Skip to Main Content
Western Libraries

Three-Minute Thesis: Narrative

Prepare your Scholars Week presentation

Planning Your Narrative

You have three minutes to present aspects of your thesis to a non-specialist audience. In this time, you should address the significance of your research question. 

Content Suggestions

  • Tell a story  
  • Think about how your thesis impacts the world and the audience 
  • Focus on just one part of your thesis, such as a storytelling component or the biggest problem 

Sample Structures

  • Start with a “why” and end with a “why”  
  • Start with a big idea, move to smaller ideas, and end with your big idea 


  • Count how many words you can say in a certain amount of seconds 
  • Google says that the average person can speak 130 words per minute. Our competition demonstrates that our graduate students can explain their thesis with one image in 3 minutes, which is give or take 390 words. 
  • Write out your presentation and keep within your word count.