Language Teaching Studies Blog Site at the University of Oregon

3 Minute Thesis


Last Friday, Javid, an LTS student from Afghanistan presented at the U of O Grad School’s Three Minute Thesis, a competition where students from varying disciplines present their work in– you guessed it– three minutes. Here are Javid’s thoughts on the experience.

Throw Your O

What is your MA project about?

I started my presentation by asking the audience to imagine a situation where they had to write their thesis in a foreign language. Academic writing in our first language is already challenging let alone if we do it in a foreign language. Therefore, my MA project focuses on making academic writing an easier and a less frustrating process for undergraduate students in Afghanistan who are required to write their thesis in English. My project uses text-modeling and process writing as its framework to help students become more autonomous writers. The text-modeling approach helps students to use text features such as structure, organization, and style as a model for writing. In addition, process writing breaks down the process of writing into manageable pieces such as prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing before students publish their work. During this process, students also benefit from self-reflections, peer reviews, and portfolios, which help them to become more independent writers. They will also improve their research skills and strategies such as paraphrasing, summarizing, annotating, and citation. Research suggests that the combination of these two approaches is an effective framework for an academic writing course.

Why did you decide to present at 3MT?

As someone who has been involved in academic debates in Afghanistan and Toastmaster International here at UO, I always find any academic competitions interesting. I attended the 3MT presentation in 2015 and found it an interesting academic experience too. Not only my passion for academic experience was a motive, but also the opportunity to think deeply about my project. Moreover, it was a great practice to explain my research in a language understandable to the public.

How do you feel after presenting? Would you recommend the experience to other students? 

Throw Your O

The finalists

Presenting at 3MT competition enriched my academic experiences in the United States. It was quite a challenging process, from deciding what to include in one slide to my 3 minutes speech and connecting them together in a way that is engaging, simple and innovative. I did not expect to compete among the finalists. However, when I made it to the finals, I felt proud and accomplished after the presentation.

I definitely recommend to other students to participate in this educational presentation. You will learn many things about yourself, your project, and also about other fascinating research from various disciplines. It is an opportunity for you to develop your presentation skills and also receive feedback from the judges. Finally, the winners of the competition receive monetary prizes if you need some extrinsic motivation to present.

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