I like this forum and the support people give and receive and will admit to having a small addiction to it ,-) However, I might try to move on as I've no real reason for being here but I do get caught up on what's happening to others and their PhDs. I might call it quits after January. So who all should I be cheering on in the coming month?
Um well me, I have my viva in January. I can think of at least three others but I'll let them annouce themselves.
I will admit to being supremely nervous about the whole thing. My supervisor suggested I ask to give a small presentation and I was happy to do this. My chair put it to the examiners who agreed. Happy Days! However now I can't think of anything to put in it that's not already between the covers of the thesis. My thesis doesn't have lots of tables or graphs and I don't want to just rehash what they have already read. I want to make a good start in the viva with an interesting presentation but thus far am drawing a blank.
Good luck to all other January viva-ees!
Why not give a short summary of your thesis and then use the presentation to answer the 5 points that a PhD should cover? State its originality, contribution to knowledge etc. Good thinking on your part about the presentation as it gives you some control over the proceedings and could possibly help direct the questioning. You'll do fine!!!
I can think of two others, you were the third!
1st week of feb, so nearly. Haven't done anything for it though - currently trying to write up one of my studies for a journal call, so guess that's relevant??
I was going to start tomorrow (1st!) argh - can't believe its so soon, have really no idea what to do for it. All I do know is that I don't want to read any 'how to pass your viva' books
good idea Delta, thanks, I'll might just go with that!
I'm with you Sneaks; it's actually really difficult to get back into it. I had to summon up the courage to read my actual thesis and got majorly demorialised every time I spotted something wrong despite me being so careful. I keep imagining my examiners reading it and thinking - who does she think she is submitting this load of ****:-(
on the vitae checklist it says "I have kept up to date with relevant literature" - what happens if I find something that could very well go in my thesis that's been published in the last few months? what do I do in the viva? just say "yes I've read that" or will they ask me to put stuff in??
Once it was submitted I never looked for literature relevant to the thesis because as far as I was concerned it was done. I think it would be petty for examiners to be concerned but if it's raised just make it clear you are aware of the literature, be prepared to talk about it and let them decide if you should include it in the bound copy. Don't volunteer to put it in as they may take you up on it and you'll create more work for yourself!
yes I guess so - otherwise you'd never get it finished as everytime you handed it in more would be published!
not wishing to put a spanner in the works and yet putting a spanner in the works :$ my supervisor advised me to devote a couple of hours to google scholar just before the viva and read some abstracts of recent articles, just in case I'm asked. His words were "a real typical viva question is 'are you aware of...?' or 'have you come across...?'
Any post viva people reading this - were you asked anything in the viva that you simply didn't have an answer for? That's something I am dreading...:-(
no I'm going to read the latest stuff - I've been told that they'll be looking to see whether you as a researcher are of doctoral standard, more so than the thesis, so being well read I guess comes under that. I am just scared they'll ask me to incorporate newer stuff in.
For my viva I did read a couple of books to get different perspectives on it all. I was not in uni at all to see or speak to other post viva students so these books helped me enormously. For the prep, I firstly re-read my thesis to re-familiarise myself and to spot those annoying typos etc. Then I did as Bilbo had suggested and answered key questions about my research, methods, comparisons to others work, relevance of findings in the wider context and future relevance of my work. Additionally, I had post-it notes in my thesis to mark chapter starts and key findings/discussions to help my ham handedness in the viva. While reading through my thesis a few points for clarification were noted and post-its inserted with relevant pointers for me to explain if necessary! Finally, I did check some recent publications and those of my external examiner. Most of my viva Qs centred around my 'novel' methodology and its characteristics compared to previously used techniques. The internal did bring out a recent reference that was a re-publication of one I had already mentioned in my thesis (authored by a dif person in the group) so was put for 'my interest only'. The external pulled out another reference that he thought wasn't cited, but it was one I also pulled out of my bag and could happily discuss in detail where it was cited. I guess I was lucky on those two, phew! That said there was a question that had me in knots, as the way I had interpreted one of my method characteristics was correct but the different interpretation by my external was also correct. Neither of us would back down so agreeing on a differing opinion was how it was resolved. I have harshly kicked myself repeatedly for this 'discussion' every time I think back to my viva :-(
Anyway, not sure my ramblings will help in the slightest but I wish you all the best of luck in your vivas. Above you need to believe in your research :-x
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