Master's Thesis Defense Guidelines: How To Get A Good Grade
After years of hard work at school, everything culminates with your thesis defense. Having gotten this far, the best you can do for yourself and your loved ones is to make a big success of it. Listed below are some guidelines to help you towards getting good grades as you defend your paper. They include the following:
- Attend defenses: Experience they say, is the best teacher. Make sure you attend several defenses prior to your own. While there, you can see and analyze the best and worst case scenarios. This way, you will be able to note down what to do and what not to do. You will also feel more comfortable addressing the examination committee when the day finally arrives.
- Engage in rehearsals: This is usually called “dry run” and entails having rehearsals with faculty and grad students that make up your research group. During the rehearsals, there will be suggestions or input from the group. Pay attention to these suggestions and where necessary, use them to improve on what you already have.
- Proper timing: Depending on your department or course, your presentation could run for upwards of 20 to 25 minutes and a maximum of 30 minutes. Bearing in mind that your thesis defense is for the examination committee and not for any other persons that might be there, don’t turn it into a public lecture. Stay clear of exhaustive description since the committee members have already read your work. Go straight to the noted points and save your time and theirs.
- Use slides: This is where having a good knowledge of PowerPoint proves beneficial. Make sure the slide numbering is turned on as it makes it easier for the examination committee and others to write down the numbers and conveniently request that you visit a particular page number, if need be.
- Define acronyms: If you are using acronyms on the slides, make sure they are defined. This is for the benefit of those who may not know what the acronym stands for. It can be spelt out in small font on the same slide. This way, lots of distractions are avoided as you defend your thesis.
- Be prepared for questions: There are certain questions that will be asked by the committee and for you to further up your grades, get prepared to answer them. You can prepare yourself by having extra slides with which to answer these questions.
You should also go a step further by making and bringing alone a copy of your own thesis. This way, you can easily flip through any referenced pages and answer the questions related to them.