This page contains resources presented through various information sessions and workshops. The Office of Undergraduate Research sponsors workshops on topics such as applying for research fellowships, mentoring undergraduate researchers, and creating effective research presentations. Scroll down to find descriptions of, and resources from, these and other workshops.

Writing an Effective Research Abstract

It is important to be able to describe your research briefly, accurately, and compellingly for various audiences, whether you are applying for a conference, fellowship, or graduate school, preparing for an interview, or simply thinking about the significance of your work. One of the best ways to do so is by writing a research abstract, which is required for many types of applications. Among the resources used in this workshop were a list of strategies for writing an abstract, an example of one conference's abstract guidelines, an example of another conference's abstract template, two sample abstracts, and perhaps most importantly, an abstract rubric for evaluating, and helping you write, abstracts.

Creating an Effective Research Poster Presentation

One way to present your research is through a poster presentation. More common among the hard sciences, poster presentations for conferences are often delivered in large rooms with many other posters, so it is important that your poster offers an attractive, clear, and engaging starting point for you to engage an audience in a discussion about your research. This workshop offers a great deal of advice for what content to put into a poster and how to lay it out (much of it geared toward the Loyola undergraduate research symposium), but it is equally important to focus your preparation on what you will say and how you will say it. The key is to design a poster that offers you eye-catching starting points, from which you should aim to engage the audience in a discussion. View sample research posters here. You can also check out an evaluation rubric for research poster presentations. And review these strategies for delivering a research poster presentation on conference day. You should also definitely prepare a "1 Minute Pitch" introducing your project for conference day. For examples and directions for doing this, check out this guide to a 1 Minute Pitch.

*Click here for instructions for submitting your poster for the 2016 Undergraduate Research and Engagement Symposium!

Creating a Research Poster PPkck

In addition to the resources above, check out the following resources on research poster presentations:

Preparing and Presenting Effective Research Posters, Jane E. Miller, Health Serv Res. 2007 February; 42 (1 Pt 1): 311–328.

This is a detailed article outlining exactly how to put together and present a research poster. It is an excellent resource.

Samples of Research Posters, Office of Undergraduate Research, Washington University in St. Louis

This website offers samples of social science, natural science, and humanities posters, including a repository with over 20 posters.

Below is an excellent video by NC State professor George R. Hess, who gives an excellent overview on giving effective research poster presentations.

Creating an Effective Oral Presentation

Many research projects are best presented in an oral presentation, which has traditionally been more common in the humanities and some social sciences, but which could be used by anyone. Oral presentations at research conferences are generally delivered in classrooms, where presenters are given a short time to present, and grouped with two or three other presenters on similar topics. Sometimes a moderator or commentator who has read a draft of the presentations ahead of time delivered comments and questions based on all the presentations afterward. This format offers a chance for Q&A with the audience and discussion about overlap between the projects. Oral presentations are often delivered with access to A/V equipment, and presenters sometimes use Power Point presentations, Prezis, or even handouts. Some speakers bring a full draft of their presentation to read from, though eye contact and audience engagement are key here, so if you can, it is usually best if you can deliver the talk from an outline. Just be careful not to go too long! You can check out an evaluation rubric for an oral presentation. You should also check out this Guide to an Oral Presentation Introduction.

Also, check out this video created by the Michigan State University Undergraduate Research Office.

Planning an Oral Presentationkck

Lit. Reviews for Research Projects

Many people conduct a lit. review at the beginning of their research project, looking up and briefly summarizing the existing "literature" (published articles and research) about topics relevant to their research. This workshop, created by the Loyola Libraries, gives a brief overview of how to do a lit. review, including where to look for relevant "lit." for your topic, how to write the review, and which software can help you manage your citations and produce a bibliography for you. If you're working with a mentor on your research project, be sure to consult with them about whether they think you need to do a lit. review, which databases or journals to look in for relevant sources, and how you should write up a summary of the lit. you find.