Tips on writing conference papers are best gained through experience presenting. Most academic conferences publish either the abstracts of the papers presented at the conference or a copy of the full papers presented. The papers cover the details of the presentations for attendees to review in situations when the attendee was not able to hear the oral presentation.
In cases where the papers are generated after the conference, the questions obtained during the presentation can give specific direction on the points that were of interest at the conference and will probably be of most interest to a reader.
Benefits of the Abstract
An abstract should be prepared prior to the conference to:
- Provide the organizers with a brief overview of your topic and to present a brief summary of your results. The abstract is used to categorize the paper and group it with similar topics or areas of work. Each category is then scheduled for a location and time for presentation.
- Provide attendees with a summary of what will be presented during a specific period of time in the preliminary schedule so that they can make the best use of their time during the conference. In cases where two presentations of interests are being presented simultaneously at two different locations, the attendee can select the one of greatest interest and make other arrangements to speak with the presenter of the paper that they were unable to attend.
- Provide presenters with a way to review the abstracts of all the papers in the section your paper is assigned, to address questions of how you performed your work and of which of the other presenters’ methods would also work in obtaining your goal.
In presenting your results, you will be making conclusions and writing an abstract is perhaps the most important part of the conference paper that you prepare because it lets people know what you used to get to those conclusions.
Remember to include in your abstract the motivation for the work. Define the problem being examined and the approach that will be used during the work described. Then, proceed to report the results and present your conclusions.
Writing Effective Conference Papers
Generate the first draft of your paper while you are preparing the oral presentation. Writing your first draft at this point will do two important things:
- It will help you to organize your thoughts for the oral presentation.
- It will serve as a great place to revise the paper based on questions brought up at the end of the conference.
As you write, include a more detailed description of the actual work that was done. These details are often minimized during an oral presentation, but should be fully detailed in the actual paper reporting the results. The results portion of your paper will be much the same as the content of the oral presentation. With your conclusions, you should also comment on the direction of future and follow-up work.
The focus of your paper should be limited to the work presented during the conference. Do not include any work done since the conference, as this will blur the line between the work presented at the conference and follow-up work that continues to develop.
The organization of your conference paper should flow in a logical sequence from experimental design to conclusions. Significant thought must be put in to fully evaluate the results and conclusions and to then report them at the conference proceedings or in a professional journal that is associated with the conference and the presentations.
Include all the resources that you used as reference sources and that site results for the problem you are investigating. The more complete the references the better your paper will be received. It will show that you have a good grasp of the field and that your work is original and novel.
These are just a few tips on writing conference papers that should help you present the work in a professional manner and that may help you with your oral presentation.