It should be:. The question you ask should be developed for the discipline you are studying. A question appropriate for Biology, for instance, is different from an appropriate one in Political Science or Sociology. If you are developing your question for a course other than first-year composition, you may want to discuss your ideas for a research question with your professor.
Why is a research question essential to the research process? Research questions help writers focus their research by providing a path through the research and writing process.
Preparing the Content of Your Presentation
Unclear: How should social networking sites address the harm they cause? The clearer version specifies sites MySpace and Facebook , the type of potential harm privacy issues , and who may be experiencing that harm users.
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A strong research question should never leave room for ambiguity or interpretation. Unfocused: What is the effect on the environment from global warming?
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Focused: What is the most significant effect of glacial melting on the lives of penguins in Antarctica? The focused version narrows down to a specific effect of global warming glacial melting , a specific place Antarctica , and a specific animal that is affected penguins. It also requires the writer to take a stance on which effect has the greatest impact on the affected animal. When in doubt, make a research question as narrow and focused as possible.
Too simple: How are doctors addressing diabetes in the U. The simple version of this question can be looked up online and answered in a few factual sentences; it leaves no room for analysis.
Conference Papers - The Writing Center
The more complex version is written in two parts; it is thought provoking and requires both significant investigation and evaluation from the writer. Hours and Locations.
How to Write a Research Question What is a research question? How will you structure your presentation?
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This is an important question, because your presentation format will shape your written document. Some possibilities for your session include:. Presentations can be a combination of these styles. For example, you might read a paper aloud while displaying images. Following your paper, you might participate in an informal conversation with your fellow presenters. You will also need to know how long your paper should be. Presentations are usually minutes. A general rule of thumb is that one double-spaced page takes Thus an page, double-spaced paper is often a good fit for a minute presentation.
Adhere to the time limit. Make sure that your written paper conforms to the presentation constraints. It is important to meet the expectations of your conference audience. Have you been to an academic conference previously? How were presentations structured? What kinds of presentations did you find most effective? What do you know about the particular conference you are planning to attend? Some professional organizations have their own rules and suggestions for writing and presenting for their conferences.
Make sure to find out what they are and stick to them. However, if you submitted your paper individually and the conference organizers placed it on a panel with other papers, you will need additional information. Will there be a commentator? Commentators, also called respondents or discussants, can be great additions to panels, since their job is to pull the papers together and pose questions. If there will be a commentator, be sure to know when he or she would like to have a copy of your paper.
Observe this deadline. You may also want to find out what your fellow presenters will be talking about. Will you circulate your papers among the other panelists prior to the conference? Will your papers address common themes? How collaborative do you want your panel to be? Knowing your audience is critical for any writing assignment, but conference papers are special because you will be physically interacting with them. Take a look at our handout on audience. Anticipating the needs of your listeners will help you write a conference paper that connects your specific research to their broader concerns in a compelling way.
You can identify these by revisiting the call for proposals and reviewing the mission statement or theme of the conference. What key words or concepts are repeated? How does your work relate to these larger research questions? If you choose to orient your paper toward one of these themes, make sure there is a genuine relationship.
Superficial use of key terms can weaken your paper. Finding these linkages is part of the brainstorming process. See our handout on brainstorming. If you are presenting at a conference that is within your primary field, you should be familiar with leading concerns and questions. Contextualizing your narrow research question within larger trends in the field will help you connect with your audience. You might be really excited about a previously unknown nineteenth-century poet.
But will your topic engage others? She is really important for understanding developments in Romantic poetry in the s! Should I cut and paste? Be careful here.
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Time constraints and the needs of your audience may require a tightly focused and limited message. To create a paper tailored to the conference, you might want to set everything aside and create a brand new document. But you will also benefit from taking a fresh look at your research. Since your conference paper will be part of an oral presentation, there are special considerations for citations.
You should observe the conventions of your discipline with regard to including citations in your written paper.