Held as close as possible to the beginning of the fourth year, the chapter “defense” is a “workshop,” so there's no pass or fail. The workshop focuses on a concrete piece of writing representing a substantial chapter you have written in conjunction with an outline and prospectus for the rest of your dissertation project. The purpose of this format is to provide the student and committee with an opportunity to discuss the whole dissertation project through a concrete lens. The chapter workshop is the major opportunity during your time as a graduate student for you to receive feedback on your dissertation project from your entire committee. The workshop is also a good time for you to ask your committee for help with issues of professionalization, plans for article submission and publication, questions concerning jobs and decisions that might affect your fit for jobs in particular fields, etc.