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Sometimes the best offence is a good defence

January 22, 2015
Tanya Shewfelt

Royal Roads University boasts one of the most regal castles in Canada, and just as lords, nobles, knights in the middle ages needed a sound defence strategy to defend their castles, use this castle as a metaphor for your thesis defence.
Defending your thesis to your examination committee is part of the process. Since you will have only 15 minutes for the oral defense of your thesis, effectively organize your content and know how to defend it.
Dear Future Self:
Part of the success in defending your thesis will depend on your ability to present your research effectively and confidently. Practise your presentation skills and be open for feedback. Seek out advice on how to speak clearly. In preparation for the defence, anticipate the questions the examiners might ask. Practise until you are comfortable. How can you explain clearly the essential aspects of your thesis? As you won’t have time to cover all your research in the time allotted, think about if your thesis was a story, what parts will be essential for your examination committee to hear?
Remember that you are the expert. You might feel like a fake, even experience the “imposter phenomenon”, and feel insecurity about your capabilities and your intelligence, but remember you are the expert. Your research will be valuable and it’s your job to provide a convincing argument of this.


- Tanya Shewfelt, MA in Professional Communication alumna