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PhD writing tips


How To Avoid Typical Mistakes During Your Thesis Defense Presentation

When you are stressed, you make many silly mistakes and you forget everything you know. This happens to students all the time, especially when they have to defend their thesis. All the teachers are there, other students are listening to you and you don’t want to say something wrong or give them the wrong impression. To avoid any awkward situation, follow these tricks:

  • Don’t try to memorize too much information. Of course, you have to know what you wrote in your thesis but you don’t have to memorize it word by word. If you do this, you might forget one sentence and you will not know how to get back on track. Read the information, make sure you understand it and answer the questions as they come.
  • Don’t assume that they want to see you fail. Teachers are there because this is their job, not because they have something personal with your work. Don’t be too aggressive in your answers and under any circumstance don’t answer in sarcastic way. Be professional and friendly and they will treat you in the same way.
  • Don’t try to use too many quotes. It’s always a good idea to show that you done some research, but don’t talk about this for the entire time. They already read your thesis and they know what quotations and references you used there. If you build your defense based on quotes they might believe that you have nothing interesting to say.
  • Don’t talk about things that you don’t know. You found some interesting information on the internet and you want to use it in your defense. However, if you don’t know too much about this you will find yourself in a difficult situation. What if they ask you about this and you don’t know what to say?
  • Don’t use random pictures. Some students use pictures during their presentation so others can understand clearly what they want to express. It is ok to do this, as long as you mention the source of the picture and you are sure that it is relevant to the subject. You can’t bring pictures with animals if your thesis is about an author; it does not make any sense and it will make you look professional.
  • Don’t be late. This is the worst thing that you can do, and it will make your professor think that you don’t care about your grades.

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