Defense Prep

Your dissertation journey is not complete until you have successfully defended it before your PhD department chair or committee! Doctoral students are required to prepare and orally deliver a PowerPoint presentation that summarizes the initial motivations for your study, including the literature and theoretical support, your Research Methodology, and – of course – your results and findings. ARC provides customized support to help you fully prepare for your dissertation defense, including preparation of your PowerPoint presentation & supporting speaker notes and one-on-one coaching for the oral presentation.

ARC knows PowerPoint. Working with your entire dissertation, and in accordance with your specific requirements, we extract all the most relevant information to create a slide deck that covers all the key aspects of your study. (And, should your PowerPoint deck require further revisions to obtain approval, then we take care of those too.) For every slide, we prepare detailed speaker notes to assist you with delivering the oral presentation. We know that public speaking can be nerve-wracking, but not to worry. These speaker notes are meticulously written with you in mind!

Many degree programs provide templates for organizing and formatting defense PowerPoint presentations. Typically, doctoral degree candidates are expected to pass a proposal defense after the completion of Chapters 1-3 (commonly referred to as the dissertation proposal), followed by a final defense after the completion of Chapters 4-5. The proposal defense often focuses on the foundational elements of your study including the Literature ReviewResearch Methodology, and the proposed plan for Data Analysis, while the final defense focuses on the overall results from your research, general discussion of the findings, and any meaningful conclusions that can be drawn. 

Even if you choose to pursue an online doctoral degree program, you will still be required to complete a final defense presentation. Although the presentation will often take place digitally through a Skype or Zoom call with your dissertation committee, you will still need to be prepared to present your research and answer any questions they might have regarding all aspects of your dissertation research. ARC’s comprehensive defensive preparation support will ensure that your PowerPoint meets all of your dissertation committee requirements and that you will know exactly how to present each slide from reviewing highly detailed speaker notes and our anticipated list of questions that may be asked by your committee.

Using a qualitative methodology, your final defense will generally be more straightforward when compared to studies using a quantitative methodology. Most of the questions asked by the PhD committee will consist of what themes came out of organizing your Literature Review, how you made your choices regarding your Research Methodology, how you approached the Data Collections Process, and how you performed your Data Analysis using software (e.g. NVivo, MAXQDA, ATLAS.Ti, Dedoose, etc.) to answer your research questions. For students using a qualitative methodology, understanding the thematic analysis protocol used in the study and the steps taken to come up with the themes and patterns from qualitative data (e.g. interviews, focus groups, observations, etc.) is often enough to pass the final defense.

If you are a student using a quantitative methodology, you need to be prepared to answer questions including what independent and dependent variables were considered and chosen for your statistical models and what statistical testing procedures were performed to determine any significant associations (or the lack thereof) between the variables in your study. You may also be asked to describe the data analysis process undertaken using software (e.g. SPSS, Stata, R, SAS, Python, etc.), where you’d need to explain the general coding procedures and how some of the results were computed. However, there’s no need to worry as the difficulty level of questions or math needed to answer these questions won’t be very high in a presentation setting. Many of ARC’s past clients were nontraditional students who had little to no previous Statistics background prior to entering their PhD programs, and the vast majority of them were able to obtain enough knowledge of Statistics to defend their work.

Concerned that your PhD committee will ask you to elaborate on specific aspects of your study that you don’t even fully understand yet? ARC offers personalized coaching for your oral defense to help you feel confident and ready. We take pride in providing a wide range of Thesis Coaching services that are highly customized to meet your needs. 

Not sure if your dissertation is approval-ready yet? ARC provides comprehensive Dissertation Consulting and Thesis Consulting services to assist with all aspects of completing your doctoral research or master’s thesis research, whatever your specific requirements and needs. If your dissertation content is mostly completed but still requires polishing by a professional editor, then ARC can work with you to establish a customized Dissertation Editing Plan in accordance with your project’s needs.

Your PhD dissertation journey is nearly complete. Graduation is finally on the horizon – let’s get your study approved!



Need to make some final revisions to your dissertation? ARC has got you covered for editing, formatting, and all other finishing touches on your dissertation masterpiece!


We prepare PowerPoint defence presentations based on your specific needs & requirements, with unlimited revisions until you receive 100% approval.


Beyond just the PowerPoint deck, ARC provides detailed speaker notes on every slide to help you confidently deliver your PhD viva session.


Practise makes perfect! We conduct mock oral defence sessions until you feel ready and advise on effective strategies for addressing your PhD committee.

Ready for your dissertation defense? Get prepared with ARC!