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.


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 have 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.