How to Make Thesis Defense Slides

Image of a graduate student working outside.
... Minerva Studio/iStock/Getty Images

Few graduate students are as prepared for their thesis defense as they would like to be. The rite of passage, just before they head into the world of academics, is a forethought presented with little preparation. Understanding the procedures, however, will enable the candidate to recite his presentation with confidence. Many students choose to utilize PowerPoint and other presentation software to encapsulate their findings. Digital presentations help navigate the board through a point-by-point, logical process that demonstrates effective time management and maturity.

  • Presentation software

1 Introduction

2 Comb

Comb through the information in your dissertation's introduction to use as a framework for the defense slides.

3 Centered font

Type in the title of the dissertation in bold, centered font. Type in your name, the name of your university's department and the date in smaller font on the same title slide.

4 Title

Title the next slide "Acknowledgment" and list the names of your faculty adviser and those who contributed to the success of your work.

5 Insert a brief statement on the following slide

Insert a brief statement on the following slide. Substantiate the statement with several slides that reflect data, statistics and relevant pictures about the problem.

6 Address the significance

Address the significance of the research in one slide, followed by a page of community and nationwide applications of your findings.

7 Appear within your dissertation

List all research questions as they appear within your dissertation.

8 Provide a literature review

Provide a literature review of relevant texts and previous experiments conducted by other researchers.

9 Method and Analysis

10 Create a slide

Create a slide that provides an overview of the methods used to research each question. Address the rationale for each specific method in addition to its reliability.

11 Insert tables

Insert tables, graphs and charts that demonstrate the results of your experiments.

12 Highlight critical findings

Highlight critical findings that validate or disprove your hypothesis. Account for error using statistical methods.

13 Conclusion

14 List your findings

List your findings and their relevance to your field of study.

15 Describe any limitations

Describe any limitations that emerged during the research process.

16 Recommend pathways and alternatives and for future studies

Recommend pathways and alternatives for future studies. Identify a logical continuation of your work for yourself and others.

Nicole Newman is a Dartmouth College associate who works in Tiltfactor Laboratory, Dartmouth's premier game design center. Her research has included investigating the digital humanities through "Writing as a Dimensional Artifact" and "Evolution of the Ghetto: The Decline of America’s Inner Cities," a research initiative on urban design.