The two tricks to help you defend your PhD thesis better

What is required to give a successful Ph.D. defense? You need to prepare hard, keep your stress levels in control and ensure that you chances of sailing through it are the maximum.

A very vital trait of a Ph.D. defense is that it’s uniquely unpredictable. You can only control that bit part of it which you can prepare. That is your talk and your presentation. It is impossible to be proactive about all the endless possibility of questions that would be shot at you.  A thesis usually is close to two hundred pages and the committee has the job and the freedom to find an error on any page or grill you with the interpretation or meaning of any word on any of the page. When your work is an outcome of your hard work and carries the seal of quality you are confident to sail through it anyways. Still, there are two tricks that can help you to deal with your Ph.D. defense with a more confident approach:

  1. Make sure that you have enough practice talks: Do not underestimate how much time it takes for practice and control over the flawless delivery of your content. Most of the researchers let their guard down when they have submitted their thesis as they think that the most difficult part is over. That is a mistake one must not do, as preparing for your defense also requires effort and dedication that is no less than what is needed for writing a thesis. Your preparation must make you sound polished when you deliver. Even if you don’t have each and every word memorized, enough time spent on practice will put you in the flow of talking. To further improvise on the quality of your defense, you may even record your rehearsal to see what your strength areas are and which are the areas that you need to focus upon.
  2. Give an ear to other defense talks: The more you listen to other Ph.D. defense talks the better prepared you are mentally. It is all the more ideal if the research is on a topic that is similar to your theme. However, if that is not possible, try to see diverse defense presentations of other scholars on youtube or get yourself DVDs. Have a broader vision and a critical perspective when you see these so you can identify what are the good and bad aspects of those talks. The level of energy and confidence that has been exhibited by the presenter should also be noticed by you, to absorb and improvise your talk, wherever you feel the need be.

Best of luck to you!!

What are the feelings of the PhD scholars?

Till the stage of your post graduate education, you get a lot of structuring done for you. The syllabi, modules, time schedules, specified books, practical sessions, experiments and so on re given to you on the platter. Only the execution part is expected from you.   Nobody tests your learnings and knowledge outside the peripheries of the established syllabi so you very conveniently know what you got to study and how much. The moment you step into the PhD programme, you got to take the responsibility for your own task, unlike all your prior academic experiences. You would surely have people to help you and guide  you, officially and unofficially but end of the day what is to be done and in what capacity is your own responsibility and all the mistakes that you make, knowingly or unknowingly, specified  or unspecified are all yours to take blame for.

 A PhD scholar sometimes feels lost as he isn’t traversing a path that has been taken up by others earlier on.  Expectation such as having to initiate discussions, constructive arguments or learning initiatives can sometimes make  you feel overwhelmed as not every scholar feels accomplished enough to  know what is to be done when and may feel lost or confused with expectations and opportunities flooding from all directions.

When research students enter the system as scholars. They feel motivate enough to do a research that is noticeable for outstanding contribution in their field of study.  However, for most of them, by the time they reach the completion of the course, all that they care for is to get the degree. In all the interim years, the enthusiasm gets dampened by lots of demands and expectations for conducting repetitive tasks on everyday basis. More so when the surrounding environment is such where everyone just cares about their own work and have nothing to do with others. Sometime scholars feel their own image getting lost under the pressure of immense demands. However, they must learn to come out of the pressure carve themselves out as competent professionals who are confident of their own knowledge and at the same time know that boundaries that have been set for them. The journey of a PhD scholar is a transition or growth of a dependent student into an independent, confident and achiever who knows precisely what is expected of him in that given environment.

Are You an International PhD Student? Here Are Some Lifesaving Suggestions You Need Not Ignore!!

I have great respect and admiration for international PhD students, more for those who are attempting to do their thesis in another language. Though I myself have not experienced to be an international student but with my discussions in various forums and discussions with friend and acquaintances, I have a compilation of some very pragmatic suggestions for those who are outside their domestic boundary for their doctoral programme.

To begin with, it is truth that doing a PhD is tough and all the more a herculean task when doing from a foreign land. I really hope you never get into a situation where you realise pretty late in your journey that you started wrong. Be cautious in all these areas I suggest:

  1. Check all the rules of the game: you may have idea about the PhD programme in your country but the system is going to be altogether different when you move to another country. Some countries, like Australia, do not have any course work and the researchers are expected to be more independent in their work. Do ensure, you know all the intricacies involved before you venture out into an altogether unfamiliar zone.
  2. Absorb the Distinction in the Scholar-Supervisor Relationship in Your New Place: This is more applicable for scholars migrating from the eastern world to the western world or vice versa. While in the eastern world the supervisors are more authoritative and students have to listen to them. On the contrary, in some of the western countries supervisors are mere helping hands and the main decision maker is the scholar himself. There are mere advisors in the journey and one should not expect anything much from them. As a migrating scholar, understand and prepare yourself for what you can expect from your supervisor.
  3. Overcome the Hurdles of Language, Culture and Writing Style: A thesis is all about writing, about everything from research design, analysis, literature, interpretation and much more. All that you know and learn during your journey is communicated through writing. Where writing a thesis in itself is a task, writing it in another language is all the more a task. You also need to follow the academic style and pattern followed in
  4. Prepare for Isolation: isolation is a universal experience associated with PhD. Students who have family, friends and acquaintances in the vicinity can still seek their help to grow during the process but in a new and strange land, find ways in which you can deal with isolation and not let it affect your state of mind and sanity. Having individual hobbies such as painting, music or anything that can be soothing to the soul work as great aids.
  5. Get to Build Networks from a Scratch: we need a network for work, for socialising and for staying sane sometimes. Join communities, hobby groups.. One thing important here is to take initiative. Remember, in a strange land, people wouldn’t come to you, rather you would have to take initiative to overcome the cultural barriers, make friends and do networking. A lot of help can be fetched on the internet in the current times.

Are You and Your Literature Review at Loggerheads?

I have been writing my Literature Review for over two weeks now. I have penned down over 5000 words. But, guess what? I deleted them all. I kept writing and erasing and finally ended up writing nothing at all. You know the biggest blunder I made here? To rewrite! How I wish I had learnt this from other’s mistakes and not from my own experience. This would have saves me a lot of time and effort wastage in addition to the mental torture.

All those books in the market that teach you how to write, insist and I also patronize it now, pen down your first draft with all mistakes and weaknesses. If you apply this trick and only focus on writing at the first draft stage you would not get hung up on each sentence. Leave the rewriting task for stage two.

Another important suggestion that I would like to give to all writers is that when you sit to write, do not strain your mind over writing in sequence. It is not necessary to write the beginnings and ends in the same order. If you split your literature Review into 3 sections, it is not necessary to start with the first section first. It is a mistake that a lot of doctoral students do so and it is because they have been so conditioned to do so from their initial academic years. We all have always learnt to write step wise, whether reports or experiments but that order and approach may not be successful here. Write the section you feel most enthusiastic about first. A good flow of words and a constructive outcome would have a knock off effect on the subsequent sections.

Lastly, I would like to say that do not stay at war with your Literature review. Give a better understanding to each other and with a more balanced mind see the results coming in. It is just some self-training and you would be victorious.

Impediments in writing thesis or dissertation proposal

Before writing thesis or dissertation, a student has to prepare a proposal, where he or she suggests the topic on which he or she is interested in carrying out the research. However, the primary obstacle for writing a proposal is to choose a topic from your area of interest. This is just the beginning because the foremost struggle starts after that. The reason behind it is that a proposal tells the supervisor about the research work that a student intends to do. If the proposal is not good enough to convince the supervisor, the researcher may even have to change the topic and look for new topic to work with. So, it is very important for a student to prepare the proposal in a proficient manner.

It is, therefore, recommended that while choosing the topic the student must also develop a sound knowledge about the area related to his research interest. The student must outline the research objectives and also substantiate them with the use of existing literatures. He must frame out the hypothesis and also choose the variables needed for his research. He ought to decide upon the methodology of research that he would incorporate in his thesis or dissertation. After that, he has to collect data be it primary or secondary and lastly point out the expected result. All these facts have to be mentioned in brief by maintaining the word limit given, which makes the fact prominent that a student must be good with the use of language to express his research ideas in a concise manner. While writing the proposal all the above mentioned facts have to be kept in mind, which proves that writing proposal is a gargantuan task, and so students require assistance in preparing an adept proposal. helps students in their best possible ways to write the most effective proposal.

MBA Dissertation is the Need of MBA Students

MBA dissertation is an art that showcases the skills, abilities and creativity of the writer. When writing MBA assignment, PhD or thesis it involves high input of research, technical knowledge and creativity to display the researched input and knowledge in the most impressive for. Not everyone can perform this task with utmost perfection. That’s the reason why MBA students hire MBA dissertation writers so that they can get a perfect dissertation with unique content, proofread material, flawless grammar, excellent flow and a stupendous level of communication with the reader. This perfect MBA dissertation then adds wings to the flourishing career of MBA students.

Approvals required for a medical research project

Any medical research expects three things to be followed. One is respect for the human race, the benefits of research and the third is justice. Justice is to protect the subjects who enjoy the fruits of research, while at the same time sharing the burden of it. To ensure justice there are a number of agencies in the country and abroad which have some policy related, statuary and regulatory tools under a defined framework.

All medical research work needs to comply with some rules set by the Editorial Board of the Agencies. Every medical article needs a declaration on the details of the ethics approval they have got. It should state the Ethics committee, Institution review Board and the approval number or ID. The agency should be given the contact details of the Ethics committee for future reference.

In case approval from the Ethics committee is not got, the authors should justify to the Board the following points:

  • How does their research differ from normal clinical investigations or trials?
  • What are the risks to their subjects of research and the burden they have to undertake?
  • The actual advantage of research for their subjects.

In case the Agency finds that the research work is unethical it could advise the authors for corrections or call for investigations. The Agency would then contact the concerned department where research was conducted and voice their concerns.