12 Sample Dissertation Defense Questions And How To Answer Them

What is more complicated than dissertation writing? It’s dissertation defense. No matter how hard you try to prepare for this moment, you can hardly guess what will be asked and what you should answer to win. Below, you will see samples of defense questions and winning answers.

What Is It All about?

You are supposed to explain the committee why you have chosen this topic, what is novel about the research, why it can be important, and what you have achieved in the process and as a result of your research. The committee needs to see how well you understand the subject, how deeply you have explored it, and even whether you are the author of your work. That’s why a single failure can ruin everything.

  1. “In a few words, what is your work all about?”
  2. This is what needs to be explained in the abstract part of your work. If you have a good abstract, you’ll answer this question.

  3. “What has motivated you to start this work?”
  4. Say that your main motivation was a desire to study the problem, to explore it and research. Never mention any financial reasons or your desire to receive a diploma as a motivation.

  5. “What can this work give to the science, to the knowledge?”
  6. Mention the new methods, new points of view that you have used, and the new results that you have achieved.

  7. “Do you feel that you have filled in a gap in science?”
  8. This question has to do with the uniqueness of your work. You need to convince them that your work is really important for the area.

  9. “What have you achieved?”
  10. Represent your findings clearly, logically, and concisely. Always connect the findings to the goals that have been stated in the beginning.

  11. “Which methods did you use and why?”
  12. It’s clear that this question means an explanation of your research methods and the propriety of their choice.

  13. “Are you going to keep on working in this area?”
  14. Explain what you have explored, what you haven’t explored yet, what is interesting to you, and the way you see further researching of this area and the importance of such work.

  15. “Summarize your project in a few words”.
  16. Your ability to put the main stuff in a few words will add you many points.

  17. “What would you change if you could do the research again?”
  18. Be careful and don’t let them think that your research is underexplored, the topic or the methods have been chosen wrongly, etc. Say that it was difficult to combine lectures with practical studies, that’s all.

  19. “How your findings are related to the existing knowledge in the area?”
  20. If you are able to link your study to the existing theories, you will win a lot of points.

  21. “Do you have questions to the committee?”
  22. Ask at least one. Make sure it’s not silly.

  23. “Any closing comments?”
  24. Thank everybody for their attention and time. Impress them with your courtesy.


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Tricks and tutorials for students getting their doctoral level degree.