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Advanced Research Methods

Research advice for upper division undergraduates and graduates in the social sciences and humanities.

Writing an Abstract

Abstract: a short statement that describes a longer work.

  • Indicate the subject.
  • Describe the purpose of the investigation.
  • Briefly discuss the method used.
  • Make a statement about the result.

Oral Presentation

Oral presentations usually introduce a discussion of a topic or research paper. A good oral presentation is focused, concise, and interesting in order to trigger a discussion.

  • Be well prepared; write a detailed outline.
  • Introduce the subject.
  • Talk about the sources and the method.
  • Indicate if there are conflicting views about the subject (conflicting views trigger discussion).
  • Make a statement about your new results (if this is your research paper).
  • Use visual aids or handouts if appropriate.

Compiling a PowerPoint

An effective PowerPoint presentation is just an aid to the presentation, not the presentation itself.

Dos

  • Be brief and concise.
  • Focus on the subject.
  • Attract attention; indicate interesting details.
  • If possible, use relevant visual illustrations (pictures, maps, charts graphs, etc.).
  • Use bullet points or numbers to structure the text.
  • Make clear statements about the essence/results of the topic/research.

Don'ts

  • Don't write down the whole outline of your paper and nothing else.
  • Don't write long full sentences on the slides.
  • Don't use distracting colors, patterns, pictures, decorations on the slides.
  • Don't use too complicated charts, graphs; only those that are relatively easy to understand.