Why Write A Summary?

You’ve written your thesis, read it in preparation for your viva and maybe made notes on pages.

So why would you write anything else about it? Why would you write a summary as part of your viva prep?

  • To gather your thoughts. A thesis could have tens of thousands of words, but you don’t need all of them to defend your research in the viva. Writing a summary can help gather together your best ideas.
  • To focus your thinking. Sitting and writing with a simple question or prompt can help you to dig deeper into a topic. It’s far better than just making a note.
  • To reorder your ideas. To take highlights from different sections and combine them. To give you an opportunity to arrange your ideas for talking in the viva.

You could summarise a chapter or your whole thesis. You could write paragraphs or lists. You could zero in on particular aspects like the bibliography or methodology, or write a broad overview of all your work.

Why write a summary? To help you get ready for your viva.