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Are you, or have you been working, on a long-term project, presentation, or artwork? Or are you really proud of the project, paper or artwork you produced for a class assignment? The Academic Excellence Showcase is a unique opportunity for you to present your scholarly and creative efforts to the greater WOU community and the many visitors from surrounding communities who attend. Many faculty will cancel classes in order to allow greater participation, and provide larger audiences for this important event.
Why you should consider presenting:
- Gain valuable experience presenting at professional conferences
- Help gain admissions into graduate school
- Share your scholarly work with family and friends
- Enhance presentation skills
- Build your resume
If you are interested in presenting at the showcase, you will need to have a faculty or staff member sponsor your work. Usually your sponsor will be the faculty member with whom you have been working, or a session chair in your major area. To see a list of session chairs, please review last year’s Showcase program booklet on our Past Proceedings page. When you make your submission your will need to provide the name and contact information of your sponsor and this person will be emailed.
So you want to Present – What Now?
Think about what format will be best for sharing your work. The options include: posters, presentations (talks – often with a powerpoint), performances, and panel discussions. You can also look at last year’s conference program and see what format students in your discipline have used previously. Talk to your faculty/staff sponsor about your ideas.
Once you and your sponsor have decided what you want to do then you will need to fill out and submit the Student Submission form. There is now a google calendar to help keep you on schedule see our deadlines page to view it.
There are a few things you need to know for the submission form:
- General Idea of what you want to present about – you can refine this later so just get what you know down.
- Title – again, based off what you know.
- An Abstract (or Image of your work for visual arts)
- Author information (yourself and all co-presenters) including name, major, V#, contact information and hometown.
- Sponsoring faculty or staff member’s name and contact information.
Although the submission form has required fields that cannot be skipped (e.g. you can’t skip someone’s V#) you can always come back and edit your submission. Be sure to work though the whole form and submit what you have so far. The form will send you an auto-generated email that lists all the responses you entered into the form and gives you a link to go back and edit your responses. You can edit as many times as you like until the deadline. The form will also email your faculty/staff sponsor to confirm that you have their approval.
Writing an Abstract:
An abstract summarizes, in one paragraph, the major aspects of the entire paper in a prescribed sequence that includes: 1) the overall purpose of the study and the research problem(s) you investigated; 2) the basic design of the study; 3) major findings or trends found as a result of your analysis; and, 4) a brief summary of your interpretations and conclusions. If your work is a work of art, you may instead wish to describe the nature intentions of the art (e.g. a description of a dance performance piece or a piece of music).
Remember: this isn’t a full research paper. You need to selectively choose what information is in the Abstract because this is what will be printed in the Program on the day of the event. Think about what you want people to read about your research so that they will attend your presentation over another one.
The abstract SHOULD NOT contain:
- Lengthy background information
- Full reference citations
- Ellipticals [i.e., ending with “…”] or incomplete sentences
- Abbreviations, jargon, or undefined terms that may be confusing to the reader
- Bullet points, figures, or tables, or references to them
- Paragraph breaks (it must all be a single paragraph)
- Indentation or spaces preceding the first word
- ALL CAPS or Title Case (Please use sentence case)
Your abstract for AES must be 1200 characters maximum. Feel free to look at the Past Proceedings to see examples of published Abstracts.
After the Submission:
Once you know you are presenting you must stay in contact with your sponsor as they will help you refine your presentation. Faculty/staff are busy so don’t be afraid to set deadlines for them and remind them about what you need.
Set your own goal timeline and leave time to revise and improve. This will help you stay on top of what you need to get done and will help your sponsor know when you will need their attention and guidance.
Keep practicing your presentation – it won’t get better if you just talk about what should happen. Physically practice! This goes for posters as well. Once you have a draft of your poster put it on a big classroom screen and practice answering the question: “Can you tell me about what you did and what you learned in this project?”