The Thesis/Dissertation Defense

Structure of a thesis proposal

Order inwhich to write the proposal

Although this is probablysomething that should be able to be taken as read at postgraduate level, Ithink I need practice in doing this, especially in the `critical' sense.

To this end, your thesis must show two important things:

... the realization that you are fulfilling an academic requirement,

progressyear 1 should finish with 1, 2 and 3 (of your contents) pretty muchdone and the headings for the rest filled inyear 2 consists of 4 and half of 5+6year 2.5 is finishing this and year 2.5-end is 7,8,9content.

The goal is to progress as far as possible with the elements listed aboveduring the fall semester.

But it would be crazy to give up at the writing stage, after years of work on the research, and it would be something to regret for a long time.Writing a thesis is tough work.


Stage 3- Conducting the Research

[Did this, but these students feel they don't have time for this: see nextsubsection.]Midge suggested it could have been run with an alternative structure: splitthe two hours into two one hour sessions a week apart:

Stage 4- Writing the Research Paper*

Following this structured presentation the committee begins to ask questions,but as can be expected the questions follow along with the wall chartsand the whole discussion proceeds in an orderly manner. If guests are presentat the defense, this form of presentation helps them also follow alongand understand exactly what was accomplished through the research.

Stage 5- Sharing the Research Outcomes with Others

We could have done in-class exercises for each person on draftinga) thesis titles, b) classic one or two sentence introductions to a thesis, c)fantasy concluding paragraphs.

Stage 6- Revising the Research Paper

I ask the student to prepare a 20-25 minute presentation that reviewsthe entire study. This is done through the help of a series of 10-12 largepieces of paper, wall charts, that have been posted sequentially aroundthe walls of the room. Each piece of paper contains key words regardingeach of the different aspects of the study. Some pieces of paper containinformation about the study setting, questions and methodology. Other piecesof paper present findings and finally there are those pieces that presentthe conclusions and implications. By preparing these wall charts aheadof time the student is able to relax during the presentation and use thepieces of paper as if they were a road map toward the goal. No matter hownervous you are you can always let the wall charts guide YOU throughyour presentation. Lettering is done with a dark marking pen and extranotes are included in very small printing with a pencil (that no one canreally see). We've also tried it with overhead projected transparenciesbut it doesn't work as well. With the transparencies they're gone fromview after a few seconds. The wall charts stay up for everyone to see andto help focus attention.

Structure of a thesis proposal"II.

One thought it "a good idea to have the homework, because you haveto think about what you're writing - I found thinking about the seminarafterwards for your [feedback request] questions even more useful." But the key problem is time for them which is a problem for settingfurther work.

Being aware of these issuesat an early stage in the Ph.D.

Good referencing also tells the reader which parts of the thesis are descriptions of previous knowledge and which parts are your additions to that knowledge.