Defending the Proposal

After you’ve gone through a few rounds of revision with your adviser (or perhaps more than a few rounds), you’ll reach that glorious moment in which you are ready to defend your proposal.  You will send your proposal to the rest of your committee and figure out a date for the meeting (warning: this part may seem as difficult as writing the proposal :)).

The proposal defense is often the first time that the committee gets together with you to discuss your work.  Take this seriously, but try not to be too nervous. This team is here to support you and guide you toward your ultimate goal: a finished thesis and graduation.

So what happens at the proposal defense? After a bit of small talk and introductions (as needed), you give a short overview of your project, touching on each of the main areas of the proposal (introduction, statement of purpose, justification, background (as needed), literature review, theoretical framework, and method).  From this presentation, your committee should have a clear idea of your research questions, how you plan to pursue them, and how your project fits with the existing literature.

Following the presentation, your committee members will ask questions and offer feedback. Make sure you write down their advice. With that, the defense will be over and you move into a new stage–WRITING THE THESIS.  You know know that even with the finished proposal defense, you will revise the first part of the thesis as you venture into Findings land.  That said, CONGRATS on making it through part 1!

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