Research Paper Defense Tips: Advice From A Straight-A Student

If you are going to defend your research paper, you are probably going to be on the eve of a “big talk” in your academic life. Maybe, you have already read a lot of articles and informational contents on how to defend your work, but what may help you the most is undoubtedly the tips from a real student who has experience in successfully defending his or her research paper very recently.

Let’s see what, according to a successful defender, you can do to appropriately present your research paper defense.

“It starts with planning all your talks”

Knowing the audience:

Remember that you are going to talk to one individual with each potential academic background. Make sure your audience is able to follow what you express. Do not overload your presentation with too much of details which your audience could find less than important. Rather, try to eliminate some details, if needed, for the sake of explaining the significant stuff to everybody listening to you. However, you should be capable of talking quite extemporaneously on all your specifics when any of your audiences asks.

Justifying the “you”:

When you introduce yourself, it is a typical part of you that you explain the reasons behind your efforts to do it. But, try to show why others in your research field should care. Be noted that you justify your conclusions as you justify your work. Do not spare any experimental result or solid reference which could help you back up your claims if you make. This is called statistical analysis of quantitative data. If any doubtful issue perplexes you, you can err on the inconclusive side. You can also qualify your statements instead of expanding your conclusions.

Not telling a tale:

It is about transitions, meaning that your paper should harmoniously flow from each slide to another and each section to another. Do not cause disturbance to your audience by telling them how worked on it. Figure out your overall conclusions and the way you can explain and prove them. Then, walk the audience through your story while outlining the evidence making them believe you are absolutely right about the things you included in your conclusions.

“Being humble works wonder”

After all of your attempts, techniques, experiments and data, it is not surprising that you could be asked some questions which simply do not relate to your research.

In fine, keep in mind that a successful defense requires that you are comfortable with what you know and ready to be bold and humble enough to say you do not know if the answer to any question is beyond your knowledge.

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