Writing A Conference Paper

It’s not helpful to condense the entire Ph D into a 15-minute presentation, but at the same time that overall project provides a context for this particular element of the study.

A conference paper can’t say everything; it needs to be closely focused on a single main argument so that the audience can engage with the ideas.

What are the useful tips that become second nature after you’ve done a few presentations, but are not so obvious when starting out?

Academic conferences play a significant role in graduate work.

Writing a conference presentation is very different from writing an article or a dissertation.

While writing the script of a presentation recently, a list of questions arose for us that might be useful for others doing this for the first time. Some big conferences might attract a rather broad audience; on the other hand, smaller niche conferences often focus on a more specific subset of that disciplinary ‘tribe’ (Becher & Trowler, 2001; Trowler, Saunders & Bamber, 2012).That is, there are fewer content words in spoken language than in written academic language, and lots more ‘filler’, giving the listener a little extra time to process the information (Halliday 1985 has a much more sophisticated way of explaining this).It also helps to write a one-sentence summary of the main point of each slide to reinforce the message as the story proceeds. One big challenge is to conceptualise the conference presentation as a standalone piece of writing that is separate from (but grows out of) the bigger project of the Ph D.Be very careful about pushing the conclusions too far or over-generalising, particularly when only a small part of the data is being discussed.It might add to the research credibility if you can support your conclusions with direct quotations from your study participants. Although it sounds like a small detail, one useful tactic in the early stages is to decide how many of the 15 minutes should be allotted to each section of the presentation. It can be helpful to decide early on how to balance the weighting of the various sections as a guide to how much detail could be included. The big advantage of having access to Power Point or Prezi alongside the spoken presentation means that the graphics can enhance communication.Think about the layout to ensure that the audience can see at a glance how the visuals fit with the verbal message.Images add interest and help to keep the audience focused.It is an event for researchers to present and discuss their work, crafting a bridge for exchange of information between researchers.But how does a researcher get invited to present their field of research at an academic conference?The main point is to catch the attention of conference organizers.You want to be remembered by the people to whom you offer it.

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