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Dissertation Defense

Gina Berardesco gbe392 at merle.acns.nwu.edu
Tue Feb 25 11:20:28 EST 1997

JPotter (jras at post.its.mcw.edu) wrote:
> Hi to all,

> I am a mere 5 weeks away from my Ph.D. defense and am quite nervous about 
> the entire thing!  I was wondering if others who have gone through this 
> would share their experiences....was it as bad as you thought it would 
> be?  All of a sudden, my data just doesn't look as good as it did a month 
> ago!  Is this common?  How did you prepare for the defense, both the 
> seminar part and the defense part?  If you knew then what you know now, 
> would you change anything about the defense or your preparation for it?

Hi! I just defensed this past spring, and I know exactly how you feel. My
data looked pretty darn pointless by time I finished writing my
dissertation. I think it's a pretty common phenomenon. But then I realized I
had shown a summary of it to my committee members , and they all agreed I
was ready. So by the time the actual defense rolled around, I was feeling
pretty good about it. 

As for the actual defense, I made sure I practiced a lot, and went through
it twice with my advisor and lab-mates. That was a big help. I was nervous
and excited about the presentation, and it went pretty well. During the
defense part I already knew what problems my committee members had with my
work, so I was prepared to defend the portions they considered questionable. 

The important thing to remember is that you've gotten this far, so you must
be good! Be confident that you have done good work, and it will show during
the presentation. And it also helps me to bring to mind someone I think of
as a role model, who I admire, and imagine how *they* would present it

Good luck!!


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