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Conference Frequently Asked Questions

When and where will the conference be held?
The date of the MSU Denver Undergraduate English Conference is Friday, March 10, 2017. Details on location and time will be announced when the conference program is completed.

Who is eligible to participate?
Any undergraduate student (regardless of major) from a local or regional institution of higher education. As long as you are an Undergraduate student at the time of your submission, your submission will be eligible for consideration.

Who may attend?
We encourage students, faculty, staff members and administrators to attend panel sessions. Outside guests, such as parents and family members, are also welcome. All who attend (including presenters) should register in advance of the conference so that organizers have an idea of how many people will be attending. Registration is free of charge.

Why should I participate?
Conference participation develops your writing, research, and presentation skills, adds to your resume for graduate and/or professional school, and is a significant step in making the transition from student to professional. Further, it creates ownership and confidence in your work, and can prepare you for participation in larger or national-level research conferences. A local conference like this one has the additional benefit of introducing you to other undergraduates and their work. Moreover, conferences are fun! They both create and reaffirm a sense of community amongst those who present and attend.

What kind of presentation can I give at the conference?
We invite you to submit proposals for both critical and creative papers in any of the six areas featured: Literature, Composition and Rhetoric, Creative Writing, Film Studies, Linguistics, and English Education. Creative pieces may include fiction, poetry, nonfiction, drama, or screenwriting. The work proposed should be appropriate for a 15 - minute presentation.

How do I submit a proposal?
Submit a 400 - 500 word abstract of a scholarly paper or a 400 - 500 word excerpt of a creative piece (or 1 poem, if submitting for poetry). The submission deadline is February 3, 2017.

What exactly is an abstract?
An abstract is a short summary that typically includes an introduction to your topic, an indication of your thesis, and a breakdown of your critical approach. You may write an abstract for a paper that is already completed, or for a paper you plan to have finished by the conference date. You can read more about writing academic proposals on the Purdue OWL's website

Can groups submit a proposal?
If a group of 3 - 4 students wants to present work together on the same panel, please submit a proposal for the entire group. Most likely, the topic that connects the individual papers will be the topic created for the panel. You cannot have fewer than three students in the group. A group proposal is approximately 400 - 650 words and generally has a two - part structure: 1) an explanation of how the three papers are connected (by topic, text, approach, etc.) and 2) how each presenter will specifically handle the common topic and what each presenter's main argument is.

Where can I get help with my conference paper or project?
If the project you would like to submit to the conference grows out of an assignment for a course you are presently taking at your institute, talk to a professor about how to shape the material for conference presentation. The Purdue OWL's website is also a good source. If you are a MSU Denver student, consider making use of the Writing Center

What is the deadline for submission?
February 3, 2017.

When will I hear whether my submission has been accepted for the conference?
Notification of acceptance will go out via email in February.

How early before my presentation do I need to arrive?
You need to arrive at the room assigned to your presentation at least fifteen minutes before the start time to meet your session moderator and other panel members. You will also need time to set up any special equipment you will need for your presentation.

Will people ask me questions about my presentation?
There is a question and answer session at the end of each panel, after all presenters have presented their work. The audience may direct questions to you about your work, but the question and answer period is never adversarial. Most likely, people will simply want to know a little more about your paper or work, or may even have an interesting comment to make. Look at the question and answer period as a time to share your ideas with others.

Do I have to stay for the entire conference on Friday?
No, we recognize that you may have class or job commitments; however, we very much hope you will attend all or our most of the sessions. It's important for each presenter to have a good audience and for all of us to have a chance to interact and share ideas. Good conference etiquette also includes attending sessions other than your own or those of your closest friends.

Who do I contact if I need special equipment for my presentation?
If you plan to use PowerPoint, need an overhead, a CD player, or any other technological equipment during your presentation, please let Dr. Leslee Wright.  You should also set up a time to test your equipment before the conference day.

I don't want to be a presenter, but I'd like to be involved. What can I do?
The conference organizers are looking for student volunteers to help out both before and during the conference, so please don't hesitate to let us know that you want to be involved! Contact Dr. Leslee Wright and let her know that you'd like to be added to the list of volunteers.

I have another question that's not answered here.
If you have a question, please write to Dr. Leslee Wright.


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