Not Exclusive

Your thesis is not written only to pass the viva, or only to live up to your examiners’ expectations. That’s worth keeping in mind as you write it, but also as you prepare for your viva.

To share your contribution you have to write it for whatever audience you imagine will be interested and receptive to your research. To share that with your examiners in the viva, you might have to know a little about them and what they do. You might need to prepare and think about the language you would use to explain something in a discussion – as compared to how you might express it on a page.

Remember that most candidates are asked to complete corrections of some kind: while that request will come from your examiners it is never simply to satisfy them. They are asking either because they have found simple mistakes that can be amended simply, or because they think a change is needed to help your thesis be the best it can be now that it is going to be finished.

Your thesis will be studied, examined, questioned and probably changed by your examiners. But it’s not for them – at least, not exclusively.