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Spring 2006 University Writing and Research Symposium
The George Washington University


cfp overview | dates | letter | cover sheet

Download the CFP instruction sheet: PDF | RTF (text)
Download the CFP cover sheet: PDF | RTF (text)

Call For Proposals (CFP) Overview

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The University Writing and Research Symposium celebrates the scholarship of first-year writing students with a three-day event at both the Mount Vernon and Foggy Bottom campuses of the George Washington University. Spring 2006 UW20 students are invited to share their work with audiences of students, faculty, friends, and family, drawn from across the university and the Washington, D.C. area.

All UW20 students are encouraged to attend the Symposium, but the final program of presenters will be selected and scheduled by a review panel composed of UW20 faculty from among proposals submitted in response to this call. Selected presenters will be notified on Monday, April 17 and will be asked to circulate a draft of their work among their co-presenters and session moderators in the week before the Symposium.

Responding to this CFP consists of submitting a one-page proposal letter and a one-page cover sheet.


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  • Proposals Due Monday, April 10
    4:30 pm, 556 Rome Hall (UWP Offices)
  • Authors of selected proposals will be notified Monday, April 17
  • Spring 2006 University Writing and Research Symposium
    Wednesday through Friday, April 26-28

Proposal Letter

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Download this CFP instruction sheet: PDF | RTF (text)
Download a sample cover letter

In a one-page letter addressed to the Review Panel, give a more explicit sense than your abstract can into how your presentation will engage the Symposium audience—a broad cross-section of GW students (especially first-years), faculty, librarians, and D.C.-area community members. (A sample of such a letter is available on this site.)

The address for the review panel is:

University Writing Program
801 22nd Street, NW, Rome 556
Washington, DC 20052
ATTN: Symposium Review Panel

The faculty review panel will use this proposal letter 1) to assess your work’s overall and specific appeal and interest and 2) to help place it with compatible presentations in the program.

  • For example, is the topic itself of broad or specialized interest, or does it raise key intellectual, moral, or political problems, issues, or questions?
  • Do your methods, sources, or claims represent a significant challenge to conventional wisdom or the existing scholarly literature on the topic?
  • Is your proposed presentation style particularly innovative or engaging?

This letter should also address the state of completion of your work, what you will still need to do to ready your presentation for the Symposium, and what you hope to do with this work beyond the presentation (for example, you may be basing a UW20 research project on it).

Proposal Cover Sheet

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Download this CFP cover sheet: PDF | RTF (text)

In completing this CFP cover sheet, please keep it to one page, with special attention to the following:

Title: Presentation titles should suggest something of your argument and your topic. Last year’s program, available through the web address noted above, provides some guidance.

Keywords: List several key terms or phrases that characterize your proposed presentation. These will be used by the review panel to match your presentation with those from other UW20 sections that are related by topic, approach, or presentation style. You might draw these keywords from academic databases (for example, the subject headings in ALADIN), scholarly literature (specialized terms for concepts or methods), or popular usage (ambiguous or disputed terms).

Abstract: In no more than 50 words, indicate the topic (intellectual problem or central questions) and your proposed approach, insight, perspective, or argument. Abstracts will be printed in the Symposium program, so this paragraph is also your direct pitch to potential audience members.

Presentation Type: Recognizing the many styles of research and writing practiced in UW20, students may propose to present their work in a variety of formats:

  • Oral presentation: Often called a paper, this is an essay or research report imagined as an abridged version of some larger work. Students presenting in this format will be placed by the review panel either on a panel of two to four speakers or in a roundtable discussion of a larger number of presenters who briefly summarize their work before opening the session to a general discussion of the topic. Both session types will be moderated by a member of the GW faculty or a member of the D.C.-area professional community.
  • Poster: Mixing text and graphics, a poster summarizes and illuminates the sources, method, argument, results, and implications of a research project. During scheduled poster sessions, students presenting in this format will be available to discuss their work with Symposium attendees. Poster sessions are unmoderated.
  • Group and experimental formats: Group or full-class panels and roundtables, food fairs, performances, protests, electronic media, reenactments, and dance—students have seized on these and other forms to present their work at past symposia. Students submitting proposals for alternative formats should consider how their presentation will engage a scholarly audience. Panels and roundtables will be moderated; presentations in other formats may or may not be.