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University Writing and Research Symposium
The George Washington University

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS



General Symposium information

  1. What is the University Writing and Research Symposium?
  2. When and where will the Symposium happen?
  3. How does the Symposium work?
  4. How do I get there / find my session?
  5. What is a "capstone" event?

1. What is the University Writing and Research Symposium?

The University Writing and Research Symposium is an annual event at The George Washington University, organized by the First-Year Writing faculty of the University Writing Program (UWP). It provides a forum for the public discussion of scholarship and writing that first-year students have begun in their UW20 classes This capstone event is an opportunity for students and faculty to see what their peers in other first-year writing courses are doing and to get useful, eye-opening feedback on their own work.


2. When and where will the Symposium happen?

The Spring 2009 University Writing and Research Symposium will be held on Thursday-Friday, April 23-24 on the Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses of The George Washington University. Check the program (to be published a week or so before the scheduled event) for session details and the locations page of this site for directions and room information.


3. How do I get to the Symposium / Find my session?

See the locations page of this site for campus locations, driving directions, parking information, and information on the "Vern Express" shuttle that runs regularly between the Mount Vernon and Foggy Bottom campuses. You can also find details about the size, shape, and feel of the rooms in which the presentations will take place.


4. How does the Symposium work?

Starting from the premise that Writing is a social act — in which writers shape audiences, and audiences in turn shape writing — a review panel of UWP faculty choose from among proposals submitted by Spring semester UW20 students. Those students whose work is selected will present in sessions along with students from across the UW20 program, with the discussion moderated by scholars and writers drawn from the faculty of The George Washington University and members of the D.C.-area professional community. Sessions are attended by UW20 and other students, GW faculty, community members, and interested friends and family.


5. What is a "capstone" event?

The first of the stated objectives of first-year writing instruction at The George Washington University is to help our students develop the "capacity for critical reading and for analytic thinking that examines assumptions and evidence, in both scholarly texts and informed public commentary." The symposium is one among several UW20 "capstone" initiatives that aim to provide students with the opportunity to combine these capacities through publicly presented scholarship.

(Our annual online anthology, Euonymous, brings together a selection of the most compelling thinking and writing produced by first-year writing students in the fall semester. And our Student Lecture Series creates a public forum for select current and former UW20 students who demonstrate a high level of commitment to their writing, whose writing demonstrates critical thinking and intellectual engagement, and whose writing creates an opportunity for members of the GW community to see writing as a public event and writers as public intellectuals.)

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Call for Proposals and timeline

  1. When are Symposium proprosals due?
  2. Who can submit proposals?
  3. How do I submit a proposal?
  4. How do I write a proposal letter?
  5. How do I fill out the cover sheet?
  6. Who reviews the proposals?
  7. When will selected presenters be notified?

1. When are Symposium proposals due?

Proposals are due Friday, April 3 at 4:30 p.m. in the University Writing Program offices: 556 Rome Hall (Foggy Bottom) or Academic Building, Room 214 (Mount Vernon). See the Call for Proposals for details.


2. Who can submit proposals?

Proposals are submitted by students currently enrolled in Spring 2009 sections of UW20, the first-year writing course of The George Washington University. In addition, students who have taken UW20 in the Fall of 2008 may also submit independently.


3. How do I submit a proposal?

Proposals are submitted in response to the Call For Proposals (CFP) available on this site. Responding to the CFP consists of submitting a one-page proposal letter and a one-page cover sheet. All UW20 students are encouraged to attend the Symposium, but the final program of presenters is 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 by Monday, March 31 and will be asked to circulate a draft of their work among their co-presenters and session moderators in the week before the Symposium. The Symposium program schedule will be published on this site approximately one week prior to the April 23-24 event.


4. How do I write a proposal letter?

Details on how to write both the proposal letter and the cover sheet, as well as a model cover letter, are available on the Call For Proposals section of this site.


5. How do I fill out the cover sheet?

Details on how to write both the proposal letter and the cover sheet, as well as a model cover letter, are available on the Call For Proposals section of this site.


6. Who reviews the proposals?

Proposals are reviewed by a panel of First-Year Writing faculty during the week of March 6-10.


7. When will selected presenters be notified?

The authors of proposals selected for the Symposium will be notified by the University Writing Program Review Panel on Friday, April 10. The Symposium program schedule will be published on this site approximately one week prior to the April 23-24 event.
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Poster Contest


1. How do I enter the Poster Contest?

Proposed designs for the 2009 University Writing and Research Symposium are due Wednesday, March 27, at 4:30 p.m. For information on how to enter (and previous winning designs), see the poster contest page.


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April 10-11 event

  1. I'm a presenter: Where do I go?
  2. I'm a presenter: What do I do?

  3. I'm a moderator: Where do I go?
  4. I'm a moderator: What do I do?

  5. I'm attending the Symposium: Where do I go?
  6. I'm attending the Symposium: What do I do?

1. I'm a presenter: where do I go?

The Symposium will take place Thursday-Friday, April 23-24 (see program) at several locations on the Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses (see locations). An information table will be set up on Mount Vernon in the entrance-area lobby to Post Hall in the Academic Building (large brick building with white columns on the quad) and in Gelman Library.

For further information, see the presenter guidelines


2. I'm a presenter: What do I do?

Plan to arrive at the room for your session at least 20 minutes before the session is scheduled to begin, earlier if you need to test equipment, set up display materials, or arrange performance space. (See the separate guidelines for using equipment.) Speakers are advised to bring bottled water.

Poster presenters, in addition to their scheduled session, will be asked to drop off their posters at the University Writing Program offices by 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 21.

For further information, see the presenter guidelines. For information on preparing in specific formats (panels, roundtables, posters), see presentation styles.


3. I'm a moderator: where do I go?

The Symposium will take place Thursday-Friday, April 23-24 (see program) at several locations on the Mount Vernon and campus (see locations). An information table will be set up on Mount Vernon in the entrance-area lobby to Post Hall in the Academic Building (large brick building with white columns on the quad).

In addition, a moderator's "green room" will likely be available for meeting other moderators and UWP faculty: check the information table for details.

For further information, see the moderator guidelines.


4. I'm a moderator: What do I do?

For information, see the moderator guidelines.


5. I'm attending the Symposium: where do I go?

The Symposium will take place Thursday-Friday, April 23-24 (see program) at several locations on the Foggy Botom and Mount Vernon campuses (see locations). An information table will be set up on Mount Vernon in the entrance-area lobby to Post Hall in the Academic Building (large brick building with white columns on the quad) and in Gelman Library.


6. I'm attending the Symposium: What do I do?

For guidelines on active participation as a member of the Symposium audience, see the materials we've prepared on "The Art of Asking Questions" and "Responding to Presenters." For other information, see the audience guidelines.

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