chapter  14
11 Pages

Advice from the examiners


Most books on thesis writing emphasize the mechanical details of what to include and how to include it. There are comprehensive discussions of reading and summarizing the literature, organizing your own research results and putting them in context. To my knowledge, there is little attention paid to advising students on how to make their research attractive to their examiners and how to increase the probability that their thesis will be accepted without modification. The intent of this chapter is to look at the thesis from the other side: that of the examiner, drawn from my own experience as an examiner of theses over several decades, and from many years of sitting on examiners’ committees, which make the final decision about a thesis. Many students do good research, but neglect to present it well, so the thesis is viewed much less favourably than the student might like. In presenting your thesis for the examiners, your emphasis should be on clarity, conciseness and economy of language, presenting a document that is easy to read but which shows your talents and skill in a research setting.