Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa
Te Rau Herenga O Aotearoa

5 Minutes on Writing a Conference Paper

LIANZA presents a quick and easy video covering the basics of writing a paper for conference



Writing a conference paper
You’ve been accepted to speak at conference, and whether you’re an old-hand or a first-timer you’re excited, you’re nervous, and you’ve just realised that you now have a conference paper to write. Suddenly speaking at conference doesn’t seem like such a great idea. But don’t panic – writing your conference paper doesn’t have to be an ordeal. And remember – 3,000 words is the maximum limit for a conference paper – not your end goal.  


Structuring your paper
Generally speaking conference papers have an abstract, a body, and a conclusion – although it can help to clearly head up new ideas or key sections as well. These can act as signposts for the reader, and make your paper easier to follow and also help you to ensure you cover all the material you want to.


Getting started
Congratulations – you’re already 250 words in, as you had to write the abstract when applying to be a conference speaker. In fact you probably have a lot more noted down if you have already written your speech – using this as a basis for your paper is the way to go.

Don’t try to be too formal in your written language – the papers are a lot more engaging to read if we can hear your natural voice coming through – so there isn’t any need to change tone or approach too drastically.


The key difference between writing a paper and delivering a speech is that you have to provide a detailed reference for any thoughts, ideas, or information that you “borrow” from other people. The easiest way to tackle referencing is to reference each source as you get to it – rather than leave them as a whole pile to do at the end (which can be really daunting).  

I’m sure you are aware of the basics of referencing, but if you need a hand the clever guys at Massey University Library have this handy tool that can help you reference your material correctly.


Diagrams and images
Don’t skimp on cool diagrams and images in your paper if they help you illustrate a key point.  These can do double duty on your power point slides during your presentation. 
Microsoft has some great templates you can adapt if you aren’t able to come up with your own.


6. Formatting
Formatting your conference paper is easy. All papers should be submitted in word, using Arial as the font. Ensure your title and name are on the first page, and that pages are clearly numbered in the bottom left-hand corner. We don’t need anything fancy.


7.  Help - need somebody …
Examples of previous conference papers can be found on the LIANZA website – so you can see proper examples of what you need to do.  

If you have any questions feel free to get in touch with the LIANZA office 

Friday, August 15, 2014 - 8:45am

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