Writing a Strong Proposal

If this is your first time submitting your work to an academic conference, the task may feel daunting–it may feel daunting even if you’re an experienced center director helping new tutors craft their proposal submissions. This section offers helpful links to resources about crafting proposals. Key takeaways from these resources include:

  1. Address the conference theme. The theme is there for a reason: articulate how your work fits into the theme.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of your area. Feel free to integrate paraphrases and source material to show the proposal reviewers that you are up-to-date in research in the field.
  3. Make a contribution. Every academic piece, whether it’s a presentation or a peer-reviewed article, must address the question, “So what?” Think about why your work matters and why others in our conference would want to hear about it. Are there practical take aways? Are you changing the world of writing center studies? Are you moving us beyond a long-held tradition or belief? Are you adding to a body of work that will help other center staff in some way?
  4. Engage the audience. No one wants to sit for an hour listening to people drone or read from papers. Articulate what makes your presentation unique. Will you interact with the audience? Ask the audience to participate? Have handouts? Build a Google Doc? Stage a flash mob? Engaging the audience doesn’t necessarily mean “the most innovative thing we’ve ever seen!”, but it does mean thinking critically about who your audience is and what modes of communication are best to express your research and takeaways.
  5. Follow instructions. Be aware of what the proposal submission form asks for, and adhere to those expectations.

ECWCA's Evaluation Criteria

Click here to read the specific guidelines for the 2024 conference.

Questions to Consider as You Write

  • What goals do you have for participant-learners? For yourself?
  • What will you do in your proposed session?
  • How do these actions help you specifically address your stated learning goals?
  • How does your presentation disrupt common ideas about writing centers, celebrate writing center stories, and/or (re)imagine the work of writing centers?
  • How does your proposal engage the ideas and methods of storytelling in the center?
  • What approach to storytelling will you use? Why will you use it? How does it help?

Additional resources are available here:

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