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Month: March 2019

How to Conference: Presenting the Paper 1

To Read or Not to Read

In the previous post, I claimed that reading your paper at a conference is not necessarily bad. Not everyone thinks this. There is a large and vocal contingent of scholars for whom reading your paper is the worst kind of conference sin. This is typically because, as I stated above, a lot of read papers tend to be badly read.

So when is reading your paper okay? Or, rather, what makes a good reading? Part of it, as I also said before, has to do with how the paper is written: is it conversational? Does it clearly communicate one idea or topic? Can an audience follow that argument easily? These are the prerequisites for reading a paper aloud at a conference. If you’re presenting snippets from an essay, for the love of all that’s holy do NOT read it at your panel.

How to Conference: Writing the Paper 3

Citation is Political

You know who they are: the two or three academic stars that get cited in everything. They have their own boxes on the conference bingo card, their names come up so often. And they may be the nicest people in the world. They may actively use their position and platforms to make other scholars and scholarship visible – but that’s them, not the people citing them.

How to Conference: Writing the Paper 2

Kill Your Darlings

You have the best research question on the planet, and you want everyone to know about it. ALL about it. So let me burst your bubble by saying that, at a conference, that’s impossible.

“But wait!” you say. “I just need to get this [unrelated to the paper itself] information into the paper. Just this bit, because it’s so cool.”

“No,” I respond. Because NO.

How to Conference: Writing the Paper 1

Do I HAVE to? The Pros and Cons of Writing Out a Conference Paper

One thing people – especially those pressed for time – wonder is if you should even bother writing out your paper fully. For some, a detailed outline may suffice; others will move that outline to PowerPoint notes and work from those.

In fact, there are pros and cons to writing a full draft of your paper: