BLDE University


How To Prepare For Your History Dissertation Defense: Things To Remember

Writing a history dissertation is quite an intense experience. You spend months and months studying and researching the subject, and when you are finally finished with your paper, this is not the end yet. You need to defend your thesis. Defending your history dissertation is quite a nerve-wracking experience. The better you prepare for it, the easier it will flow. You can prepare for your thesis defense following a few simple rules:

  1. Know the format of your defense.
  2. Essentially, it may vary in different countries and even across different institutions, so you need to be prepared. You may have only two examiners or a large committee. Whatever it will be, you need to know in advance.

  3. Practice your presentation.
  4. You need to know the time limits for your presentation and prepare accordingly. In order for your speech to be smooth and fluent, study the material perfectly. In this way, if you forget some lines, you can still keep talking, because you know your subject. It is a good idea to practice your speech with an audience. Encourage your friends to create a mock dissertation defense setting, and ask questions.

  5. You are not expected to know everything.
  6. The scariest thing about your thesis defense is being asked a question you do not know an answer to. It is not possible to predict all the questions and read all the literature on the subject. The main element is to speak confidently, so that you will make your examiners happy with your answer. Do not just say “I don’t know”. Speculate on the question asked and make predictions. This way the examiners will see that you are able to think as a scholar.

  7. Know your core content
  8. This is the main part of your paper, you are expected to know it perfectly. Therefore, in your presentation, stick to the main problem of your history dissertation.

  9. Deal with your nerves.
  10. It is inevitable that you will be nervous. Just think of a way to calm yourself down.

  11. Do not rush.
  12. Speaking really fast will not help your presentation sound clear and coherent. Because of being nervous, you might talk fast and lose your train of thought, so deliberately slow yourself down, take a breath or drink some water.

The main point you need to keep in mind is that the success of your presentation depends on the content of your paper. If your paper is written well and you are happy with it, then the defense will go well too.

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