THree Minute THesis at Northern Michigan University

While our societies diminished attention span and obsession with time as a metric for efficiency often leaves me unsettled and skeptical, I must admit I love the idea of the Three Minute Thesis.

What is a Three Minute Thesis?

Quite simply, student researchers have three minutes to explain their research in 3 minutes or less, and this is the best part- they only can use one static powerpoint slide.

Fans of Edward Tufte appreciate his scathing rebuke of the powerpoint culture-reducing complex ideas to confusing, poorly constructed visuals, banal bullet points, usually read verbatim by a poor presenter, usually tediously slow at the onset, only to be a whirling melange of slides and verbiage as the host calls “ten minutes remaining.”

Yet, there is a beautiful minimalism to communicating one idea concisely. Think the admonishment of Strunk’s admonishment- “Omit needless words!” Or the imagist poetry of William Carlos Williams, or the clean lines of modernism.

The focus audience is general not specialists, so just the essence, please.

 “Compelling research is research that has a unified theme. 3MT encourages students to focus on that theme. 

Northern Michigan UniversityCoordinator of Graduate Student and Research Affairs Janelle Taylor in NMU NEWS online.

The upcoming event, is February 15th. Viewers are welcome.

For more information, please see Jill Vermeulen’s article here.

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