The don't read the paper even once. After finishing our conversation, I took those words of wisdom, did some research and revamped my dissertation methodology within a couple of hours. He was able to find the paper she had plagiarized. Schools want graduate candidates to be as prepared as possible when attending a defense, which means that neither the date nor faculty committee will be a surprise to the student.
Most importantly, follow-through on your end of the deal. DO: Keep an open mind and actively listen. Professors are so busy that it can take months to find a few hours when they are all available, so planning early is key. You may want to add something about open vs. Any gaps in your data can be filled with hard work and more experiments, and each day is a new chance to find something new. It is generally known in the department who is never around, or who may rarely have more than one open time slot every few weeks.
This may be a major shift in your mindset for you, if you are used to following everything that your supervisors have told you. If you cannot meet with them in person, share your results over email and ask for their feedback. Professors are so busy that it can take months to find a few hours when they are all available, so planning early is key.
If your adviser is a very senior scientist, choosing four assistant professors as committee members would be inadvisable. But in the end, your committee wants you to finish your thesis and get your degree.
Questions are usually open-ended and require that the student think critically about his or her work. Here are five myths about the thesis defense, that might be causing you undue anxiety. Rather, the thesis defense is designed so that faculty members can ask questions and make sure that students actually understand their field and focus area. The committee wants to see how well you know your subject and your research. In fact, your committee is on your side.
What are the requirements for you to finish your thesis? In most departments in North America, it is common for the thesis committee to consist of a principal supervisor and two possibly three other experts in your field of study. If you're researching a master's degree, you'll likely come across the phrase "thesis defense" among the list of requirements for earning an advanced degree. Why share this information? The candidate failed his defense a year later he passed. If you don't know the right side, side with the advisor or abstain.
Any gaps in your data can be filled with hard work and more experiments, and each day is a new chance to find something new. Also, it is important to remember that not all professors work together. Do you want to talk to your supervisor about your graduation date, but not sure how to bring it up? It is true that they have more experience than you, but this is your thesis, your education, and it will affect your career.
I would ask some questions, maybe along the lines of "What would be different if? One of the "internal" panel members sucker punched the Ph. What is a thesis committee?
Most importantly, follow-through on your end of the deal. However, I had one of those professors in my audience. This will also give you the opportunity to ask your committee if there are any additional topics they would like to cover.
Committee members to avoid are those that are overly passive, that like to talk just to hear themselves speak, and that tend to get lost in tangents or irrelevant minute details. While my committee had high expectations from me, they asked very reasonable questions during my thesis defense. Students who major in English, for example, typically explore language, literary themes, a specific author's work or a similar topic when writing a thesis paper. In fact, your committee is on your side. The committee should serve as advocates on your behalf in case your adviser develops unreasonable expectations. If you don't know the right side, side with the advisor or abstain.
But in the end, your committee wants you to finish your thesis and get your degree. While my committee had high expectations from me, they asked very reasonable questions during my thesis defense.
She waited until the formal defense and then pounced. Not only will this help you understand their suggestions, but it will prevent you from seeming too defensive or stubborn.