How To Survive A PhD Dissertation Defense: 4 Must-Know Techniques

If you’re about to embark on a PhD dissertation, you may be worried that you’re not going to survive the process. After all, you haven’t even started yet and you’re probably already shaking with chattering teeth at just the thought of going through the thesis writing process, let alone the particulars of it; one of which is the dissertation defense. If you’re feeling like there’s a tough job lying ahead of you, you would be right! But the good news is that it’s supposed to be challenging and you will feel so good after spending some valuable time and hard work on it. Here are 4 must-know techniques to help you on your way:


So what is a dissertation defense? Quite simply, the defense presents evidence for the dissertation. What evidence is appropriate depends on what type of dissertation you are defending. Now that you know what it is, you need to know how to survive it! As with anything, the more organized and prepared you are, the easier it will be to accomplish your task. So the first thing you should do is create a timetable- and stick to it!

Be prepared.

Make sure that you have everything you need before you begin. It’s not just a schedule that you need, you need to be organized in every other facet too. If you have some research you need to do at the public library, make sure you can get there before they close! If you need a certain book, make sure you’re able to get hold of it. If you plan your time in priority order and get everything you need before you sit down to tackle the writing task, everything will go much more swimmingly.

Look after yourself.

When working on anything, it’s important to have breaks. If you’ve been staring at a blank screen for the last half hour and you really want to get the part you’re working on finished by the evening, it’s a good idea to walk away to re-energize. Exercise or have a snack and you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel. It might sound obvious, but there’s no point in trying to work when you’re too tired to concentrate, so be sure to have a break. Easy!

Find some samples.

You should study some dissertation samples to make sure that you’re getting your defense right. You’ll be able to find plenty in your campus library, as well as online. This is a great resource. The more you study other ones, the better quality dissertation you will produce!