all questions asked by the lecturers. At the end, the student is required to leave the room whilst the professors decide whether the thesis is ready to be published, or if it needs corrections.

How long is a thesis defense?

There is no general length for a thesis defense. The defense of a master’s thesis will take longer than the defense of a bachelor’s thesis. You will need to fit in an introduction , a literature review, your findings and even more into the time frame for your thesis defense, so it’s important that you’re well prepared. All in all, it depends on your paper and your academic field. Usually the thesis defense will last between one and two hours, but it also could be less than one hour.

What is the oral defense of a thesis?

Oral defense is simply another name for your thesis defense. If you’ve completed your thesis, you are required to defend it in front of a panel of professors. It is designed so that the committee can ensure that the students completely understand their thesis topic . The oral thesis defense is an examination of a completed body of work. Students will be assigned a date to defend their thesis.

What happens after the thesis defense?

After your thesis defense, you will be told to leave the room whilst the panel discusses your results. There are normally 2 outcomes. You may need to make changes to your thesis’ formatting or content. If this is the case, don’t stress! You’re able to try the thesis defense again once you’ve incorporated any required changes. The preferred outcome is that the panel is happy with your thesis and it’s then ready to be signed and published.

What defines a good thesis defense?

The thesis defense is the final step for your academic work. It’s important that you’re prepared and you’ve outlined what you’re going to say in each section of the defense. You need to know your thesis statement better than the back of your hand, otherwise you risk being sidetracked. Just like your thesis itself, your thesis defense has a specific structure. You can read more about this further on in the article. Try and prepare yourself for the potential types of questions that the professors will ask you so that you don’t have to think about your answers on the spot.

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential, while others help us to improve this website and your experience.

  • External Media

Individual Privacy Preferences

Cookie Details Privacy Policy Imprint

Here you will find an overview of all cookies used. You can give your consent to whole categories or display further information and select certain cookies.

Accept all Save

Essential cookies enable basic functions and are necessary for the proper function of the website.

Show Cookie Information Hide Cookie Information

Statistics cookies collect information anonymously. This information helps us to understand how our visitors use our website.

Content from video platforms and social media platforms is blocked by default. If External Media cookies are accepted, access to those contents no longer requires manual consent.

Privacy Policy Imprint

Thesis Helpers

tips for a good thesis defense

Find the best tips and advice to improve your writing. Or, have a top expert write your paper.

Thesis Defense: Tips for Masters And PhD

thesis defense

Many learners come across thesis defense when researching for their master’s degree. Defending a thesis is a major requirement for earning the majority of advanced degrees. This formal requirement comes towards the end of the graduate program. In most cases, the university educational experience of a learner is defined by a thesis.

After completing the necessary coursework and acquiring practicum experiences or finishing an internship, a learner has to meet the committee and defend their work. A thesis defense presentation process varies from one learning institution to another. However, students should know certain general things when embarking on their graduate process.

The Basics of a Thesis Defense

When starting an academic program that involves defending a thesis, most learners do not know much about this academic task. Some of them ask, what is a thesis defense? Well, to answer this question, it’s important to explain what a thesis is first.

  • A thesis is a large paper that is written based on a specific topic in the study field of a learner. In some institutions, students are allowed to create their thesis projects in lieu of their papers. For instance, a history major can include papers on World War II historical ramifications. An education major can complete a paper on new methods of teaching.
  • In most cases, a thesis represents the collective understanding of the major or program of a student. For instance, if a student is a major in English, they can explore literary themes, language, and specific work when writing their thesis. Most learning institutions require a thesis to have a prospectus. This outlines the paper’s intent and the length to which the topic will be addressed.
  • After submitting the paper, the thesis committee assigns the learner a date for defending their work. A master or Ph.D. thesis defense doesn’t imply that a learner will aggressively argue about their work. It means that a learner will be asked questions by the faculty members. The goal is to ensure that the learner understands their focus area and field.
  • A Ph.D. or master thesis defense is a formality because the committee has already evaluated the work. The learner is asked open-ended questions by the committee members. Members of this committee want the student to show that they have critically thought about their work.
  • Perhaps, you’re now wondering, how long is a thesis defense? Well, a student can spend between 20 minutes and one-hour answering dissertation defense questions. The taken duration depends on the program requirements and the committee goal.

What a Master’s Thesis Defense Should Include

The defense has a particular format that should be followed when preparing it. This format cuts across most degrees. Thus, you can use it for your master’s or doctoral dissertation defense. This format includes the following:

  • Introduction. This is the first section of the defense. It explains why the study is important.
  • Literature review. This section explains the findings of other scholars on the topic or subject of a thesis.
  • Research methodology. In this section, the student explains the research methods used and the reasons for choosing them.
  • Findings. This is the section where the student explains and discusses their research findings. What are the major deductions from the study?

Since presenting a dissertation defense can take 45 minutes, a learner should make it lively. Therefore, a learner should incorporate thesis defense PowerPoint slides with images. This makes the presentation less wordy. Also, bullet points can be included to make digesting the text easier. Thus, a learner needs a projector and a laptop to ace the presentation.

How to Prepare for a Thesis Defense

As hinted, a Ph.D. or master’s thesis defense aims to ascertain that a learner understood their topic. The student presents their work to a committee or panel that grades their presentation abilities. But, a learner hands in the paper first. The lecturer also grades the paper before the student makes a Ph.D. or master’s thesis defense presentation.

Essentially, a learner should submit a high-quality paper and prepare to defend it before the committee. Here’s how to prepare for thesis defense.

  • Know Your Defense Format : Defense format varies among countries. For instance, some countries hold public examinations. That means a learner faces an examiners’ panel and an audience that comprises friends, family, and colleagues. In another country, the interview can involve internal examiners and another one with external examiners. Therefore, know the defense format in your country to prepare for a master’s or Ph.D. dissertation defense presentation properly.
  • Study the Content of Your Thesis : Take the time to study and understand the content of your thesis. This is a long paper and the committee members can ask questions from any part of your work. The best thesis defense is a good thesis offense. Therefore, be prepared to make a good offense from the beginning. Make every member of the panel see that you know the core content of your paper.
  • Prepare for Questions that You Can’t Answer : You took the time to research and write your thesis. However, you may not answer all thesis defense questions from the committee members. You can even be asked awkward questions by the panel members. This can be an attempt to gauge your thinking ability. Always remember that it’s okay to tell the panel that you don’t have an answer to a question. However, let the committee know what you think about the question or issue. This will show the committee that you’re an academician that can think critically.
  • Practice the Presentation : This is one of the best thesis defense tips. Essentially, practice with a small audience or alone. Ask the audience to provide feedback and ask questions. This will prepare you psychologically before the actual date of the presentation.
  • Deal with Nerves : Some people get nervous from the moment they receive their thesis defense invitation letter. It’s normal to have an adrenaline rush that will set the heart racing. Some learners even get sweaty palms while others excuse themselves to visit the toilet several times. However, you should prepare to deal with nerves in advance. If you notice that you’re talking very fast, slow down and try to relax. Allow yourself some time to inhale and exhale.

A successful defense is well-practiced and smooth but not robotic. Memorizing the presentation won’t help. Instead, study your work and practice the presentation. Maintain a conversational and natural tone throughout the presentation. And, time yourself when practicing to ensure that you will stick to the time allowed by your learning institution. Also don’t hesitate to get master thesis help if you are feeling overwhelmed.

Get Professional Thesis Help

Preparing comprehensive and minimal slides for this defense is not easy. The slides should include diagrams, graphs, and images where necessary. They should also be easy to read. What’s more, all sections of the thesis should be covered by the slides. The dissertation defense tips provided here can help you achieve this. However, you might not have adequate time to prepare your defense and practice. This doesn’t mean you should submit a low-quality defense.

You can get professional assistance with your defense. Skilled and experienced thesis helpers can come up with a defense whose slides include relevant and comprehensive information. They can also deliver the defense early so that you can get the time to go through it and practice before friends and family. This will enable you to time your presentation and know the questions that the dissertation committee might ask you.

Defending a thesis is a serious task that needs preparation. You need to know more than what to wear to a thesis defense. Essentially, you should understand the content of your defense, know the best way to present it, and get ready to answer all types of questions from the panelists. You should also learn to deal with anxiety to ensure a successful presentation. If unable to prepare a strong defense, seek professional assistance.

appendix in a paper

Make PhD experience your own

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Graduate School

How to Prepare for a Thesis Defense

How to Prepare for a Thesis Defense

You’ve spent years on your studies to acquire your advanced degree, and whether a master’s thesis or doctorate, you need to know how to prepare for a thesis defense. Treat this as more of a siege than a defense, and be prepared to outlast any foe, any siege engine, any army at your gates.

You have already built up a great thesis, with instruction from professors, and maybe even the help of a great thesis writing service , and you are finally ready for your defense. What does that phase of your academic career look like?

In this article, we will give you the tools and tips to make it through. We will start with a preparation section, focusing on various aspects of how to study and what to study, then talk about the lead-up to the big day: preparing materials and handling anxiety. We’ll also touch on what to do on the day and how a thesis defense will, or could, go. At the end of it all, you will have a clear idea of how to approach the preparation for, and the defense of, your thesis.

>> Want us to help you get accepted? Schedule a free strategy call here . <<

Article Contents 12 min read

Know your thesis.

We put this first knowing that it is the most important element of your entire presentation. The crux of your defense hinges on this. You must know your thesis, backwards and forwards. There must be nothing about it that you have forgotten. However miniscule the detail, and however insubstantial to your thesis that detail ultimately is, you must nevertheless know it.

When it comes time to question you, after presentation of your work, questions you cannot answer will strike you down. Knowledge is your shield.

Know the Big Picture: What Are You Trying to Prove?

While you will already be intimately familiar with your research, readings, and revisions of your opus, you should still allot yourself time prior to your defense in which to know crucial elements of your thesis front to back. This is your primary concern.

What are you trying to prove? This is your number one concern, and being able to state this clearly, and back up your efforts with sources and arguments, is the main point of your thesis defense.

So, start with the big picture. Know your main points and the crux of your arguments. You have one, main thrust with this thesis, and you have one, primary tentpole holding it up. No doubt you have more evidence than one primary source, but inevitably one will have more weight and potency than the others. Start there and work your way out.

Don’t memorize words to say, but memorize the web of arguments you have woven together to support your work. Your research was about X, and you have Y as a result, and now you share that and defend your assertions.

You can’t memorize the whole thesis – it will be large – but you can memorize a few, important points that support your main argument, and give credibility to your assertions. Again, you aren’t memorizing a speech to give, but you should know some of your more crucial statistics and datapoints so you can reference them easily.

Know Your Secondary Sources

It’s not just enough to know what your own thesis says, but you must be knowledgeable about its foundations. Your thesis is built on sources and materials that you have cited and referenced throughout. These deserve your attention as well.

If you are being questioned and, without a beat, you can cite chapter and verse on the proofs for your claims, this gives your own arguments depth and clarity. A successful thesis will add to the knowledge base of your field, but it must be built on the knowledge that came before. Knowing your secondary sources demonstrates your knowledge, shows how your thesis connects to that knowledge, and solidifies your arguments through the foundational assertions of prior experts.

Are you looking for grad school tips that will help you succeed in your application and once you get in? Watch this:

Sun Tzu Was Right

“Know your enemy,” wrote the philosopher and military commander Sun Tzu, “as you know yourself, and you will have victory in many battles.”

Your thesis makes a claim, adds to the body of knowledge in your field, and does so with evidence, research – not to mention panache – and is given its gravitas by the myriad of sources and proofs that you have to offer. Great, but don’t forget about those who disagree.

In most fields – certainly all the ones worth studying – anybody who makes a claim will have that claim challenged.

This is, perhaps, the most important step to preparing your defense: know why your detractors will say your thesis is wrong. If you can “steel man” – the opposite of “straw man” – their arguments, and phrase counter-arguments to your own statements – as well as anybody who holds those ideas would – then you have already, essentially, anticipated many, if not all, of the questions the examining board will put to you.

With that knowledge, you will also know to prepare defenses, explanations, and counter-arguments to each of these perceived complaints. Make sure that your counter-arguments would satisfy the majority of reasonable, educated persons in your field – if not any potential naysayers themselves.

Of course, having the main points, secondary points, data, references, detractions, and answers to those detractions all at your mind’s immediate beck and call would be wonderful; but, if you can manage to memorize all of that reliably within your head, don’t count on nothing but pure, rote learning to bring up all of this information. We recommend you keep quick reference notes to help you.

When you’re asked a question, having quick access to well-kept notes will serve you well. Notes themselves are nice, but you also need to be able to access them quickly. Any paradigm that works for you will do, but here is a sample schema for you to consider:

From a dollar store or office supply store \u2013 with reference numbers to bookmark key passages. These reference numbers will correspond to your table of contents. "}]">

Again, use any rubric you want, but pick a system and make sure it works for you. How do you know it works? By testing it.

A Baptism of Fire, and How to Avoid It

That term - “baptism of fire” – refers to being trained via a quick shove onto a battlefield. You might also think of mother and father bird shoving their younglings out of the nest, peeping encouragement at them to fly.

Don’t let this happen to you. Check your wings first.

Mock interviews are extremely useful for interview preparation. Arrange a mock thesis defense. Get professionals who know what they are doing to grill you on your thesis. A professional mock panel will simulate the time, let you run through your presentation, and put you through your paces by asking insightful, challenging questions; they might even ask questions you didn’t anticipate – in which case, lucky for you it was caught beforehand.

Or, not so lucky. Lucky is what happens to a soldier in a baptism of fire, but you’re not doing that. You’re preparing, training, and refining your methods to be bulletproof before anybody fires upon you at all.

A mock defense will simulate the real thing as close as possible, likely even giving you a taste of the nerves and letting you learn how to cope with anxiety. Plus, you can test your filing system for quick recall.

Before the Day - What to Get Ready

The most crucial elements to get ready are anything that you will directly need. That is to say that you should have access to your presentation itself, as well as your notes, and anything else that you’ll require for the defense. Everything else is secondary, and while it’s not a great idea to show up without combing your hair, at least you can still mount a defense with bedhead; you can’t defend your thesis without your critical notes.

With that said, definitely comb your hair. Presenting your thesis is about presenting yourself, as well, so put on some professional-casual clothes so you are comfortable and presentable.

Bring along anything else you need to be comfortable in the room, such as a water bottle or pencils and a notepad – anything you might want to help you succeed.

The exception: don’t overload so much that you are carrying multiple bags around with you.

Want to learn how to prepare for thesis defense questions? Check this infographic:

On the Day - Mental and Anxiety Control

The very nature of the activity of thesis defense means that you will be spending your presentation and your day on the defensive. This is, inherently, a stressful position to take, but a strong aggravating factor is the stakes of the event. This is a momentous occasion. You are at the proverbial moment of truth where you will either advance to the next, major phase of your career, or you will be forced to reconcile yourself to returning and revising – another revision and exploration and another defense.

Naturally, it follows that stress management is going to be one of the most important aspects of your day.

Prevention is the Best Cure

Give yourself an on-the-day boost by planning your studying and preparation well in advance. This will enable you to take a break before the actual day. If the day before your thesis defense can be one spent in contemplation, meditation, or relaxation, you’ll have a much better mental state for the defense itself.

Also of utmost importance: sleep. Maintaining a decent sleep schedule can be nigh-impossible, let alone sporadically getting in the actual recommended hours of sleep that your doctor really wants you to get. Nevertheless, make an extra effort to get a lot of rest, ideally within a sleep schedule, so that you are bright-eyed come defense time.

Long-term Stress Management

The rise of app culture is seen by some as the fall of civilization – particularly those spiritual or personal aspects of life. Tech is really just a tool, however, and finding a good meditation app can give you the right tech-based buddy system to keep you in good mental health. Meditation can be a great stress-management technique, and trying out some basic techniques will help you to stay alert, focused, and calm on your big day.

Physical Health IS Mental Health

How are you eating? Do you get out to exercise?

These are things that can easily fall by the wayside while pursuing higher academics. There is a reason that there is a cliched stereotype of undernourished, sleepless academics: it’s hard to absorb, retain, and study knowledge at this demanding level while maintaining a good balance with the more physical aspects of your life. Nonetheless, good physical health is strongly linked with good mental health, and you should pursue both.

Remember Step One...

Preventing panic is often a case of focus being unable to override insecurity. You’ve already taken care of your knowledge base: know your thesis. With that, you can keep insecurity at bay. Now for focus. What is the first thing you have to do when you get in the room? You’ll have some opening remarks, but even before that, you’ll likely want to quickly introduce yourself and welcome and thank your thesis screening panel. Forget everything else. Stop worrying about it, because you just have to do that first thing.

Concentrate on the Next Thing

After that, keeping yourself from getting distracted by insecurity is a question of focusing on whatever you must do next. You’ve made it through your introduction: great. What’s next? Since you’ve composed a careful set of notes, and carefully arranged those notes on your desk, table, or podium – or computing device – you can glance down and look to “point two” to carry you forward. Focus on doing your best job on that point. Once it’s over, focus on point three. Keep on in this way, and you have exorcised the twin demons of distraction and insecurity.

Fix Mistakes with No Fanfare

What if you misspeak? Just go back over it and fix the error quickly. “I’m sorry, I meant to say that 33% of the population favors blue above other colors, not 30 %. ”

Once you’ve fixed the error, move on. Dwelling on it does nothing at best, and exacerbates your problems at worst.

What if your PowerPoint presentation gums up? What if your computer freezes? What if the projector won’t project?

Remember that everybody in the room deals with glitches and tech errors, just like you, and do your best.

Don’t hide it – it's not hidden – but just briefly acknowledge the problem, “It seems the computer has frozen. Pardon me,” and see if you can fix it. If you can’t, rely on your notes to keep going. If you have infographics or charts and data that you wanted to highlight, offer to show those elements to the thesis screening panel, or to describe the data they need.

You’re being judged based on your logic, reasoning, rationales, recommendations, findings, data, and the effectiveness of your thesis. Nobody’s going to dock points from your presentation if there was a power failure.

Plus, if you’ve followed our advice thus far, you have redundant note systems with you, and you’ll be fine.

How to Stay Calm, Generally

Keep your breath under control. This ties in with meditation, to some extent, but controlled breath will keep your heart-rate down and your anxiety levels far more controlled than they would otherwise be. That is not to say that you won’t feel any anxiety, per se, just that – statistically speaking – you are far more likely to have far less anxiety.

Many people like to imagine a humorous image, particularly of their audience, to calm themselves down. This might work for you, but what this technique is getting at is a way to take your mind off of your anxieties and force it to focus on something else.

To do this, you needn’t go to the cliché of imagining anybody in underwear. Rather, just have a calming image or idea in your head that you can focus on. Pick something that makes you calm, or brings out a smile, and something that you can concentrate on to stop any panic moments and take away the snowball effect that happens whenever you dwell on something negative or that makes you anxious.

A Final Tip on Courtesy

Remember to be courteous, gracious, and polite. It really helps if you remember the names of the people on your thesis panel, so write those down if you have to.

What Does a Thesis Defense Look Like?

A thesis defense consists of a short presentation – about twenty or thirty minutes – on your thesis, followed by a discussion. That discussion is the actual defense of your thesis, as the thesis panel will be asking you questions and challenging you on your research, your conclusions, and your ideas.

The questioning period might take another twenty minutes or an hour, or even longer. There is no guaranteed time duration, so be prepared for a lengthy discussion and debate after your presentation.

Standard format would probably include the use of a PowerPoint-type accompaniment to your summation of your thesis. It is recommended that you provide more than just a lecture. If you want your panel to have anything like infographics, charts, or statistics, you need to provide it, either as part of a visual slideshow presentation, handout sheets, or both.

Common Types of Questions and How to Respond

Knowing what kind of thesis defense questions can come your way will be very advantageous for you because it will help you understand the kinds of answers you need to give.

Probing Questions

These feel your argument out a bit, just to test and see if you know your stuff, or if you’ve just memorized a very specific subset of data. These will seem almost unbearably easy if you have studied extensively while researching your thesis. If you haven’t, they will be painfully difficult. If you cannot answer these basic questions, you will seem as though you have crafted a thesis with blinders on, and it is unlikely you will survive further, deeper rounds of questioning.

Data Clarification

Maybe a chart didn’t go deep enough. Maybe somebody is curious if that statistic you gave was per capita or not. These clarification questions will just seek to clear up any misconceptions or blind spots in your presentation. This is why it’s important to know both your material and the secondary sources and citations you have made. If you understand all of this information thoroughly, you’ll be able to go deeper than any one chart and explain everything. This is also why it’s necessary to keep quick reference cards and tables of contents. If you blank on that per capita question, your index card won’t.

Opposing Viewpoint and Supporting Data

These questions will seek to challenge your ideas and stress your thesis by digging deep. They will present opposing views and find out whether or not you have considered alternate points of view. These are the most crucial questions to have excellent answers to, because these are the questions that directly challenge your work and are what you are “defending” your thesis from. We have already warned you to know your “enemy” as you know yourself. We stress this again here: have top-grade answers to cutting questions, or fail in your attempt.

Arm yourself with knowledge of your own thesis and an anticipation of what your detractors might, or do, say, and then practice, practice, practice.

At the end of a long period of vigorous study, get some rest, keep calm, and fire up a meditation app – or go for a walk.

In short: follow our advice, your common sense, and trust to your knowledge base and the research and readings you’ve done over the past years, and you’ll have a solid thesis defense.

Ideally you will dedicate several weeks to thesis preparation. Start about three to five weeks ahead of the defense and put aside some time every day to work on some aspect of your defense.

There isn’t really such a thing as too much prep. You could take too many notes and wind up with a very large, unwieldy reference binder, but even that is mitigated by your “table of contents.”

Err on the side of “too much” rather than “not enough.”

They’re probably just testing your knowledge of the material versus whether or not you just memorized a speech. Treat this as a probing question and answer in reference to your work. If this is an accident, don’t draw attention to it, and don’t get exasperated.

Say it’s outside of your field or area of study, but explain why you didn’t go there. So, if they ask about something peripheral, acknowledge that this isn’t part of what you’ve learned, why you are aware of it, and why you didn’t pursue further research into that area. Above all else, don’t fake knowledge you don’t have.

Numbers may vary, but three to five is fairly typical.

If you need a short break, to use the restroom, for instance, you can ask for one.

Have talking points and a firm knowledge of your facts and ideas, but don’t memorize set speeches. You can come off sounding robotic and impersonal. Worse, if you are asked a question and you find yourself getting lost, you might not remember details of your speech without the “ramp up” into any given part. Better to know the data, rather than the exact words.

In the event that you are not awarded your master or doctorate, you will most likely be given the chance to revise your thesis and try again. The committee will give you feedback, and you will revise accordingly.

Want more free tips? Subscribe to our channels for more free and useful content!

Apple Podcasts

Like our blog? Write for us ! >>

Have a question ask our admissions experts below and we'll answer your questions, get started now.

Talk to one of our admissions experts

Our site uses cookies. By using our website, you agree with our cookie policy .

FREE Training Webinar:

How to make your grad school application stand out, (and avoid the top 5 mistakes that get most rejected).

Time Sensitive. Limited Spots Available:

We guarantee you'll get into grad school or you don't pay.

Swipe up to see a great offer!

tips for a good thesis defense

Enago Academy

Virtual Defense: Top 5 Online Thesis Defense Tips

' src=

A Master’s or Ph.D. research defense is that momentous event you have been waiting for! It is that day when you want to proudly demonstrate your passion for research to everyone who have been a part of this long journey. It’s your chance of fulfilling your dream and acquiring the degree you have worked ceaselessly for. While researchers until now were well versed with defending their thesis in person, the standstill brought by the pandemic has made us adapt newer methods to keep our work going. With advances in the technological field, it has now become easier for researchers around the globe to defend their thesis virtually.

Top 5 Tips for Effective Online Thesis Defense

Your supervisors, mentors, and colleagues are eager to hear the principle applications and significant implications of your research. Defending your thesis right from the comfort of a living room was not something researchers had ever envisioned! Several institutes have updated their procedures and examination policies to support virtual defenses. It is important that you carefully read and understand the structure, protocol, and requirements well in advance to help you plan your thesis defense skillfully. Here we present top 5 tips for effective thesis defense remotely.

1. Perfect Your Pre-Defense Preparation

  • Universities and institutes have  revamped their thesis submission and defense protocols  to better suit remote requirements.
  • Talk to your faculty administration department and the dissertation committee chair to decide the conferencing platform and how to structure the open research defense.
  • Test your system prior to the actual defense from the same location you plan to use on D-day! Learn how to switch or share screens, control your microphones and camera, how to allow questions following your presentation, etc.
  • Contact your university’s technical and IT support team for tips to enhance the technological experience.
  • Share your final presentation file with the committee a few hours before the thesis defense. This way you could get to correct some typos before presenting it during the defense.

2. It is All About the Research Defense Setup

  • Ensure you set up your system in a quiet and well-lit room. It is always advisable to have a light source behind your camera, or to your side.
  • Remember that it’s a professional set-up. Dress formally and avoid over accessorizing.
  • Sit against a plain, light-colored wall. Ensure there is no distracting artwork or bright windows in the background. You may also make use of blur-out or a subtle virtual background provided by the platform you are using. Test this in advance to check if it looks good.
  • Create two rooms- a main room for public interaction and presentation, and a breakout room for private discussions with the dissertation committee or your supervisor.
  • Presenting your work through a webcam is indeed different than  in-person presentation . Therefore, position your system and webcam to eye level ensuring a better face-to-face contact.
  • It becomes easier to point out things on slides while presenting in person. However, it could not be done that remotely. Instead add subtle animations and highlight pointers on your slides that you want to emphasize on while defending your thesis.

3. Practice, Practice and Practice!

  • Practice your talk with your colleagues, in-house mentors and supervisors. Their feedback will be instrumental in adjusting the pace of your presentation. You can also take advice from people who have previously defended their thesis using this mode. Furthermore, presenting your work to friends from other fields will help you get diverse perspectives on your work.
  • Record your practice sessions to critique your presentation skills and improve based on your performance.
  • Anticipate questions in advance  and prepare your answers well. Some very frequently asked questions include: 1) How does your work contribute to broader area of research? 2) Do you plan to advance your current work?
  • Read recent papers published by your examiners. Remember that your examiners are leading-experts in your field of research and it is definitely a plus if you let them know how you work can relate or sync with their research goals. For instance, if one of your examiners is developing a novel technique to deliver drugs within the human body, you could suggest some ways in which your research can be aligned with theirs.

4. Begin Your Thesis Defense Early

  • Reboot your system, make all the essential updates, turn off applications that might pop-up unexpectedly to ensure a smooth run. Ensure that you have a strong internet connection to support video conferencing.
  • Log in to the  video conferencing software  at least 20-30 minutes in advance to ensure the technology is working fine for everyone! Talk to your attendees about how you plan to proceed with the defense.
  • Request the examination committee members to login 10-15 minutes prior to your actual research defense time to check for any technical issues on both ends.
  • It is recommended that you use two screens to manage your slides and video panel. In case, you cannot have a second screen, check with your committee if you can keep your camera switched off while presenting.

5. Do You Have a Plan B?

  • Even the best made plans may go for a toss! Rather than panicking in the moment, it is better to have an alternative technology solution ready if something goes wrong or stops functioning mid-way through your defense.
  • Discuss plan B with your supervisor/committee members, mentioning the circumstances under which you may have to implement plan B.
  • Keep a backup hardware ready to use in case there are some technical glitches.

Do you remember your first reaction when you learned about having to defend your thesis online? What do you think will be the major challenges? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. If you have any questions related to thesis defense, post them  here  and our experts will be happy to answer them! You can also visit our  Q&A forum  for frequently asked questions related to research writing and publishing answered by our team that comprises subject-matter experts, eminent researchers, and publication experts.

Rate this article Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published.

tips for a good thesis defense

Enago Academy's Most Popular

Writing a Literature Review

  • Manuscripts & Grants
  • Reporting Research

Writing a Research Literature Review? — Here are tips to guide you through!

Literature review is both a process and a product. It involves searching within a defined…

Research Hypothesis

How to Develop a Good Research Hypothesis

The story of a research study begins by asking a question. Researchers all around the…

: dissertation defense

  • Publishing Research
  • Submitting Manuscripts

13 Tips to Prepare for Your PhD Dissertation Defense

How well do you know your project? Years of experiments, analysis of results, and tons…

PhD Timeline

  • Career Corner
  • PhDs & Postdocs

How to Manage Your PhD Timeline for Smoother Research Completion

It’s finally happening! The university has sent you an acceptance letter for the PhD program you had applied to. Getting into a…

CSE Style Guide

  • Journal Guidelines

How to Use CSE Style While Drafting Scientific Manuscripts

What is CSE Style Guide? CSE stands for Council of Science Editors. Originated in the…

Top 12 Potential PhD Viva Questions and How to Answer Them

When Your Thesis Advisor Asks You to Quit

Top 5 Tips on How to Choose Your PhD External Examiner

tips for a good thesis defense

Sign-up to read more

Subscribe for free to get unrestricted access to all our resources on research writing and academic publishing including:

  • 2000+ blog articles
  • 50+ Webinars
  • 10+ Expert podcasts
  • 50+ Infographics
  • 10+ Checklists
  • Research Guides

We hate spam too. We promise to protect your privacy and never spam you.

I am looking for Editing/ Proofreading services for my manuscript Tentative date of next journal submission:

tips for a good thesis defense

According to you, how can one ensure ethical compliance in research and academia?


  • Thesis Defense - Detailed Guide
  • Thesis Defense - How to Do It Like a Pro?

Thesis Defense - How to Do It Like a Pro?

Thesis Defense - How Does It Go?

How to get the highest grade for thesis defense, tip #1 - get ready in advance, tip #2 - get to the root of the matter, tip #3 - do not forget about patience, tip #4 - demonstrate your knowledge, thesis defense: nuances you are to know, evaluation criteria for theses & their defense results, final thoughts.

In the life of each last-year university graduate student, there comes the time when one is faced with the need to write thesis and defend it in front of a large examination board. Is it the case of yours; is your thesis defense getting closer every day? Still don’t believe in your success? Do not panic! Our  thesis writing service has prepared for you key tips and recommendations that will help you can achieve the cherished goal.

There are several unspoken rules that a person need to follow to be 100% sure to be able to perfectly prepare for his program thesis defense . The approximate procedure of thesis defense covers the following steps:

  • Presentation of the topic for your dissertation;
  • Listing of the main objectives of your work, as well as the relevance of the chosen thesis title  in you field;
  • Discussion of your subject, object of your research, as well as the period of its conduction;
  • Presenting the main vectors of your research, as well as the identified shortcomings and possible ways to solve problems. It is important that all the assumptions made in the work are logically consistent with the rationale contained in thesis body. Otherwise, the committee will have many questions you will have to answer.
  • In the final part of the report, it is best to make a general conclusion.

As a rule, the length of the report does not exceed 5 pages of the Word text format with a font-size of 14 points and a 1.5 line spacing. To be ready for thesis defense,  you must prepare a presentation and speech. Such illustration material is used as a visible guide that demonstrates and proves the main points and results of the research. Information to be used in a presentation is selected by the master students in accordance with the material discussed in the explanatory note to the work. Such materials may include various drawings, tables, graphs, and so on.

Searching for excellent college graduation gifts  – find them all in our overview.

It is not easy to defend a thesis professionally if you have never done it before. Defending a thesis is an extremely laborious process that require both in-depth understanding of the topic and professional speaking skills. However, everything is doable, and there are some tips that will help you deliver the task and obtain a degree.

It is not a secret that all thesis works is required to first be reviewed by the project supervisor. Therefore, it is highly recommended submitting a ready-made version of the thesis for review to your advisor in advance. Thus, your supervisor will be able to read the paper and make edits, and there still will be enough time for you to do all the corrections and improve your thesis work.

As a general rule, thesis defense lasts no more than 5-7 minutes. During such a short period of time, it is necessary for you to convey the essence of your work, its relevance and importance. You should in no case retell all the content you have covered when writing thesis paper . Instead, you are to focus on the main point of your work and present only the most weighty arguments. Thus, in your presentation, you should set out the basic statements defining the work importance, research you have conducted, and conclusion of thesis  you have come to.

It should be remembered that the key to successful thesis defense is a thorough preparation. It is best to make a performance plan and rehearse your speech by retelling your defense in front of either your friends or relatives. It is the rehearsal that will help to adjust the size of your speech to the most optimal by deleting unnecessary statements and leaving only the high-importance information.

It is always possible to entrust thesis writing to some writers or agencies; however, it should be remembered that without mastering the basics of the subject, it is impossible to get a positive assessment of your knowledge. Therefore, it is necessary to answer the subsequent questions of the examination board clearly, competently, and without any confusion. In fact, this is easy to achieve only if you are confident in your knowledge.

Discover how to write a research question and state a hypothesis.

Of course, detailed preparation of your presentation and speech is highly important. You also sjould be sure all your citations are done right. But we have some other recommendations to follow if you want to get the highest grade for the thesis defense:

  • Before the defense day, be sure to sleep. On the “X” day, you can drink a sedative, but do not overdo it;
  • Come to an educational institution in advance, no less than 30 minutes before the defense session starts;
  • During the thesis defense, speak on the essence of the chosen topic; it is not a good idea to use general phrases when presenting a scientific work;
  • Forget that you do not know something - there may be situations when commission members ask a question; in this case, you should not keep silent and answer at random. Keep time to think about the question and find the correct formulation for the reply.

It would be a good idea to plan your speech and think about the questions that the faculty commission board may ask you. Thus, you will have enough time and resources to explore the theme more deeply and will be 100% ready for any question to be asked.

Learn how to write a thesis introduction : secrets, tips, advice

The major criteria for the evaluation of theses and the results of their defense are the following ones:

  • Compliance of the thesis content with the stated theme, set goals and objectives;
  • Clarity and logical validity in setting goals and objectives of the work;
  • The presence specific references to primary sources in the thesis;
  • The use of relevant regulations in the text of the thesis;
  • The use of materials of up-to-date periodicals and accounting of the established practice on the research problem;
  • The use of special literature on the issues under consideration in the work;
  • Completeness and quality of the collected actual data on the basis of the study;
  • The presence of elements of a creative approach to solving problems and the application of modern research methodology;
  • The student’s ability to analyze and correctly interpret the results obtained as a result of the analysis;
  • The validity of conclusions and recommendations made in the thesis, as well as the possibility of their practical implementation;
  • The style of material presentation and the absence of grammatical errors and misprints;
  • The quality level of work;
  • The appearance and content of the presentation prepared for thesis protection;
  • The ability to competently, logically and reasonably present the results of the thesis in the form of a report presented on the defense day without reading its printed version;
  • The ability to debate on theoretical and practical issues of the thesis, the depth and accuracy of the answers to the questions of the department commission member;
  • Approbation of the thesis (introduction into practice, the availability of copyright publications on the topic, speeches on the topic at different conferences, etc.).

Thesis statement defense is not an easy thing to do, especially if you do not have any experience. The same goes to thesis statement writing. We hope that the above tips will be useful for you; however, if you do not want to risk and want to rest assured about a high grade, then you can order a professional assistance from us on this site; just like for many students from around the world, we will help you write a top-quality thesis on any topic and will prepare a brilliant presentation as well as an all-covering speech for the defense!

College puts every student through an obstacle course. Whether labs or essays or researches, every type of assignment requires scrupulous work. It means a student is expected to be switched on all the time. Is it possible to meet all the requirements? A better question is, do you need it? From study...

If we read the case study definition, this is a published report about an event, situation, person or group that has been studied. The main idea of this document is to deeply investigate the chosen subject. Depending on the topic, all the case studies could be separated into next 4 groups:illustrati...

To successfully come up with your thesis acknowledgement, read this helpful guidance article or contact our pro writers to get dissertation help. How to write an acknowledgement for a thesis? This section should be presented only to express your sincere gratitude to individuals who helped you in you...

tips for a good thesis defense

  • Graduate Schools in the News
  • Graduate Guide Digital Edition
  • Business & Commerce
  • Computer Science
  • Engineering & Technology
  • Health Professions & Medical Science
  • Psychology & Behavioral Sciences
  • Social Work
  • Urban & Regional Planning
  • Applying to Grad School
  • Graduate Test Dates
  • Graduate School Information
  • MBA or Specialized Master’s Degree: Which One is Best for You?
  • Your Business School Application: Four Things to Do Right Now
  • MBA Admissions: Tips for International Students
  • Accreditation of Postsecondary Education in the United States
  • The Smart Choice: The Benefits of Taking the GRE General Test for Business School
  • Graduate Schools
  • Graduate Majors
  • Online Degree Programs
  • Business Graduate Programs
  • Graduate Test Taking

5 tips for acing your thesis defense

tips for a good thesis defense

Your committee will likely take notes during your presentation and later ask detailed questions.

A number of advanced degree programs, whether Master's or PhD, require students to submit a thesis or dissertation. The purpose of such an assignment is to enable you to demonstrate the knowledge you have accrued throughout the duration of your studies, as well as your ability to conduct academic research and complete an extended project. And while writing thousands of words is a significant challenge in and of itself, that's usually only half the battle. As a thesis or dissertation candidate, you will be expected to complete a thesis defense.

The defense is, in essence, exactly how it sounds: a formal meeting whereby you explain your project and the reasons why you decided to explore your chosen topic. As the Guardian explained, however, academic institutions tend to have varying protocols in how the defense process is set up and what is expected of it. For example, according to the University of Rochester , some schools will hold closed defenses , wherein you simply discuss your work with your advisors and maybe a panel of other professors. Other institutions, however, will conduct more involved defenses where you will be expected to deliver a presentation or lecture to a public audience. In nearly all cases, a thesis defense will comprise of a question and answer session, where the strengths and weaknesses of your project will be discussed and scrutinized. Finally, you will be required to leave the room, and your committee will reach a final grade or score for your project. 

However your institution structures its dissertation defense process, it's crucial to be as prepared as possible beforehand. If you are nearing your dissertation defense or are simply reading for future reference, review the list of five tips for success below:

1. Consult with your panel According to the American Psychological Association, it's wise to conduct regular meetings with your thesis panel in the weeks prior to your defense. Through routine meetings, you'll have a more accurate sense of where you stand with your project and any improvements that need to be made. You may also be able to gauge the kinds of questions that may be asked of you throughout the defense. In other words, keep in contact with your panel as much as possible, and ask as many questions as you can, big or small. The more communication you have with your committee, the less stressed you will feel.

2. Prepare thoroughly The thesis defense is arguably one of the most important moments of your academic career, which is why thorough preparation is absolutely essential. While you may have written your thesis, if you don't have an intimate knowledge of pretty much every page and argument you make, then you could be in trouble. After all, you will likely be required to present on your material and you will then have to field often complex questions from your panel and the public. According to the University of Central Florida , in depth preparation involves reading over your thesis a number of times and highlighting areas that will likely be cause for discussion or concern. Indeed, try to anticipate the kinds of questions that you may be asked, and then prepare detailed and nuanced responses. Contingent on the requirements of your school or program, the preparation stage may also involve writing a lecture or building a presentation. 

The source also noted that the primary objective of any defense is to ascertain why your work matters. The examiners will likely enquire about the purpose of the project and how it complements or expands existing academic research. If you are able to answer such questions in a comprehensive way, while providing evidence, you'll likely do well. 

"The primary objective of any defense is to ascertain why your work matters."

3. Dress well Unless stated otherwise by your panel, the thesis defense should be accorded the same respect as a job interview or professional meeting. As the University of Rochester pointed out, that means dressing in a relatively conservative way. Men should select a suit or at the very least a button-down shirt with a tie. For women, a jacket, blouse and professional skirt are advised. In essence, use your best judgment – you don't want a risky outfit choice to overshadow your accomplishment!

4 . Be open and confident Although it's called a thesis defense, coming across as overly defensive during the question and answer suggestion can make you appear rude and stubborn. Relax, be open to suggestions and take your time while you think through your answer. As the University of Rochester explained, it's best not to rush thinking through any questions, so that you can deliver a more detailed answer with confidence.

5. Regard the process as a conversation While you may be nervous, try to relax. As the Guardian noted, there can be enjoyment in the fact that the thesis is often treated as an academic conversation between equals. Put another way, it's unlikely that your committee will try to discredit your project. Instead, they will most likely want to explore the nuances of your work and offer you suggestions for improvement. Once you understand that the defense isn't grounds to be overly defensive, you'll likely feel more relaxed.

  • Applications
  • Architecture & Related Programs
  • Arts: Fine and Applied
  • Communications
  • Computer Science/Information Systems
  • Criminal Justice & Criminology
  • Environmental Science/Studies
  • Film/TV/Broadcasting
  • Government/Public Administration
  • Graduate Fairs
  • Graduate Financial Aid
  • Humanities/Liberal Studies
  • Library & Information Science
  • Mathematics
  • Mba Program
  • Music & Music Performance
  • Nutrition / Family & Human Ecology
  • Pharmacy & Pharmacology
  • Sociology & Anthropology
  • Speech/Speech Therapy
  • Theatre/Drama
  • Uncategorized
  • Urban/Regional Planning

Blog Title

Why dual-degree programs in law and journalism are now in demand

Many people don't see it, but journalism and law degrees actually go hand in hand. Many people in law often wish they understo....

Blog Title

Why a master's of professional studies degree might be the right answer for you

Many people get their master's to enhance their skill set in the hopes of reaching greater success in their careers. Unfortuna....

Blog Title

What your grad school admissions letter means

After all of the hard work and preparation that goes into a grad school application, it's a relief for prospective students to fin....

Mount Saint Mary's University, Los Angeles

Mount Saint Mary's University, Los Angeles

Doheny Campus, Los Angeles, CA, 90007

The Master of Art in Humanities at Mount Saint Mary’s University is a dynamic and fl....

Mount St. Joseph University

Mount St. Joseph University

5701 Delhi Road, Cincinnati, OH, 45233

Mount St. Joseph University is a Catholic academic community grounded in the spiritual values and vi....

Touro University Worldwide

Touro University Worldwide

10601 Calle Lee, Los Alamitos, CA, 90720

Touro University Worldwide is a nonprofit institution of higher learning established by philanthropi....

Hofstra University

Hofstra University

126 Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY, 11549

At Hofstra University, students take advantage of dynamic courses, flexible schedules, exceptional f....

Western New England University

Western New England University

Graduate Admissions Office, Springfield, MA, 01119

Western New England University offers a diverse range of master's, doctoral, and dual degree program....

St. John Fisher University

St. John Fisher University

3690 East Avenue, Rochester, NY, 14618

As an independent institution in the Catholic tradition of American higher education, St. John Fishe....

Lock Haven University

Lock Haven University

401 N Fairview St, Lock Haven, PA, 17745

Founded in 1870, Lock Haven University sits on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River and looks ov....

Regent University

Regent University

1000 Regent University Drive, Virginia Beach, VA, 23464

Regent University is a Christian learning community comprised of seven graduate schools (Business &a....

Subscribe to our Graduate School Newsletter for Graduate Program News

  • About Graduate Guide
  • Advertising Info

Featured Graduate Schools

  • Featured Schools List by State

Information & Resources

  • Graduate Fields of Study
  • Graduate School Search
  • Update Listing

10 TIPS FOR YOUR THESIS DEFENSE: How to prepare + What to expect

tips for a good thesis defense

  • Next Article
  • Previous Article



Testing to see if our commenting works!

tips for a good thesis defense

Latest Free PDF!

Impress your guests, popular posts.

' border=

Search This Blog

Pinterest gallery, instagram shots, blog archive.

  • ►  April (1)
  • 10 TIPS FOR YOUR THESIS DEFENSE: How to prepare + ...
  • ►  February (1)
  • ►  December (1)
  • Presentation
  • Public Speaking
  • Thesis Defense Tips

Girl Knows Tech

5 Tips To Get Ready For A Successful Thesis Defense

I recently successfully defended my master’s thesis, so after several months of preparation which helped me a lot, I thought this would be an opportunity to write an article to detail what I have done to prepare for my thesis defense as part of my master’s degree!

The advice in this article can very well be applied also for doctoral students who are preparing to defend their dissertation, not only for master’s students.

What is a thesis defense?

The defense is one of the last steps before graduating for a master’s or doctoral student. This is an oral presentation in front of a jury made up of a few professors. Once the dissertation or thesis is completed, it is sent to the jury, who have about 1 month to read it. Then a defense date is determined.

The defense begins with a 30-40 minute presentation followed by a question period for the jury members and the public (some defenses are private). It can take +1 hour. After the question period, the jury withdraws and deliberates on the grade to be given to the student for the oral presentation and determines whether the student is suitable for graduation. Some modifications to be made to the thesis are always requested and sent to the student, who will have to make these modifications and proceed with the final submission of the thesis within a certain time limit: and voila, it’s over, the student- he has officially completed his master’s or doctorate!

Please note that how defense works vary from university to university and country to country. What I have shared here is my experience at the École de Technologie Supérieure in Montreal.

5 tips to get ready to defend your thesis

1- prepare a powerpoint in advance and of good quality.

Screenshot of the first slide used in the author's master's thesis defense. You can see the title: "Predicting the Severity of Parkinson's Disease Symptoms with Smartwatches from Daily Living"

As soon as you have finished writing your thesis, immediately start working on your PowerPoint. That’s what I did, and for a month and a half, I worked every day to improve my presentation! You really need to take the time to make a good, well-structured PowerPoint.

For the design of the slides, I always use SlidesCarnival to find a clean but professional theme (I used the Clean Minimal theme in my defense). Other sites offer themes for free, such as Slidesgo and SlidesMania .

Some general tips for creating a good PowerPoint for your thesis defense:

  • Limit yourself to “bullet points.” No complete sentence!
  • Write a few words as possible
  • Use accent colors to make prettier slides
  • Try to have one relevant image per slide, if possible
  • Vary the presentation style of the slides
  • Do not use unnecessary animation – try to use it to help the audience understand your message
  • Show page numbers

Below are some examples of what I did in my PowerPoint to have a good structure and a quality presentation:

  • Used the “highlight” to draw attention to certain words or a subtitle.
  • Framed certain symptoms, added an animation to clarify an important point, and made the box appear as I talked.
  • Wrote “10,000,000” in big characters to emphasize that Parkinson’s affects so many people (which means changing the style of the slides to convey my message).
  • Played on the format and on the “highlight” to reduce the number of words and clarify my research questions.
  • For the slide about the motivation for my research, I underlined a few important words I wanted to emphasize.
  • When sharing tables, I start by presenting the full table. Then, while presenting the table and insisting on a particular row or column, I change the background to yellow to bring the audience’s attention.

tips for a good thesis defense

2- Practice many times before your thesis defense

Practicing your presentation before your defense allows you to improve and gain confidence so that on D-Day, you are ready! Before the defense of my thesis, I practiced several times in different contexts to an academic audience, for example:

  • Presentation in a reading group
  • Presentation to my research laboratory
  • Presentation to my master’s supervisors (maybe this is not allowed at your university)

Before each practice, take the time to specify that you are preparing to defend your thesis. Emphasize that you want to receive as many suggestions for improvement and questions as possible. Personally, the questions from my jury members stressed me a lot before the presentation, so I wanted to take advantage of the practices to answer as many questions as possible to work on my confidence. And that helped me a lot!

After each presentation, improve your slides based on the feedback received. So, after a few practices, you will feel 100% ready for your defense!

During my presentation with my supervisors, they especially mentioned points to remember to specify during the defense. So, I wrote in large red letters these points that I often forgot to mention while presenting. So during my defense, as I was in presentation view, I could see when a slide had a sentence in red, and I could make sure to mention it.

3- Prepare a list of questions

Screenshot of the Google Docs that the author of the post used to write down possible questions for her thesis defense.

Another big part of my preparation was creating a long list of potential questions that my jury members might ask me. I wrote over 90 questions. I started by writing each chapter of my thesis:

  • Introduction
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Literature Review
  • Methodology

Then I wrote down all the potential questions in each of the sections. All the questions that people asked me during the practices, the things that I found more difficult to understand, all without exception. I also searched on Google. Several sites list typical questions often asked during defenses ( How to Ace the 25 Most Common Project Defense Questions , Top 20 Questions Asked , Oral Defense questions , etc.)

90 questions might sound like a lot, and it sure is! But, I used several different models in my thesis (SVR, KNN, PLDA, NN). Therefore, for each of them, I had multiple questions:

  • What is an SVR / KNN / PLDA / NN?
  • Why did I choose this model?
  • What are the pros/cons of this model?
  • What are the hyperparameters that we need to tune for this model?

So the number of questions grew quite quickly! However, I felt ready to answer. Being more ready than not enough has always made me feel more confident during oral presentations. It depends on everyone, maybe for you, it is not necessary to prepare so much.

4- Create flash cards to practice questions

Screenshot of Quizlet, a website that allows you to create flashcards so you can get ready for your thesis defense. We can read a flashcard saying "What is an accelerometer?". On the left-hand side, there is a menu with the different playing modes of Quizlet.

I have been using Quizlet for years to study before an exam. It’s a website where you can create free memory aid sheets and practice independently. I really like the functionality that allows Quizlet to read out loud the flashcards that you create.

Sometimes, I go outside for a walk and listen to my flashcards. It makes it much more fun to study while walking! Before an artificial intelligence exam, I used this read-aloud feature to revise while falling asleep. I was too stressed out to fall asleep, so studying while trying to fall asleep fixed the problem!

There are different modes to study: classic flashcards, write the answers (my favorite), test (combine different learning methods), and two game modes to try.

5- Attend other thesis defense

Finally, my last tip is to attend some defenses from other students who have studied in a field similar to yours. Pay attention to how the defense goes, what kinds of questions are asked, etc. It was definitely helpful to me. I remembered that in one of them, professors had asked a lot of questions about hyper-parameters. So, during my preparation, I paid special attention to this subject.

I hope this article has helped prepare you to defend your master’s or doctoral thesis. Feel free to share in the comments if you have any other advice for future students!

tips for a good thesis defense

Marie likes to push her limits and always keep learning new things. She shares her weekly learnings because "if you can't explain it simply, it means you didn't understand it well enough".

How To Make A Realistic To-Do List

A career in video games with eidos-montreal, you may also like, my research internship at johns hopkins university, ultimate list of youtube channels for study tips, 11 tips to get ready for a new..., plan your day with this free digital daily..., why working longer than others is a good..., how to stay focused while studying, notion for academic research & note-taking, graduating from software engineering – advice for future..., do you need to be good at maths..., why study with me videos can help you..., leave a comment cancel reply.

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More


  1. How To Do a Proper Thesis Defense with a PowerPoint Presentation

    tips for a good thesis defense

  2. How to Prepare an Excellent Thesis Defense

    tips for a good thesis defense

  3. 10 TIPS FOR YOUR THESIS DEFENSE: How to prepare + What to expect

    tips for a good thesis defense

  4. 10 TIPS FOR YOUR THESIS DEFENSE: How to prepare + What to expect

    tips for a good thesis defense

  5. The Ultimate Guide to Delivering an Outstanding Dissertation Defense

    tips for a good thesis defense

  6. How To Write A Thesis Statement (with Useful Steps and Tips) • 7ESL

    tips for a good thesis defense


  1. Research title defense tips #philippines #research #thesis #presentation

  2. Thesis defense Fredy Molano

  3. Thesis Defense Presentation

  4. How to Write Thesis? Thesis Writing Tips #thesis #shorts #assignment

  5. thesis defense........ #amazing #astronomy #new

  6. How to defend a master's thesis?


  1. How to prepare an excellent thesis defense [6 tips]

    1. Anticipate questions and prepare for them 2. Dress for success 3. Ask for help, as needed 4. Have a backup plan 5. Prepare for the possibility that you might not know an answer 6. De-stress before, during, and after Frequently Asked Questions about preparing an excellent thesis defense Related Articles What is a thesis defense?

  2. 17 Thesis Defense Questions and How to Answer Them

    A good defense requires mastery of the thesis itself, so before you consider the questions you might face, 1. What is your topic, and why did you choose it? Give a quick summary in just a few sentences on what you've researched.

  3. Thesis Defense: 10 Tips That Are Proven to Work

    Thesis Defense: 10 Tips That Are Proven to Work Patrick Regoniel August 9, 2020 Education, Research 3 Comments The thesis defense is a significant event in a graduate student's journey towards getting a higher degree. Many students find this occasion daunting.

  4. Perfect Dissertation Defense: Your Complete Guide

    One of the most important dissertation defense tips provided by several professors is to breakdown the process into three steps: Preparation: This stage involves collection of all the necessary information that must be included in the defense dissertation and making all the arrangements for the actual meeting.

  5. How to Effectively Prepare for Your Thesis Defense

    October 19, 2022 | Read time: 4 min How to Effectively Prepare for Your Thesis Defense You've completed your research study, written your thesis, and think you're done! If only it were this easy. Before you finish with your thesis, there is one last hurdle to overcome: the thesis defense. What is a thesis defense?

  6. 13 Tips to Prepare for Your PhD Dissertation Defense

    Total: 2) How well do you know your project? Years of experiments, analysis of results, and tons of literature study, leads you to how well you know your research study. And, PhD dissertation defense is a finale to your PhD years. Often, researchers question how to excel at their thesis defense and spend countless hours on it.

  7. Mastering Your Thesis Defense: An In-depth Guide

    The thesis defense is the concluding oral examination that officially rounds off the process of submitting your thesis. Option 1: Defending Your Academic Work (Disputation) As the term suggests, you must defend your academic work before an audience composed of a committee and a select group of guests.

  8. PDF Tips for Preparing for the Thesis Defense

    The thesis defense is a long‐awaited and hard‐earned personal event, as well as a major professional presentation. Obviously, you want to be mentally prepared for a discussion and explanation of your work, and putting forth a good impression through appearance and conduct is an important part of a successful defense. You probably have

  9. PDF A Guide for Graduate Students Preparing for a Master's Thesis Defense

    Master's Thesis Defense Appointment Form (note that this form can only be accessed by staff). Registration must occur on a date that allows 5 full working days to pass between the registration date and your actual defense date. When registering your Master's thesis, you must present a bound defense copy of your thesis to the Graduate Studies

  10. Thesis defense: tips and know-how

    [joli-toc] What is a thesis defense? The thesis defense, also known as thesis presentation or disputation in certain countries, signifies what is often the last and final part of your thesis journey. This is your moment to shine, where you are the center of the stage, to promote your thesis and discuss your results and your research.

  11. Thesis Defense Steps: Full Guide How to Prepare and Present

    Published by Josh Jasen at March 9, 2022 If you are conducting post-graduate research within your discipline, you will come across the phrase "thesis defense". A thesis defense is part of the things you will need to accomplish before acquiring a postgraduate degree. The thesis defense comes at the end of the graduate program.

  12. Thesis Defense ~ A Guide To Prepare Best

    Dissertation > Thesis Defense - a guide to prepare best Start Plagiarism Check Editing & Proofreading for Your Research Paper Plagiarism Check within 10min Printing & Binding with 3D Live Preview Thesis Defense - a guide to prepare best 27.04.20 Thesis Time to read: 7min How do you like this article? 0 Reviews Definition: Thesis Defense

  13. 40 Thesis Defense Questions

    Blog Graduate School 40 Thesis Defense Questions Updated: Jan 01, 2024 Practicing answering thesis defense questions in a mock thesis defense is the best way to get ready for this challenging step in your academic career.

  14. Preparing for Your Thesis Defense: Tips & Sample Questions

    For the session with your opponent, be prepared for both big picture and detail questions, on both your written thesis and oral presentation. The following are by no means exhaustive, but just a sample of some kinds of questions that have been asked in my experience (of course your own experience may vary). It's OK to take a moment to consider ...

  15. Defending Your Thesis

    Make sure to get across the fundamentals while defending your thesis. First, state your thesis/research question. You need to describe the importance of your topic and detail how your research was conducted, including any methods of measurement you have used. The major findings of your thesis should be made clear, as well as how your thesis ...

  16. How To Prepare For A Thesis Defense Or Dissertation Defense

    Therefore, know the defense format in your country to prepare for a master's or Ph.D. dissertation defense presentation properly. Study the Content of Your Thesis: Take the time to study and understand the content of your thesis. This is a long paper and the committee members can ask questions from any part of your work.

  17. How to prepare for a thesis defense

    How to Prepare for a Thesis Defense Updated: Jan 01, 2024 You've spent years on your studies to acquire your advanced degree, and whether a master's thesis or doctorate, you need to know how to prepare for a thesis defense. Treat this as more of a siege than a defense, and be prepared to outlast any foe, any siege engine, any army at your gates.

  18. Virtual Defense: Top 5 Online Thesis Defense Tips

    It is important that you carefully read and understand the structure, protocol, and requirements well in advance to help you plan your thesis defense skillfully. Here we present top 5 tips for effective thesis defense remotely. 1. Perfect Your Pre-Defense Preparation. Universities and institutes have revamped their thesis submission and defense ...

  19. Thesis Defense

    Tip #1 - Get Ready in Advance. Tip #2 - Get to the Root of the Matter. Tip #3 - Do Not Forget about Patience. Tip #4 - Demonstrate Your Knowledge. Thesis Defense: Nuances You Are to Know. Evaluation Criteria for Theses & Their Defense Results. Final Thoughts.

  20. 5 tips for acing your thesis defense

    4 . Be open and confident. Although it's called a thesis defense, coming across as overly defensive during the question and answer suggestion can make you appear rude and stubborn. Relax, be open to suggestions and take your time while you think through your answer.

  21. 10 TIPS FOR YOUR THESIS DEFENSE: How to prepare

    :-O Different from planned lectures or talks, a defense has high stakes--it's what's between you and your degree, and you can't control all of the factors. First, you have to prove that you are an expert in your field. You have the knowledge and your work checks all the boxes.

  22. 5 Tips To Get Ready For A Successful Thesis Defense

    Some general tips for creating a good PowerPoint for your thesis defense: Limit yourself to "bullet points." No complete sentence! Write a few words as possible Use accent colors to make prettier slides Try to have one relevant image per slide, if possible Vary the presentation style of the slides

  23. Tips for a good thesis defense? : r/GradSchool

    5 9 comments Best rns1113 • 3 mo. ago My favorite defense advice is from xkcd, but otherwise, just remain calm and remember that you're THE expert on your project. Your committee will likely ask you questions until you don't have answers, that's normal. You don't need to know everything, or have done everything. me_am_david • 3 mo. ago

  24. NFL playoff picks, predictions for 2024 AFC, NFC brackets and Super

    NFL playoff picks, predictions 2024 Which wild-card team (5-7 seeds) is the biggest threat to win it all? Vinnie Iyer: Los Angeles Rams.Sean McVay's Super Bowl 56 team rode Aaron Donald and the ...