academic conference

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For the next 4 class periods, our class will be engaged in a mock academic conference. Each student will present the key points of their research project to the rest of the class (a knowledgeable audience on YA dystopian fiction) in a 6-8 minute presentations.

The conference schedule is available here: be sure you double-check to see if you are moderating/videotaping on days you are not presenting.

If you are presenting, moderating or videotaping, you DO NOT need to peer review for that day.


  • Upload your visuals to PPT the night before your presentation – I’ll download all of them and have them ready before your class begins
  • Come to class 5 minutes early to get set up and have time to do your calming routine before your presentation.
    • First panel: sit at the front of the room
    • Second panel: sit where there aren’t peer review sheets


  • Come to class 5 minutes early
  • Bring a device you can use as a timer (phone, tablet, computer is fine)
  • Be prepared to warn presenters when they are running out of time with signs (2 minute warning, 1 minute warning, stop)


  • Use the supplied video camera to record the presenter- it is important to keep them in the center of the frame
  • Stop and start the camera between each presentation


If you are not presenting, moderating or videotaping, you are a peer-reviewing audience member!

  • You should have 2-3 peer review sheets, each for a different person. You will NOT have a peer review sheet for every presenter.
  • Watch the presentation and fill out the sheets for the appropriate person
  • Live tweet the presentations you are not peer reviewing
  • Turn in all your peer review sheets to Dr. Fitz at the end of the class for participation credit



  1. Prepare for your presentation
  2. Continue working on your research papers, due Friday, March 17

The first thing we did today was look ahead to next week’s mock academic conference. We looked at the schedule and the roles that each panel will need; if you are interested in volunteering to be a moderator or videographer for a specific panel, please let me know (otherwise I will assign individuals to those roles). On days you are not presenting or helping with a panel, you will need to come prepared to engage in a peer review activity for each paper presented.

Next we talked through ways to build a strong foundation for your presentation by incorporating research into your argument. We emphasized the importance of making your own individual contribution to the argument clear; your argument should be at the center of the presentation and paper. We talked about how to write a strong, clear, dynamic thesis statement that makes an argument, that takes a stand and that forecasts the structure of your paper or talk. We also talked about how to surround your evidence with your own argument and interpretation in a quotation sandwich so that you are always explicit and clear about how your research supports the claims you are making. These kinds of quote sandwiches are vital to a well supported paper and presentation, though you will need to adjust depending on the mode of your communication.

Finally, we talked through some fundamentals of good presentations and looked at some key points of good presentations. You want to be sure you identify your audience and their needs as you begin to structure your presentation. You also want to think carefully about your goals and the ways in which your goals can be communicated to the audience. We talked a little about the levels of formality and how to use specific mediums of delivery to communicate with particular audiences. Then we talked more about how to structure your talk to help keep your audience invested, to hep your audience remember your key points and to avoid common pitfalls of presentations.



  • Watch Lynda Video – Presentation Fundamentals (log in with your GATech credentials)
  • Continue to work on research paper – draft dynamic thesis statement and bring to class Wednesday
  • Begin drafting/outlining presentation script – plan to bring to class on Friday IN THE COMMUNICATION CENTER