10 Possible Master’s Thesis Defense Questions You Should Be Ready For

A Thesis defense, sometimes referred to as “Viva” can be incredibly intimidating and has been known to send the shivers down the spines of countless students around the globe. However, while yes, you will face a grilling by a select panel you should try and draw some comfort from the fact that chances are you will be far more knowledgeable on the subject than they will be. It is important that you try and get a good night’s sleep before your defense and that you don’t fall into the trap of turning to alcohol for comfort as that will only lead to self-sabotage.

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Don’t presume that the examiners are “out to get you” or that they will ask trick or aggressive questions. Even in the worst case scenario that they do use that tactic, then please if there is one piece of advice that I can give you then that would be to rise above it and whatever you do. DO NOT retaliate in kind!

You must at all times be polite, and courteous even if you want nothing more than to reach out and grab them by the scruff of their necks. If an examiner is getting off on the power, then that’s their problem not yours. It might seem like an eternity to you right now, but this is only a very short period out of your life. Go with the flow. Prepare yourself as best you can for the questions and dare I say, try and enjoy it!

So, to help you prepare for this important occasion, here’re 10 possible master’s defense questions that you should be ready for:

  1. In a single sentence please summarize your paper.
  2. What is the singular idea on which your paper is based?
  3. Why is the issue that you have chosen worthy of your thesis?
  4. Cite the two most important sources for your work
  5. How did you formulate your research questions?
  6. Why did you choose this particular research methodology over others that were available?
  7. What advice would you give to anyone undertaking a similar thesis?
  8. What value will your research bring to others in your field?
  9. Did you encounter any ethical issues during the course of your research and if so how did you get over this?
  10. Do you intend to publish your work? If so, where?

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