During your viva, it’s crucial to state that your work is not completed just for you to finish your studies, but because it will benefit someone else too. This is why this question, about your work taking forward the idea and the works of others, will be asked. Your answer will fully depend on the quality of research you’ve done during your dissertation writing.
A Few Points to Add to Your Answer
- It systematized the knowledge.
- It gave a new life to older arguments.
- It reviewed older theories.
- You added new conclusions and hypotheses.
The whole point of your dissertation is that you learn to work with different sources and conduct your own research. If you check some readymade dissertations online, you’ll find most of them just systematize the knowledge we already have. This is a legitimate point, so if your thesis adds some order to scientific chaos, you should state this during your viva.
You checked many sources when writing your dissertation. Reviewing some older arguments and evaluating them, is also another task you did. When you’re digging deep into theory and cases, you might find some arguments that were not used, but can be pretty helpful. You can bring back older works and give them new life.
You might find some data is outdated and no longer useful, and some theories are not clear with relevant cases. This changes older publications made on the topic.
Your research work also possesses unique qualities, shows different ideas, and brings new findings. This changes future publications and gives other people something to work off.
A Key to Dealing with the Toughest Viva Questions
The best way to prepare for your oral examination is to rehearse some of the questions ahead of time, to stay calm during your viva. Calmness is needed to be able to think clearly and spare yourself from stress or stumbling on words.
- Take your time before you answer.
- Remember your scholars are just people.
You don’t have to jump into answering the questions immediately. People listening to you know how a viva feels and won’t antagonize you if you take a moment to think. Use the time wisely to gather your thoughts.
The best thing to do when you’re scared is remind yourself what is going on. After doing all the research, you are an expert in your thesis and can answer anything.
You can survive your viva and get useful life experience if you remain calm and think about the questions. Most of them are not that tricky if you really think about them. Remember even simple things, like gathering evidence and knowledge, are worth mentioning.