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Seminal Presentations: How To Impress Reviewers

Presentation skills are crucial for all PhD students. Most universities expect you to present your intermediary doctoral dissertation results at least once per semester throughout your academic year. Additionally, the capability to impress your reviewers can largely determine the outcomes of your seminal presentation and affect your final grading. Unfortunately, most PhD students rarely get proper guidance from their universities and supervisors on how they can improve the quality and readability of their papers for this purpose. The following recommendations provided by our PhD thesis writing experts have helped many of our clients to really connect with their readers and get good reviews of their projects.

What Do Reviewers Usually Look at?

Any reviewer has to identify the main strengths and weaknesses of the reviewed thesis. While well-written works rarely fail, any doctoral dissertation has its limitations that are subject to comments and criticisms. In a way, the process of their identification is similar to peer review in academic journals where staff members appraise both the novelty of the publication and the quality of its presentation. Let us look at some factors that frequently determine whether your readers’ reactions will be positive or negative:

  1. The reviewers rarely have a lot of time to thoroughly read through all parts of your thesis several times.
  2. This means that you must ensure that they can easily understand why your PhD project creates new knowledge in your area of interest.
  3. A reviewer needs to promptly identify the key limitations encountered by your project and the methodological instruments you utilised to overcome these limitations when addressing your research objectives.
  4. Many students excessively focus on reviewing the research of others in all sections of their works, which makes it difficult for readers to understand the relevance of their project and understand its uniqueness and novelty.

What Are the Most Common Problems with Seminal Presentations?

As a professional agency providing phd writing services for several decades, we are well aware of the fact that thesis writing needs to be focused on the reader rather than the writer. This means that under the hood processes such as data collection and processing, a review of prior studies, and other elements necessary for completing your doctoral dissertation are only interesting to you as the author. At the same time, your readers expect to get a quality draft that presents the results of all these activities in a coherent format as an output of all aforementioned activities described in the past tense. This requires the capability to:

  1. Distance yourself from your writing process and describe its results in the same impartial manner you would write a review of your fellow student’s work.
  2. Summarise the findings in the way highlighting their novelty and minimising the visibility of potentially weak areas of your research project.
  3. Avoid the intention to excessively focus on some parts of your draft you like best and see a ‘larger picture’ of individual sections as chapters of a book that should be interesting to read and present the main overarching argument.
  4. Perform multiple thesis revisions to see your work ‘with fresh eyes’ and be brave enough to implement substantial amendments in order to produce a high-quality text.

While these actions seem easy to perform, many of our clients order our PhD services after attempting to improve their drafts for weeks and even months to no avail. There is a good reason why even professional writers like Stephen King have editors who enjoy the absolute right to revise their manuscripts as they see fit. Good editing work is always performed from the position of the reader. Most authors can never avoid the bias of being overly attached to their drafts, which makes it difficult for them to remove or re-write some large sections of text that do not contribute to the resulting quality of presentation.

How Can Students Improve the Quality of Their Presentations?

From a practical standpoint, the aforementioned aspects imply the need to:

  1. Clearly explain why your contribution to your area of research is sufficient to award you with a PhD degree.
  2. Substantiate the suitability and relevance of your dissertation topic, research aim, objectives, and questions.
  3. Outline all methodological choices and activities while also comparing them against your predecessors to show how you have addressed their deficiencies and have closed the earlier identified research gaps.
  4. Structure your overall argument across all PhD dissertation chapters to achieve a good flow ensuring full understanding at first reading.
  5. Find the optimal balance between criticisms and presentation of findings.

The last point may be seen as a relatively complex concept since most students are told by their universities to be ‘critical’ and avoid ‘being descriptive’ in their writing. While this recommendation should not be completely discarded as overly generic, many practitioners take it too literally and forget to actually discuss their results and their novelty rather than criticise the findings of their predecessors. To avoid this pitfall, try to maintain a healthy balance between these two approaches in your dissertation. Discuss your results first in your Introduction and Findings sections and then compare them with earlier studies you revised in your Literature Review. Feel free to contact us if you need any further PhD thesis help and assistance and our experienced writers will do their best to make your thesis look more professional and appealing.