How to present a paper

Ashwin Ram

(Paraphrased from my hazy memory of what Drew McDermott taught me many years ago)

Many students present a paper, especially one authored by someone else, by talking through it section by section or page by page. The student reads out the definitions and points the audience to the figures. Anything in italics is read out. The student works through the paper linearly, taking great care not to miss anything that the author might have written that might possibly be relevant. This approach is not useful because all that is happening is that the student is reading the paper aloud, forgetting that the audience is perfectly capable of reading the paper themselves and in most cases has already done so. Here is a different approach.

If you're presenting the paper:

If you're critiquing the paper:

See here for some related tips on how to write a paper.