Three Minute Thesis preparation

CUT: Graduate students attended a workshop about perfecting their theses

The Three Minute Thesis workshop prepared graduate students for the upcoming competition

On Dec 6, a group of graduate students and the director of the Center for Writers, Enrico Sassi, came together for a workshop in the Badlands Room in the Memorial Union to collaboratively discuss theses.

The workshop was preparation for graduate students to communicate their theses for the Three Minute Thesis Competition in 2020.

The competition is a chance for a graduate student to communicate a thesis in a quick and concise manner in a way that is easily understood by general audiences. Graduate students are being helped to accomplish this task by the Graduate Center for Writers.

“Our writing center helps students prepare presentations, but the Three Minute Thesis is especially interesting because it is a very specific form of presentation,” Sassi said.

“The time limit requires extreme concision and the competition requires appealing to a general audience, which is not what graduate students usually do.”

“Communicating research in an easy-to-understand way to the general public to show the value our research university provides to the community and North Dakota,” Sassi added.

“I chose this work because I love helping people become successful writers and communicators,” Sassi said after the workshop had concluded.

The competition forces graduate students to avoid technical language and let them speak about the value of their idea to the community which can be useful in future occupations and goals.

The first Three Minute Thesis competition was held at the University of Queensland in 2008. The idea spread quickly and universities around the world now host the event.

In 2015, NDSU hosted its first Three Minute Thesis competition which featured twenty-five graduate students who participated in five preliminary rounds. The winner of each round received $250 and went on to compete in the final round where the champion won $1,000.

The workshop on Friday was one of two workshops before the competition in February. It aimed to examine past Three Minute Thesis presentations as examples for the incoming competitors.

The next workshop will be held on Jan 24, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Badlands Room of the Memorial Union. This will be another chance for graduate students to further improve upon their Three Minute Theses.

“I chose this work because I love helping people become successful writers and communicators.”

Enrico Sassi, director of the Center for Writers

Peer presenters and Graduate Center Writer consultants will be present to provide feedback to graduate students during this workshop as well.

The final presentations will be on Feb. 20, 2020, in the Memorial Union and will be open to the public. For more detailed information on the Three Minute Thesis Competition, visit

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