112304 Getting to the point: Key messages and abstract writing in science

Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Korbei, Barbara
Offered in
Sommersemester 2018
Languages of instruction


The course is designed to support BOKU students who want to present their research at a scientific conference or submit a paper to a journal. The aim of this course to help students to identify and clarify their key message, and to write a strong, convincing abstract.

We will analyze scientific literature and do group work to support each other in finding a clear and understandable key message. We will then expand this key message and develop it into an abstract that you can submit for a conference (but the abstract is the same if you submit a paper to a journal!). Furthermore I will provide an input on the general structure of an abstract. We will critically reflect on why certain structures or wordings may be helpful or distracting, and how to present your research ideas or results in an accessible and convincing way. Such skills are useful not only to present the results of scientific research, but also in professional practice or job applications. The participants will benefit from intensive interactions with other participants and with the lecturer, as well from the rapid feedback tailored to their abstract

The summer term course is offered in two parts: Part 1 focuses on finding the key message in your research. In Part 2 we will focuses on writing a convincing abstract. Both parts will take place blocked from end of April until end of May.
For students just interested in one of the two parts: participation is possible. You only receive a course certificate if you participate in both parts of the summer term course.

A sequel to the course (LV 110.042, held in Winter Term 2017/18) focuses on preparing a good presentation (oral or a poster) and will be blocked in October 2017.
Grading will be based on the active participation in the course, as well as on the quality of the feedback you provide to others.
Additional information and material will be available by April, on the BOKUlearn website of the course.

Previous knowledge expected

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

Upon completion of this course, the students will be able to:
•present scientific results effectively to diverse audiences, such as students or senior researchers of various disciplinary backgrounds
•identify and avoid traditional pitfalls in oral and poster presentations
•know how to implement appropriate PowerPoint tools for both oral and poster presentation, while carefully aligning structure, design and information content
•recognize the impact of the presentation style on the audience with respect to learning, motivation and impression of scientific quality
•understand the strengths (and potential weaknesses) of their personal presentation style
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.