INFORMATION FOR FACULTY, MODERATORS AND AUDIENCE MEMBERS
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
GUIDELINES 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.
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
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.
back to top
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
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
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
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
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
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.