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University Writing and Research Symposium
The George Washington University
Want to post responses to the 2008 Symposium Facebook group?


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

While You're There

  1. Take notes during the sessions so that you will be able to recall what you found provocative, puzzling, informative, and/or memorable.

  2. 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.

  3. If at all possible, ask the presenter a question during the Q & A. Again, take notes regarding his/her response.

When You Send an E-mail

  1. 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.

  2. If you are cc'ing your instructor, it will be useful to indicate your UW20 section so that the presenter is not surprised to see another name listed on the e-mail.

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Close by thanking the presenter for submitting a proposal to the Symposium and going public with her/his writing.