Monday, June 14, 2010

3 Minute Thesis

I recently took part in UWA's inaugural 3 Minute Thesis competition. This is exactly what it sounds like - a competition where postgrads must describe their thesis in three minutes or less. Before you start hyperventilating at the sheer horror of this concept, I will draw your attention to the Jorge Cham t-shirt above.

Ooh, pretty.

And FREE. Everyone who competed got one. Still no?

Yes, it is difficult to try and describe your thesis in under three minutes. Especially in the humanities, where our research rarely fits into the 'aim-method-results' framework of the sciences. I'm also a little wary of competitions generally... seeing as they usually involve the majority of people involved being defined as 'losers' at some point. But the 3 Minute Thesis comp turned out really fun, and I would encourage everyone to have a go if you get the opportunity. Not only does it require you to set out your thesis argument in 'plain language,' but it gives you the opportunity to discuss your topic in a much more lighthearted manner than you usually would. In public anyway...

Here are the guidelines:

1. Communication style: was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience?
2. Comprehension: did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
3. Engagement: did the oration make the audience want to know more?

Displaying the beneficent generosity I'm known for, I kindly allowed someone else to win on the day. However, last year's winning presentations can be heard here.

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