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Undergraduate Research Center

Director: Janice McDonald
Phone: 607-777-4324
Office: UU 260C
Assistant to the Director:
Ashley Serbonich
Phone: 607-777-4342
Office: UU 260A
Graduate Assistant: 
Mikhail-Ann Urquhart
Office: UU 260B


Presenting a research paper at a conference can be daunting and nerve wrecking, but it is also a great opportunity to gain experience presenting your research. Research papers are typically timed (15-25 minutes) and moderated. They are often presented as part of a session along with similar research papers.


• Review the conference website to find out how much time you will have to present and if there is an overall theme to the conference.  Determine paper rules and regulations before submitting your paper abstract

• Make sure to edit your original paper to fit within the allotted amount of time. It takes approximately 2 minutes to read 1 double spaced page. Example: if the allotted amount of time is 20 minutes, your paper should be no more than 10 to 12 pages long

• Remember to write the paper for an audience and design it specifically to be read out loud. Avoid using dense jargon, lengthy quotes and long, complicated sentences


• Papers may be accompanied by a visual aid such as a PowerPoint presentation. Use of visual aids captures the audience's attention and can help to make your points more interesting and memorable. Be sure to incorporate the content of the presentation slides in your paper so that the audience isn't confused

• If you plan to refer to PowerPoint slides, remember to time those remarks and include them in the time allotted for your presentation

• Practice using visual aid technology before the presentation so you will be familiar with how it works and see how your paper and visual presentation work together


• Practice reading the paper to yourself out loud, then with a friendly audience (don't forget to time your practice sessions).  Do not read fast just so you can cover more material

• Ask for advice from faculty, staff and peers

• Edit/rework your paper multiple times

• Prepare a reading copy which has a large font and paragraph breaks for natural breaths.  Remember to insert prompts in your paper for each slide you will refer to.

• Print copies of your paper before you leave for the conference in case someone asks for a copy. Hotel printing costs are usually high and it is better not to wait until the last minute. 


• Make sure to speak clearly and project your voice when reading your paper. Don't rush!

• Make eye contact with your audience

• Thank the audience for attending

• Provide your e-mail address so attendees can contact you for questions.  If using PowerPoint, we recommend including your e-mail address and acknowledgements on the last slide

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Last Updated: 1/8/14