Preparing a Seminar Talk on a Published Paper


1. To prepare your seminar talk, analyze the paper and answer the following questions:

  1. What problem was investigated? In other words, what research question did the authors try to answer?



  3. What was the primary motivation for investigating the problem?



  5. What background information (context) is relevant to understanding the problem?



  7. List the paper's key points?



  9. What method(s) or experimental design did the authors use?



  11. Which of the results reported in the paper are the most significant?



  13. Did the authors note any unexpected results? If so, were those results explained sufficiently?



  15. What were the authors' conclusions?



  17. In retrospect, what were the implications of the investigation? How did the investigation influence future work?



  19. What, if any, were the weaknesses of the paper?


2. Now that you have analyzed the paper, think about how to adapt it for your audience. Why should your audience be interested in this particular topic? What do they already know about it? What terms or definitions will be new to them? Which key points or concepts will be the most difficult for them to grasp?