The Undergraduate Research Writing Conference is back in person this year


Today, the Livingston Student Center will host the 10th Annual Undergraduate Research Writing Conference (URWC), inviting students to present research projects they have completed for their undergraduate coursework.

Debra Keates, assistant professor in the English department and co-chair of URWC, ​​said this is the first time the program has returned in person after being online for two years.

Arete Bouhlas, assistant professor in the English department and instructor for the department’s undergraduate writing program, said URWC 2022 is similar to an annual cornerstone for the writing program.

She said that at the conference, students are ready to share the research they have accumulated with the Rutgers community and establish a basis for discussion on relevant topics.

Bouhlas said the conference allows students who have earned an “A” in any of the writing program’s research courses to submit a paper for the conference.

She said that after students submitted their papers for review, they were then reviewed based on criteria such as depth of research, use of scholarly sources, analysis and exploration of arguments and academic interest.

Keates said the papers were reviewed by a committee of student interns and faculty members, who read them multiple times to decide which papers will be presented at the conference.

She said this year the conference tied its record for the number of submissions, receiving more than 300 papers. Of these submissions, 80 were chosen for presentation.

The conference plans for selected students to give 10-minute presentations on their papers to panels, Keates said. The room will then open to questions from the public.

“It’s a really fantastic opportunity for students who have done this research mostly on their own…to come and have a chance to talk about all of this work that they’ve done,” she said. “A lot of these research projects are very hands-on. They are geared toward solving problems that students have identified and investigated in the world around them.

Bouhlas said the conference will consist of three sessions of presentations, with each session consisting of five rooms with approximately three to five panelists each.

Keates said the issues students are facing in their research this year are geared toward the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and related issues. Other popular themes include sustainability and workplaces.

Lynda Dexheimer, executive director of the English department’s writing program, said the event has grown exponentially over the past decade, allowing more students to act as presenters and speakers. engage more with faculty, peers and administrators at the University, according to a press release. .

“Rutgers students are doing amazing projects. They show fantastic practical thinking that is truly worthy of respect,” Keates said. “So it’s a really wonderful, happy and exciting time for students to see what their peers can do.”


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