Presenting your research project


During your studies you will be required to complete a series of small-scale research assignments (empirical and/or theoretical) that you will need to present in front of an audience (e.g. your peers, your teacher, an evaluation committee, or academic audience). Depending on the task, but also on the audience, this presentation will be delivered in a written or an oral format. 

Exercise 1

Think about different assignments you had to complete during your study for different classes (e.g. small empirical projects, literature review, analysis of different case studies). Reflect on and discuss the following questions:

  • How did you present your theoretical and/or empirical findings?
  • Why do you think you were required to present your findings in such a way (written and/or oral)?
  • Did the exercise of presenting your findings improved your work?

During your studies, you learnt how to plan your research process and you most likely carried your own theoretical or empirical study. In that process, you have done your best to complete this task (you have carefully planned your research process according to the aims of research, you applied the right methodology, and you finally have reached some research findings and felt good about your work). But something is not yet complete if you are the only one who is aware of these interesting and exciting findings. To inform others, you need to share your results  (e.g. with peers, teachers, academic community). Why should you do this? 

Presenting your findings is as important as planning for your study, and it is an opportunity for others to understand your research process, offer constructive criticism on your results, and provide feedback. Most likely, most of your (individual or group) presentations delivered during your study program has been in front of your colleagues or classmates. They were your first “friendly” audience and this made your task of presenting easier – you probably felt less anxious to talk in front of them. Even when presenting to a friendly audience (usually in a 10-15 minutes), take the assignment seriously, as even if all students got the same assignment in a classroom, your classmates might not be familiar with your specific research topic and research process. Presentations are important in sharing your work and, if delivered well, can initiate a lively debate and open the door for additional opportunities, such as presenting your work at (local) student conference, publishing a journal article, or even pursuing related topics in your graduate studies.

There are two modes of delivering a presentation, written and oral. When choosing a specific mode (although in most cases, this will be determined by the teacher), consider the purpose of various types of presentation formats, discussed below.

Mode of delivering




(Research) proposal

to give a detail description of the intended research process on a specific topic

(Research) report

to present in a systematic manner and in detail the entire research process taken

Academic essay

to present a coherent argument to a specific topic/question

Graduation Thesis/dissertation

to display, at the end of a study program (BA, MA, PhD) the level of knowledge and capacity of students in a specific program of study to carry an independent research process in a specific field; it is a requirement for the degree completion

Scientific article/chapter

to share with other people your own original research in a scientific journal or collective volume after going through a peer-review process


PowerPoint, Poster


to provide, in a specific time frame and using visual aids, a short overview of your process and main findings, to practice scientific communication and interaction skills in real time

Exercise 2

During their studies, students have to deliver different types of presentations. Think about your own study program and choose how frequently you were required to deliver the following types of presentations (e.g. as part of your assignments)?[1]

How frequent were you exposed to the following presentation types?





(1-2 times/sem)


(1-2 times/mo)


(1-3 times/wk)


(3+ times/wk)

(Research) proposal






(Research) report






Academic essay






Scientific article/chapter


















Discuss the results with your colleagues using the following guiding questions:

  • Why do you think is the most frequent type of presentation used in your study program?
  • Why do you think is the least frequent type of presentation used in your study program?
  • How did [….] help you in achieving your learning goals?

How confident are you that you can deliver the following types of presentations?


Not at all confident

Not very confident  


Fairly confident 

Very confident

Don’t know

(Research) proposal







(Research) report







Academic essay







Graduation thesis/dissertation







Scientific article/chapter





















Discuss the results with your colleagues using the following guiding question: What skills do you think are needed for delivering a good […]?


[1] Teachers may create their survey using Mentimeter, or to collect responses in real-time.