Academic Writing Complete Guide

Purpose and Audience of this Guide
Why read academic articles?
Essay Writing
Report Writing
Oral Presentations
Finding Sources
Good Academic Scholarship
Understanding Feedback
Exam preparation and Techniques


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Presentations

This is the process of presenting a specific topic to a particular audience. It can be a demonstration, a lecture, or a speech, which is meant to persuade, inform, motivate, or build goodwill. It can also serve the purpose of introducing a new product, idea, or service to the audience. This term can also apply in the formal or ritualized introduction or offering. In some contents, presentations are known as keynote speeches.

Thera is presentation programs that are used to generate presentation content and some of them allow the presentation to be prepared collaboratively. For instance, two geographically apart people can prepare a presentation using emails. Content from different sources can be combined into a single presentation using presentation viewers.

For those of you who have invitations to speak at a conference and you intend to attend it, you have to start your preparations early. You can send an abstract of your work and within no time, you receive your confirmation. Your goal should be to impress the audience through sparking conversations that are essential in networking.

If you are writing a conference paper, every discipline has its expectations. If you are a student and you have a conference paper to prepare, it is crucial you consult your professor or any other person who has done it. However, ensure that the person you consult is familiar with your field.

Preparing a PowerPoint presentation


When you have an upcoming presentation and you want to prepare it on PowerPoint, you have to plan on how best to approach it. You have to be aware of the topic and the audience that you will be addressing. Ensure that the presentation grabs the attention of the audience and it should follow a logical order and flow with utmost clarity. The first step is to sit down and start putting pen to paper. It is not an easy process but you have to include everything you know about your topic.


Research your presentation

  • Develop your thesis
    You can start by writing out your topic in a single sentence. You can think of it as a mini-thesis for your presentation. Make it specific, debatable, and relevant. It becomes more effective that way. This is the argument on which your presentation will premise.
  • Identify the most relevant points
    The simplest way to do this is to make a list. Write down everything that comes to your mind concerning your topic. After you have completed your list, go through it and highlight the points that strike you as the most significant. Keep in mind that your thesis has to be debatable and you should treat this as an argument that you cannot lose. If you have several reasons to convince your readers to agree with your opinion, you have to decide the ones to use.
  • Create an outline for your presentation
    This is just a list of your main points and sub-points of your presentation. The outline will help you in knowing the exact structure of your presentation and how you are going to break down the points that you will be discussing. It gives your presentation a direction.

Write your presentation

Now if you remember the mini-thesis that you were working on, this is the time to dissect it further.

  • The introduction
    Your introduction is supposed to be very engaging. It is the one that grabs the attention of your audience. In your introduction, you have to include a summary of your outline and your thesis statement. If you want to make your introduction effective, you have to apply the right approach. You must give a neat skim to every major point that you have without giving too much away. Your introduction should be both informative and engaging. This is your opportunity to make your audience listen to what you have to say. As such, your presentation should be worth of their interest and attention. Let your introduction grab the attention of your readers.

    You have to use a compelling hook and angle. In other words, use the first sentence of your introduction to hook the attention of the readers. Say something that makes them want to keep listening. You can use a provocative statement, a brief anecdote, a rhetorical, question, say something shocking and surprising, or bring up a problem and share the solution. With that in mind, rest assured that the audience would be sitting on the edge of their chairs listening to what you have to say concerning the topic at hand.
  • The conclusion
    This should look and sound much like your introduction. The only difference is the purpose of each other two important paragraphs. While the introduction is meant to intrigue the audience, the conclusion is meant to call the listeners to action. As you write your conclusion, it is supposed to end strongly. Do not make your presentation ineffective by using watered down phrases. Do not use hints or suggestion, instead use a direct language, and make summary points that will have a good impact. You have to focus on what your audience will leave the presentation thinking about and take action on.

Get the design of your presentation right

The design of your PowerPoint presentation is very important. If you have a poorly designed PowerPoint presentation, your evidence will definitely be distracted. It does not matter how many times you have practiced your presentation and properly emphasized on your points. If your presentation does not have a good design, it will not make the impression that you want. Consider the following pointer:


  • Choose an engaging design
    Let your slides be up-to-date and relevant. You can choose from many different PowerPoint presentation templates.
  • Use relevant presentation graphics
    Photos and graphics make your presentation more engaging if they are chosen well. However, you have to limit the amount of photos you have to use as well as the graphics to presbveht them from distracting the audience. The photos, graphs and other visual aids that you use come in handy only when you are trying to add to the understanding of your point.
  • Format your slides for readability
    When you format your text, ensure that it is purposeful and visually consistent. Let your main points act as your headlines for every slide using different font size. Your body text font sixe should also be different and each should remain consistent throughout your presentation. Do not crowd your slides with too much information. Since this is a presentation, let every slide have a maximum of three sentences. The rest is based on your explanations and the visual aids that you employ. Adding too much information in a single slide makes it look too cluttered. Every slide must be read clearly.

Tips to help you during the presentation

  • Be at the venue of your presentation early
    It is important to arrive at the presentation venue early to acclimatizer yourself with the area. You will get to know the size of the room in which you will present and how much you are going to project your voice to the audience. You will also get to see how your slides will appear to the audience and if there is anything that blocks the view, there will be enough time to work on it. You will also get the opportunity to become at ease when you are making your presentation.
  • Project your voice
    While you are making your presentation, it is important to project your voice. Projecting your voice is not the same as shouting. It means you will speak up during your presentation and everyone in the audience will be able to hear you. Always keep the projection of your voice to the maximum and maintain that until the end of your presentation.
  • Time yourself within the allotted time
    When you are invited to make a presentation of any kind, you should be aware of the amount of time that you will spend. This time should ft your presentation since overshooting will make you lose another opportunity for a presentation.
  • Connect with your audience
    You cannot be yourself if you are a nervous wreck or anxious. Let your audience feel your passion for the subject since it is essential in establishing a connection with them. The audience has to know bow the subject is significant to you.
  • Make eye contact with your audience
    When you maintain eye contact with your audience, they will be able to connect with you. It is another way of killing nervousness.
  • Focus on the needs of the audience
    Your presentation should stay within the confines of your message to the audience. You should be focused on the audience participation and react to it accordingly. The audience must understand and respond to your presentation.
  • Give a strong start
    To grab their attention, ensure that you have started strongly. The presentation should be made as interesting as possible from the onset.

Understand that there is no good way to make your presentation. The idea is to offer something fresh that m none has ever seen or heard before. Do not make your presentation formulaic.


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