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.


Step 1

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

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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

Step 4

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

Step 5

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

Step 6

List all research questions as they appear within your dissertation.

Step 7

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

Method and Analysis

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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

Step 3

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


Step 1

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

Step 2

Describe any limitations that emerged during the research process.

Step 3

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