The Thesis/Dissertation Defense

Introductions can be tricky. Because the introduction is the first portion of your essay that the reader encounters, the stakes are fairly high for your introduction to be successful. A good introduction presents a broad overview of your topic and your thesis, and should convince the reader that it is worth their time to actually read the rest of your essay. Below are some tips that will make writing an introduction a little less daunting, and help us all to write essays that don’t make our professors want to bang their heads against the wall.

Stage 2 - Preparing the Proposal

Do not keep back-up close to the computer in case the hypothetical thief who fancies your computer decides that s/he could use some disks or membory as well.


Stage 3- Conducting the Research

Stage 4- Writing the Research Paper*

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.


It alsoexplains the practicalities of surviving the ordeal.

29. Now it's time to write the last chapter. But what chapter is thelast one? My perception is that the last chapter should be the first chapter.I don't really mean this in the literal sense. Certainly youwrote Chapter One at the beginning of this whole process. Now, at the end,it's time to "rewrite" Chapter One. After you've had a chanceto write your dissertation all the way to the end, the last thing you shoulddo is turn back to Chapter One. Reread Chapter One carefully with the insightyou now have from having completed Chapter Five. Does Chapter One clearlyhelp the reader move in the direction of Chapter Five? Are important conceptsthat will be necessary for understanding Chapter Five presented in ChapterOne?

for staff, but the required standard is very high).

If yoursentences seem too long, make two or three sentences instead of one. Try to write the same way that you speak when you are explaining a concept.

At UCL your thesis must have a THEME.

Once you and your adviser have agreed on a logical structure, s/he will need a copy of this outline for reference when reading the chapters which you will probably present out of order.

Order in which to write the proposal"III.

32. I hope you don't try circulating chapters of your dissertationto your committee members as you are writing them. I find this practiceto be most annoying and one that creates considerable problems for thestudent. You must work closely with your dissertation director. He/sheis the person you want to please. Develop a strategy with the dissertationdirector regarding how and when your writing should be shared. Only afteryour dissertation director approves of what you have done should you attemptto share it with the rest of the committee. And by then it's time for thedefense. If you prematurely share sections of your writing with committeemembers you will probably find yourself in a situation where one committeemember tells you to do one thing and another member says to do somethingelse. What should you do? The best answer is not to get yourself into sucha predicament. The committee meeting (the defense) allows the concernsof committee members to surface in a dialogical atmosphere where opposingviews can be discussed and resolved.

(this is often the biggest problemfaced by students).

Second, good drawings are very valuable. Otherscientists will understand your paper better if you can make a drawingof your ideas. A co-author of mine has advised me: make figures thatother people will want to steal. They will cite your paper becausethey want to use your figure in their paper.