Organizing the Content

At the beginning of the oral defense of your thesis, you will have an opportunity to give a brief (e.g. 30 minute) synopsis of your research as a presentation. Here are some tips for organizing this presentation.

You won’t be able to cover all your research in the time allotted to you, so consider carefully what to include and what to leave out or mention only briefly. Remember, many of the details of your research will be revealed during the question period. When you consider the content to include, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What aspects of my research will help me show how the work fits together logically?
  • If my thesis were a story, what parts would be essential for my examination committee to hear, and what parts are less important?
  • How can I explain these essential aspects of my thesis clearly? Do I need to use figures or graphs? Should I have the components stated in point form? Would a flow chart help?