If you’re looking for some help reflecting on your research ahead of the viva, consider reading one of the chapters in your thesis and then respond to the following questions:
- What is valuable in the chapter? What difference does it make? How does it add to your significant, original contribution?
- What do you find interesting about the research? How did you connect with the topic? What could you do well?
- Is there anything vague in what you’ve presented? With hindsight could something be clearer? How could you speak about it when talking with your examiners?
- Are there any questions you think you’ll ask your examiners based on the work? Is there anything you think they’d like to know? Can you do anything to prepare for possible questions?
There’s a lot more that you could do to get ready for the viva than simply consider the valuable, the interesting, the vague and the questions someone might ask. To start reflection these four words can be very useful – and very easy to remember when you spot the acronym they make!