Saying Why

Sharing why your research is important is a natural topic of conversation at the viva. Saying why can sometimes be tricky. There are so many factors that you might want to share and so many different ways you might have expressed yourself in the past.

In preparation for talking in your viva, perhaps take a little time to reflect and gather your thoughts. Perhaps make some notes or write a summary. The following questions could help you to explore the “why” of your research:

  • Why was it necessary or important to explore the topic?
  • What were some of the unknowns when you started?
  • What did you not understand? (what do you still not understand?)
  • What are the boundaries of your research?
  • Can your work be applied in other ways?
  • What are the benefits of your work in this area?

Sometimes asking “Why?” is too hard. It’s one word but a big question.

Using other questions to reflect can be a valuable way to break past that barrier. Reflecting on several questions can be a helpful way to respond to “Why?”