I always tell people that reading their thesis is an essential part of viva prep, like it’s the easiest thing in the world – and I know that I struggled with it a lot! By the time I submitted I felt like I was burned out on my thesis. I felt confident, but was looking forward to when it would all be done. Here are ten tips for reading your thesis that should help with your viva preparations:
- Take a break for at least two weeks after you submit. Give yourself a little distance from your thesis.
- Plan when you’ll read it. When will you have read the whole thesis?
- Put Post Its at the start of each chapter. Make your thesis easier to navigate.
- Put Post Its where you find something important. Make it easier to find your thesis essentials.
- Try not to skim-read your thesis. Read it line-by-line at least once.
- Make a list of questions that one might have about your thesis. Keep them in mind.
- Underline typos when you see them. Don’t obsess about finding them.
- Make a glossary of terms. Whenever you find a piece of jargon, break it down.
- Set some goals. How many times do you need to read your thesis to feel happy?
- Take a day off from reading your thesis from time to time!
You have to read your thesis. It can feel like a chore at times, but it really is essential for the viva. Do everything you can to make the process work well for you.