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Sample Questions on Oral Defense

Sample of Individual Questions

This is only sample question on your oral defense on your documentation. This will help you to predict further question about your documentation that your panelist will ask. This will help you to build self confidence and answer the panelist question easily.

• Abstract. What’s it about?

•Contents listing. Are all the pieces there? Is the argument clear?

•Review of literature. To what extent is the review relevant to the research study? Has the candidate slipped into “Here is all I know about x”? Is there evidence of critical appraisal of other work, or is the review just descriptive? How well has the candidate mastered the technical or theoretical literature? Does the candidate make the links between the review and his or her methodology explicit? Is there a summary of the essential features of other work as it relates to this study?

•Methodology. What precautions were taken against likely sources of bias? What are the limitations in the methodology? Is the candidate aware of them? Is the methodology for data collection appropriate? Are the techniques used for analysis appropriate? In the circumstances, has the best methodology been chosen? Has the candidate given an adequate justification to the methodology?

•Presentation of results. Have the hypotheses in fact been tested? Do the solutions obtained relate to the questions posed? Is the level and form of analysis appropriate for the data? Could the presentation of the results been made clearer? Are patterns and trends in the results accurately identified and summarized? Does the software appear to work satisfactorily?

•Discussion and Conclusions. What was achieved? Do I believe it? Is the candidate aware of possible limits to confidence/reliability/validity of the work? Have the main points to emerge from the results been picked up for discussion? Are there links made to the literature? Is there evidence of attempts at theory building or reconceptualisation of problems? Are there speculations? Are they well grounded in the results?

•Bibliography. Does it cite the right things? Has it been published already? Most examiners scan your list of references looking for the important works in the field. Truth be known, most examiners also look for their own publications if they are in the topic area of the thesis.

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