Past Events

Past Winners of Poster Design Contest

Past University Writing and Research Conference Programs

Spring 2013
Fall 2012
Spring 2012
Fall 2011
Spring 2011

Past Symposia Programs





Writing is a social act. And the University Writing and Research Conference is designed as a capstone opportunity for faculty as well as students to see what their peers in previous first-year writing courses have accomplished and to get practical advice for proceeding with their own work.

For this reason, the First-Year Writing component of the University Writing Program hopes to see broad participation from faculty. At the end of each semester, faculty memebers are asked to nominate students to participate in the following semester's University Writing an Research Conference. Full details on the nomination process can be found here.

David Ettinger moderates a poster session at the 2007 University Writing and Research SymposiumGUIDELINES FOR MODERATORS

If you are one of the faculty, graduate or undergraduate students, administrators, or community members who will be moderating a session at this year's University Writing and Research Conference the University Writing Program and the George Washington University thanks you for taking on this important work.

Moderators play a key role in what is often the most significant intellectual experience our students will have as writers and scholars  in their early undergraduate years as they present work begun in their first-year writing course (UW20) for an engaged audience of other students, faculty, community members, and friends and family. Moderators help students become scholars through making sense of the event for those presenters and attendees having limited experience with the academic conference model. Moderators bring a perspective from beyond the presenters' immediate UW20 classrooms as they stimulate discussion among presenters and lead Q&A with the audience. And moderators enhance the sense of research and writing as social acts that can engage, create, and shape public discourse within the university and the larger community.

Moderator Lisbeth Fuisz prepares some trenchant questions for presenters at the 2007 University Writing and Research SymposiumLogistics

Day of the Event

Please plan to arrive approximately 15 minutes prior to your session's start time. We will have a small packet of materials waiting for you in your room including table (name) cards, a program, and audience surveys. Students have likewise been encouraged to arrive at least 10-15 minutes early. We will have University Writing Program faculty circulating to help deal with equipment and room set-up issues, but you'll want to take the lead here in making sure all the equipment works and that student PowerPoints are ready to go.

Moderate the session itself any way you see fit. The most common approach is to introduce each presenter and let all presenters speak (gently reminding them of their time limits, if necessary) before opening up the floor to questions. This is where we will most need your help, because students in the audience are unlikely to be accustomed to conference etiquette and practice, and may need to be drawn out. (Conversely, you may find it necessary to keep faculty members in the audience from taking over the session.) You might find it helpful to get the ball rolling with a question of your own, especially where the linking thread among the presentations might seem thin. It can also work well to encourage the presenters to ask questions of one another.

When the session is nearing its close, thank presenters and attendees.

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Audience at the 2007 University Writing and Research SymposiumAudience

If you are a student attending the conference you may have been required by your instructor to respond to the presenters in some way. Below you will find suggestions on how to facilitate this response.

Below, are some basic guidelines for preparing a written response to a presenter at the Symposium.

While You're There

  • Take notes during the sessions so that you will be able to recall what you found provocative, puzzling, informative, and/or memorable.
  • Be sure to record the full name of the presenter so that you will be able to find her/his e-mail address through the Symposium program or GW's online directory.
  • If at all possible, ask the presenter a question during the Q & A. Again, take notes regarding his/her response. See The Art of Asking Questions for some tips on how to formulate productive questions both for yourself and for the presenter.

    If You Are Required to Write a Response/Reflection on the Panel(s) You Have Attended

  • Refer to the notes you've taken during the session. Indicate which panel you attended, the presenters names and the titles of thier papers.
  • Discuss both the presentation itself and the Q&A session that follows.
  • Follow guidelines provided by your individual instructors

    If You Are Required to Send an E-mail to a Presenter

  • Introduce yourself. Some presenters may be surprised to receive an e-mail from an address/person they do not recognize. For this and the following suggestions, see our sample letter.
  • If you are cc'ing your instructor, it will be useful to indicate your UW1020 section so that the presenter is not surprised to see another name listed on the e-mail.
  • Explain why you are responding to this presenter. Were you intrigued by the student's paper title? Did you go to hear another paper and find you were captivated by this student's work? Do you have a personal investment in the topic?
  • Congratulate the presenter on something she/he did well. What did you find particularly impressive or intriguing? Let the presenter know what you learned (and personally gained) from attending the presentation.
  • If you asked the presenter a question during the Q and A, remind him/her that you were the one who asked "x," and perhaps discuss any further thoughts that came to mind after hearing his/her response.
  • If you find there are some points of clarification or counter-arguments that the presenter might want to consider, or sources you think might interest them, then you might want to offer those points in terms of querying whether or not the presenter might plan to return to this topic to conduct more research.
  • Close by thanking the presenter for submitting a proposal to the Symposium and going public with her/his writing.