Monday, October 29, 2012

Dissertation Defense Defense

Nice piece discussing the dissertation defense.  Great timing for me since this seems to be a fall chock full of them--the third and last is in about two weeks.  Sure, I will have a fresh batch in a few years (I think I am now on five dissertation committees at Carleton, one for each month I have been in Ottawa?!!  Not a sustainable trend)> 

The only point that I would add is this: students can have a rougher time in the defense if the timing is driven more by deadlines than by readiness.  Some students find themselves in situations where they must defend by a certain time, either because they got a job that requires a PhD and not an ABD (All but dissertation) or because their grad school has got a hard deadline.  I had a friend who was in the first situation--his last summer of grad school was not fun, at least if one goes by the circles under his eyes at the time.  The latter situation is perhaps more common these days as grad schools insist more and more on hard deadlines.  Of course, a student who runs into these deadlines has already got a problem or two .....

Anyhow, I do think the piece does an excellent job of defending a ritual even as I am usually skeptical of traditional things.

1 comment:

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