Concerned about Thesis (Submitted)

posted
31-Oct-19, 14:11
edited about 1 minute later
by Kahn
Avatar for Kahn
posted about 1 week ago
Hi,

I have my viva in just over a weeks time. I have three independent chapters/papers. The problem is that after having read my third chapter, I don't think I have clearly explained/justified my novelty and contribution to the literature. The contribution is pretty significant (my supervisor agrees and she is a co-author) and I can explain this in person very easily. However, my university gave me a deadline by which I had to submit or else they would have charged me fees for the fourth year etc. plus due to personal reasons I kind of rushed the write-up at the end. I have no problem amending the write-up if I am given minor corrections but I am very worried because I read online that the examiners write their reports beforehand and so I will be at a disadvantage at the start of the viva. It's only a matter of one or two paragraphs to properly justify and explain my contribution and why it is important plus elaborating a bit more in the results section which is not a problem for me to write about.... Can they recommend major corrections or even a fail for this?

Also in my first chapter/paper, I haven't included some statistical analysis/tests that they could bring up. However, I received a R&R from a peer-reviewed journal for that chapter and I have made those amendments based on the feedback I received but its not in the submitted version of the thesis. Would this count as a minor or major correction?

Please advise as I am panicking :'((
posted
31-Oct-19, 14:24
edited about 26 seconds later
by Kahn
Avatar for Kahn
posted about 1 week ago
BTW, I would like to believe that I know my area and thesis quite well. I have gone through my entire thesis several times and I have tried to cover all the possible questions relevant to the work that I may be asked. In my opinion there are some things they could raise regarding alternative methodologies or approaches for purposes of robustness and although I will defend my approach I have already done what they may ask in advance in case I am asked to include them in the thesis (the conclusions of my work doesn't change). I think at most it would take a week or so to make those amendments if they ask for them.

The thing that is actually making me super worried is that if they base their decision on purely whats in the thesis and how long it would take for those changes to be completed assuming I start from scratch. I know that sounds irrational but just say hypothetically those changes were worth major corrections (my supervisor completely disagrees that they are) and I tell them I have already done them and could add easily make those amendments in a week then could they change their decision from major to minor? Again I know it may be a stupid question but with the viva a week away and given that this means so much to me I am experiencing severe anxiety.
posted
31-Oct-19, 15:02
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 1 week ago
What you say (if it is indeed raised as a correction) sounds like a minor correction to me. The problem with preempting too much what they are going to raise is that you might be taken off guard totally if they raise something different (which they probably will - and if you are calm and know your stuff you'll be able to think / reason a bit and answer off the cuff so as to speak). It sounds like you are pretty well prepared and now experiencing some last minute nerves and regrets about minor things. Do some things to relax and have a break from thesis?

Good luck!
posted
31-Oct-19, 16:19
edited about 27 seconds later
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 1 week ago
I agree with Tudor_Queen, sounds like minor corrections unless there is some other issue.
posted
31-Oct-19, 16:49
edited about 8 seconds later
Avatar for bewildered
posted about 1 week ago
Don't panic. Usually each examiner has to submit a preliminary report about a week before the viva indicating areas of concern and what's good. They meet beforehand and discuss to agree what areas the viva should cover but they only make a decision after the viva, so your viva performance can take items off the list they had at the start for corrections. Don't get too hung up on minor v major corrections - you don't have to take the full amount of time to do them anyway and often examiners will be cautious and offer longer because they know many people have a slump just afterwards and need more time.
posted
02-Nov-19, 18:56
edited about 15 seconds later
by Kahn
Avatar for Kahn
posted about 1 week ago
Thank you for your replies :)

I hope everything goes well!
posted
09-Nov-19, 03:11
edited about 29 seconds later
by Kahn
Avatar for Kahn
posted about 4 days ago
In the interest of future lurkers, I thought i'd update this post by confirming that the viva in fact went really well and I passed with minor corrections!
posted
09-Nov-19, 10:11
edited about 8 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 4 days ago
Congratulations Dr. Kahn!
posted
09-Nov-19, 10:15
edited about 6 seconds later
by bob86
Avatar for bob86
posted about 4 days ago
Congrats Dr. Kahn, enjoy the celebrations :)
posted
09-Nov-19, 20:27
edited about 20 seconds later
by Kahn
Avatar for Kahn
posted about 4 days ago
Thank you!!
posted
09-Nov-19, 23:29
Avatar for Jamie_Wizard
posted about 3 days ago
Well done!

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