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Defense


Grimm101
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Hi there! Just a quick question. How many of you have defended your MA theses? If so inclined, please share your experiences. I've heard many horror stories from those in the hard sciences and social sciences, but I would like to hear from my fellow humanities group.

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Thank you so much, EricaMarie!

Although I'm in English, when I defended my thesis, I was told by many of my (closer) faculty that it was nothing to worry about--that they would ask about my methodology, how I got to my argument, etc. It was not that easy. I was asked a lot of nuanced questions about my particular text and questions about texts that were tangentially related to my thesis.

However, while that may seem quite a bit tougher than just discussing the process, I found that not only did I have answers to their questions, but I really knew the material. It made me really confident, proud and happy of my work. I'm sure you'll experience the same!

Good luck!

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I defended mine last spring. It's a bit stressful, but the reality is, if your major professor is worth his salt, you won't get that far unless you are ready. I had a really cool committee, and I am pretty sure that at least one of them had not read my thesis all the way through (which is a plus). They will ask you about your work, where you got your idea for research from, what you found, etc. They will probably ask about both your primary and secondary sources, especially if your primary sources agree or disagree with existing scholarship and if so, how.

One bit of advice, bring food, something simple, I did bagels and cream cheese, because if their mouth is full, they aren't asking questions.

Mostly, after I was done, I realized I was way nervous for no real good reason. I was more than ready for it and they weren't going to let me get to the point of defending until my work was in a condition to be accepted.

One other bit of advice, make sure you have all your required paperwork for graduation with you at your defense. This is going to be about the only time you will ever get all of your committee together at one time and this will prevent you from going on the great professor signature scavenger hunt so you can graduate.

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Thank you Geekoric and rsldonk for sharing your experiences and also for the advice. I'm going over everything with a fine tooth comb and will be for the next few weeks. I'm excited to talk about my research!!!

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