Exploring what makes your research a significant, original contribution is an essential part of viva preparation. Taking different perspectives, finding alternative words, telling other people about your work – all helps strengthen your confidence about saying, “I did this and it’s good.”
I’ve been a fan of the Why-How-What general approach for explaining things for years now, and love to find ways to apply it. It seems like a neat fit to the “significant, original contribution” that needs to be communicated in the viva.
- Significant: Why is your work valuable?
- Original: How is it different from what has come before?
- Contribution: What makes it “enough” for a PhD thesis?
Look for different ways to explore and explain your research. Every opportunity you take is one more little mental warm-up for your viva.