Written Summaries of Your Research


At some stage of your work, you will likely find yourself having to write abstracts of your research.  Journal articles, especially in the sciences, often begin with an abstract of the work; conferences require presenters to submit abstracts of their proposed papers; even grant and job applications require summaries of your research.  But what makes a good abstract?  And how do you go about writing one?  This blog post will cover some of the differences between abstracts written for different purposes, offer some basic stylistic rules to keep in mind, and link you to further resources on writing abstracts of your research.

Written Summaries of Your Research

The Department of Energy, Office of Science’s Research Abstract Rubric

Purdue Online Writing Lab’s Step-by-Step guide to writing scientific research abstracts

How_to_Summarize_a_Research_Article (a more general guide)

Further resource links from the University of Texas

The University of Wisconsin’s Writing Center: General advice on abstracts, and examples of abstracts from research in a number of different fields


Effective Reading Strategies

Use the time you spend reading more effectively. This workshop teaches you such techniques as active reading and knowing when to skim and when to read deeply. It will addresses matters of comprehension and retention.

How to decide if you need to scan, skim, or read the document:

SCAN if you are looking for only one detail or the main idea.

SKIM if you need to read quickly for key words and sentences in order to get a general idea

READ (and reread) if you need to understand all or most of the text.


Giving an Effective Academic Presentation

From lectures to conference presentations to job talks, you will certainly give numerous presentations throughout your academic career.  This blog post discusses what an Academic audience expects.  It covers preparation strategies, how to use presentation materials effectively, different kinds of academic presentations, and how to handle nervousness.

Giving an Effective Academic Presentation

“What Makes a Great Presentation?” From Briefcase Books’ Presentation Skills for Managers, this is a more business-oriented discussion of presentation skills, but provides some good general advice; chapter made available for free via Briefcase Books’ website.

Examples of strong poster presentations at UT Austin’s website.More on dealing with nervousness from Univeristy of Wisconsin Stout.

Paraphrasing, Using Sources Effectively, and Avoiding Plagiarism

Learn how to use scholarly sources in an ethical and appropriate manner.  This blog post will address understanding what plagiarism is (and how to avoid it!), paraphrasing others’ arguments correctly, and proper citation techniques.

Paraphrasing, Using Sources Effectively, and Avoiding Plagiarism

Further Resources:

Test your understanding of plagiarism with IU Bloomington’s Plagiarism Quiz

Study the Honor Code at Notre Dame

Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab: Quoting, Paraphrase, and Summarizing; Paraphrase Exercises

Citation Style Handbooks:

MLA and Chicago (both Humanities)

CBE (Biology)

ACS (Chemistry)

APA (Psychology and other social sciences)

IEEE (Engineering)


How to Improve Your Academic English

How to Improve you Academic English

This workshop presents several techniques non-native speakers can utilize to maximize their success when speaking and writing in English. Participants can learn how to identify and overcome the most common mistakes and problem areas encountered by international students.

Make a plan for working on your academic English
• Set realistic goals
• Learn about the features of academic English
• Read for more than just content
• Use your new vocabulary in your daily life
• Favor frequency vs. length
• Making Pronunciation a Habit

Interviewing and Networking Strategies for International Students

Finding a job or internship can be a confusing and challenging process.  While employers may be looking for applicants with diverse experience and the ability to speak more than one language, searching for a position as an international student can involve additional challenges.

Check out the PowerPoint slides for tips on preparing for an interview (including basics like what to wear!), succeeding at the interview, and following up with a short and personalized  thank you note.  I have also included information on two helpful resources for navigating different cultural expectations in the interview setting.

If you are preparing for an internship or job interview, remember that you can make an appointment for a practice interview with an EAP fellow.  Just sign up for a tutoring time on the CSLC website.

Interviewing and Networking Strategies PPT

Forms and Structures for Clearer Writing

Here is the power point presentation from last Tuesday’s workshop (2/19/13).

This is, of course, only a small overview of things you need to be thinking about when writing and rewriting your essays. Please make individual appointments through EAP to identify your personal writing quirks and to address issues most pertinent to you.

Forms and Structures

(I had to delete all the fanciness of the original presentation to get it to upload. But all the information is the same!)


Effective Reading Strategies

These are primarily general reading strategies that would be helpful for both international undergraduate and graduate students. If you would like advice pertaining to your specific needs as a reader, please make an appointment with an EAP fellow by visiting the EAP website (http://cslc.nd.edu/eap/).

Effective Reading Strategies
PowerPoint Presentation from Workshop on February 6, 2013