Project Defense -7 steps to effectively defend your research project, thesis or dissertation

Project Defense -7 steps to effectively defend your research project, thesis or dissertation

Prepare questions

One of the best ways to effectively defend your project is by asking yourself possible questions that may arise from your topic.  This really helped me when I was defending my project some years ago; I predicted the questions before the defence and it was exactly what I was asked on that day.

Summarize your chapters

This is an important aspect of your research. Remember you are not the only one defending that day so your supervisors might be a little bit in a rush in other to create room for everyone. You might likely be asked to give an overview of a chapter highlighting the significant aspects of the work.  Be prepared.

Have a comprehensive knowledge of your research topic

That you are working on postcolonial novels does not mean you should not look at pre-colonial works. You must cover every ground; this is why it is research.  Read anything related to your research; you could be asked questions from any aspect. Do not limit your research, do it broadly.

Practice in front of people

Everybody feels awkward standing in front of a panel; it is even worse when you do not have a relationship with your lecturers.  Well, I am not saying you should, some of us passed through school without knowing the office number of any lecturer; I was like that too so for me defence was scarce while as my friends who are familiar with the lectures were a bit nervous nothing much.

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It is okay if you are the “I am on my own student” but make sure you practice in front of your friends before the day of the defence. When I say practice, I mean professionally; dress like it was a real defence and some get serious-minded friends to bombard you with questions.

Have a healthy Self-esteem and build your confidence

No matter how fantastic your topic of interest is if you think you are not good enough or undeserving of good grades you will definitely perform badly.   Low self-esteem is a great enemy of success; you must fight to overcome it. You don’t have to be beautiful or handsome to make a good defence.  Also, you must build your confidence. You don’t want to sound unsure of yourself when you are answering questions, right?

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Avoid Model Questions

You must have probably come across some sites that provide model answers to possible questions that you might be asked on that day. Avoid cramming these answers; when you cram, your supervisors may find out and it will. You cannot sound confident with crammed materials. Your research work was carried out by you and I don’t see the reason you cannot answer any questions about your work.  It is okay to have a look at the model answers but do not cram.

Listen for the question

I understand you might be excited to answer your questions and walk out of the defence room but you must make sure that you heard and understood the question that you are being asked before attempting to answer during your project defense.

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Have a motivation

There were several topics at your disposal before you settle down to work on this particular one. It means there must be something intriguing about it; let this be your drive. When you are motivated about something, there will be a drive in you to share your knowledge with anybody.

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