What is a thesis?
In simple terms, a thesis is a piece of academic writing that presents an original idea and the arguments to justify it. It’s most commonly associated with someone completing a PhD, but in some countries, it can also be required for a master's and other post-graduate degrees.
Depending on the area of study, it can vary in length. However, generally, it will include several chapters that outline the writer’s opinion and arguments for it.
The main reason for a thesis is to make a unique contribution to an area of study. It needs to be heavily researched and communicate its findings clearly.
What is a thesis defense meeting?
It’s not enough to just write a thesis. It must also stand the test of scrutiny from those in its field. As the name suggests, a thesis defense meeting is where this happens.
Normally, the meeting will consist of a panel of experts in that area who will examine whether the thesis meets the requirements for the degree to be issued. It allows the student to present their findings, answer questions and rebut critiques.
During the meeting, the student will normally present their findings in a structured way. This could include slides or some other visual aid. They are normally expected to talk at length about the subject, so this first phase of the meeting can easily take an hour or more.
This is followed by panel questions. Each member will take some time to get clarification on particular areas or ask for more elaboration. The student may also be expected to defend their methodology, analysis and conclusions.
The main purpose of a thesis defense meeting is to ensure the research is original and that it’s of sufficient quality to receive the degree.