Frequently Asked Questions
When and Where are the annual conferences?
Congress 2014: Brock University, St. Catharine’s, Ontario. Monday, May 26 to Friday, May 30, 2014. (http://www.csa-scs.ca/conference)
Congress 2013: University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia. Monday, June 3 to Saturday, June 8, 2013. (http://www.congress2013.ca/)
Congress 2012: Wilfrid Laurier University & University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario. Tuesday, May 29 to Saturday, June 2, 2012 (http://www.congress2012.ca/)
Congress 2011: University of New Brunswick & St. Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick. Tuesday, May 31 to Saturday, June 4, 2011 (http://www.congress2011.ca/)
How do I prepare for a conference presentation?
To prepare for a conference presentation, you must initially submit your work to a “call for papers” by the Canadian Sociological Association which can be found on the CSA conference website.
When preparing a paper for submission, you should select a piece of work or research that you will have completed before the submission deadline. This paper will need to include an abstract and be as polished as possible. It is strongly recommended that you have a faculty member, a supervisor, or a peer review your paper.
When preparing your work for a conference presentation, you must keep in mind that a presentation is meant to help disseminate your findings to a wider audience and to help move your research along. You will need to rework your written paper as papers are not usually just spoken out loud. You will have to re-write your paper for a verbal presentation of your work.
If you are going to use visual aids or handouts for your presentation, be sure that they are clear and easy to read and that you do not provide too much information on each slide. It is often recommended that you do not use too many slides and that your font size for over-heads is not under 15 points. Further, be careful that your handouts or visual aids are not distracting. You do not want your audience thumbing through handouts while you deliver your argument.
The allotted presentation time available is often short so be sure to be succinct and clear in your delivery. Presenters often run out of time before they have an opportunity to fully describe their work and findings. Be sure to practice your presentation and its delivery. Do not let your presentation be ruined by being under prepared. During your presentation, the Chair of your session will be your time-keeper as well. She or he will inform you of how much time you have left in your presentation.
Remember that a conference presentation will allow you to present your work and ideas to a large audience, receive critical and valuable feedback on your work, and will also allow you to meet and connect with others who are interested in your topic. Networking is a large part of conferences so be sure to bring business cards as well.
Lastly, preparing for a conference presentation also include planning to attend other sessions as well. Be sure to support your fellow academics as it can be discouraging to present to an empty room. When listening in on other sessions, be courteous, polite and respectful when listening and speaking.
How does a round table presentation differ from all full-presentation?
Roundtable sessions are designed to provide a space for more junior graduate students or senior undergraduate students the opportunity to learn their craft in a constructive manner and a welcoming environment. Roundtable sessions are chaired by highly established scholars who would give feedback to the papers presented in these sessions. This type of session would be appropriate to the paper that is a review of literature arising from a course term paper, or an honours thesis project, or a descriptive project in data analysis. Roundtable sessions have a more pedagogical function for first time presenters.