I really like the following lines of a poem by Rudyard Kipling:

I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.

Whenever I’m trying to analyse a problem and get stuck, I think about these six starters and search for questions that will help.

They are valuable when unpicking the contribution you’ve made in your research. As your viva approaches, consider taking the following six questions as a starting point for reflecting on what you’ve done.

  • What was the result of your research?
  • Why was it worth doing?
  • When did you arrive at your main ideas?
  • How did your approach change during your PhD?
  • Where did you learn the most during your PhD?
  • Who do you think would be interested in your work?

There are many other questions you could use to reflect on your work. Start with these, see what thoughts and ideas they lead you to.