The 39th New England Undergraduate Sociology Research Conference
Friday April 19, 2013
Bryant University, Smithfield, RI
Abstract and Presentation Guidelines
Types of Presentation
When you submit your proposal, you will be asked to identify what type of presentation your proposal is for. You may choose from the following categories. If you have further questions, your sociology professor or advisor can likely help, or feel free to send your question to the conference organizer.
· Single-Authored presentations are 12-14 minutes long. Papers with more than one author, but that will be presented by a single presenter, will be treated as single-author presentations. Conference organizers will group presentations together with others sharing a common topic, focus, or methodology. Usually, a session will have three to five presentations.
· Group presentations are treated as single-author presentations, with 12-14 minutes allotted for the entire presentation. If your group presentation requires more time, contact the conference organizer. It is likely that we can accommodate your time requirements, but such arrangements must be made in advance. Alternatively, consider the panel presentation format described below.
· A Panel presentation is a set of three to five presentations with a common theme submitted together in a single proposal. Usually, but not always, a panel presentation will fill an entire session. In addition to the presenters, the panel also will have a moderator who will introduce the presentation and provide context for the audience. The moderator may be one of the student presenters or a faculty member from the presenters' college or university.
· Poster presentations report research activities or results in visual and summary form. Space is set aside in a common area for these presentations, and easels or tables will be provided to display the posters. Presenters will set up their presentation in the morning, and they are then free to participate in on-going sessions. In mid-day, presenters will return to their posters for a designated period where they will be available to describe or explain their poster to interested Conference attendees.
· Your poster should be easily read at a distance of four feet, and should include:
· The title of the presentation (104-point size);
· The author(s) and affiliation(s) (72-point size);
· The body of your text, along with graphs, charts, or tables, if included. (16-point or larger).
· Click here for more Poster Guidelines prepared by the Writing Center at Colorado State University.
· Find additional Poster Presentation Resources assembled by Eric Johnson at Washington State University.
Preparing Your Abstract
You will not be asked to submit your final paper, only a 100-200 word abstract. Accordingly, it is important that your abstract be carefully prepared and professional in its appearance. If you have never written an abstract, you should begin by reviewing several abstracts that appear at the beginning of scholarly articles in sociology journals. (You can find sociology journals in your college library; ask your reference librarian for assistance).
Once you are familiar with the idea of an abstract, review the detailed guidelines for preparing your abstract provided by the American Sociological Association. Try to follow the spirit of these guidelines, and pay close attention to your writing: word choice, grammar, syntax, logic, and structure. Proposals with poorly prepared abstracts will not be accepted for presentation.
Your research need not be completed when you write your abstract, and it is not necessary to already know your results and have arrived at conclusions. (Though you will want to have substantially completed your paper by presentation time.)
The abstract guidelines presented here are for the classic sociological research report. If you are submitting a proposal for some other type of presentation--for example, reporting on a service-learning or other field experience--you will need to adapt the abstract format to fit your proposal. Just be sure to follow the broad imperative of an informative abstract: be orderly, succinct, and concrete, and in no case should your abstract exceed 200 words.
Submitting Your Proposal
Once your abstract is ready, it is time to submit your proposal. Be sure to pay close attention to the submission deadline. On the navigation bar at the top of the page, click "Register" to go to the registration page, select "Student Presenter Registration," and select "quantity: 1" for 1 registration. Fill in the required fields, and paste your abstract into the Abstract box. Then, submit the form. You will receive email confirmation of your registration along with a ticket to gain admittance to conference events. You will also receive a formal letter advising you of the status of your proposal within one week of the proposal submission deadline.
If you have any questions about the submission process or about your proposal, contact the Conference organizer. We will be happy to help!
Getting Ready for Your Presentation
To prepare for your presentation, look over your paper and decide what the most important ideas are. You do not need to include every detail in your presentation. You will want to rehearse your presentation, both to polish your presentation and to be sure that it fits within the session's time frame.
Student presentations are not always based upon student "research," per se. They sometimes are presentations on experiential learning, service learning, or some other aspect of pedagogy.
You may organize your presentation with PowerPoint if you choose. A computer and projector will be available in each presentation room. If you choose to use PowerPoint, you should bring your slides on a flash drive.
Feel free to include your own experiences in the research process, such as surprises or mistakes made; your audience is interested both in your findings and in the research process itself.
As always, if you have any questions contact the Conference Organizer, we are happy to help!
Presenting Your Paper
When it is time to present your paper, you will find that the audience is friendly and supportive. Because there are concurrent sessions, the audience for your presentation is not likely to be large; it often has the feel of a small class presentation.
Presenters sit together at the front of the room, and the session moderator (a sociologist assigned by the conference organizer) introduces each presentation and keeps track of time so that the session begins and ends on time. When the last presentation of the session is finished, the moderator will invite the audience to ask questions and to participate in a general discussion in response to the presentations. Discussions often are lively and interesting. Presenters may want to take notes on any suggestions or constructive criticism arising from the discussion as such comments can be invaluable in strengthening both your paper and your ideas.
It is quite normal to be nervous in a formal presentation, and your audience understands this. You may choose to speak from note cards, from PowerPoint slides, or from a text document. In any of these cases, what you actually present is usually an edited, shorter version of your actual paper. Often some of the detail that needs to be in your paper can be left out of your conference presentation. You might want to have such detail handy, though, in case it would be useful during the discussion session that follows.