Developing Academic Writing

Research Skills B2

Nagoya University
Professor Chad Nilep

Major assignment 1: Oral Presentation

The first of two major assignments in this seminar is to give an oral presentation relating your own research to two or more published studies in your field. The 10 minute presentation will describe your thesis, and how it is similar to, different from, or in some way related to two or more other publications.

Plan your presentation with an introduction, an argument in the main body of the speech, and a conclusion. The introduction should last about one minute. It should give general background to capture the audience's attention and help them understand your thesis. The conclusion should also last about 1-2 minutes. It should summarize the main points of your argument: how do the published studies relate to your paper?

You have only 10 minutes for your presentation, so you'll need to plan carefully and not include too much detail.

Prepare what you plan to say. Write notes to speak from, or script what you plan to say in a spoken-English style. On the day of the presentation, remember to look at the audience and smile even though you feel nervous. Remember, we are all on your side and want you to do a good job; try to relax knowing that you are among friends and colleagues.

This short video gives some advice on delivering the actual speech. Mei-Writing also has courses that teach more about presenting your research.

Please ask the instructor if you have any questions. Please discuss your plan for the presentation with the members of your study group.

Major assignment 2: Annotated bibliography

The second major assignment is to complete an annotated bibliography of materials. Although you will hand this in after your presentation, you should start working on it first — right now.

Choose a project for which you plan to publish a paper. 'Publication' for this purpose can include an international journal, a local journal, or 'internal publication' such as submitting your thesis to the university. Your graduation thesis is therefore an appropriate project.

Every time you read something related to your project, add it to your annotated bibliography. Write a bibliographic reference with all the information you would include in a list of works cited. Then write one or two paragraphs describing and evaluating the publication. You may also include ideas about how this work relates to your research.

The formatting of the bibilographic references should follow the reccomendation of your department or a journal where you plan to publish your paper. If your department does not offer reccomendations on format, follow the style of a prominent journal in your field.

The bibliography must contain at least four items (books, journal articles, or other sources), but will probably contain many more – everything you read related to your project.

Citations should be written in English. (If you read something written in Japanese or with another non-Latin script, write the author's name, the article title, etc. using romaji. This is called transliteration.) Annotations may use English, Japanese, or your mother tongue.

You may want to consult "The Annotated Bibliography" from Cornell University Library for more information.

Please ask the instructor if you have any questions.

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