- Read the "Call for Papers" carefully for information on submission for the convention/conference you would like to attend. This document will tell you about a convention/conference theme, deadlines for submissions, and any other information you should know about submitting a paper. Individual conventions/conferences will have their own specific procedures to follow.
- One option is to choose your best paper completed for a course assignment. Completed theoretical, data-based, rhetorical, critical, and interpretive analyses are all welcome. Scan previous convention programs for a sense of what has been presented in your interest area. Faculty colleagues can advise you about scholarly rigor and quality of writing that is required.
- Choose the appropriate Interest Group within the organization for submission of the paper. Each Interest Group has slightly different requirements for submission. Be sure you read the particular Interest Group instructions posted on the web site under conventions and program planners. Papers may only be submitted to one convention / conference and one Interest Group. Submitted papers should be original work for that convention/conference, not submitted to other conventions/conferences, usually not in press, and not published at the time of submission. One should not present the same paper twice. (The exception is student conference presentations that are later presented as debut WSCA convention papers.)
- In most cases, a thorough edit/rewrite of course papers will be necessary. Follow a style sheet consistently (e.g., APA or MLA). Papers should be kept to page lengths specified in each Interest Group, which is often a minimum of 25 pages, occasionally no more than 30 pages.
- Prepare a title page and a 150-250 word abstract for the paper.
- The title page for one copy of the paper should have a full citation, including title, name, institution, address, convention/conference, history of the paper (if relevant), and acknowledgments (optional).
- If the papers are blind reviewed (reviewed without author name and institution), the other copies should have a title page without your name or institution.
- Student and/or debut papers. On the upper right-hand corner of each title page (full citation and title-only page), write "Student" (if you are a student). If you have not presented a paper at a professional (non-student) convention/conference before, also write "Debut Paper."
- Sending the paper. Send the copies of the paper to the Chairperson of the Interest Group indicated in the "Call for Papers." This document will also tell you how many copies to send and any other pertinent information. The due date for papers is usually strictly enforced.
- Include a cover letter with the paper, describing information on how to reach you: address, phone numbers, and email.
- Notification of acceptance. If the paper is accepted, you will be notified by mail or email, usually about eight to twelve weeks after submission. Three to five papers are usually grouped thematically on a panel. You will be told the name of the respondent, if any (the person who will read and respond to the papers on the panel), and how long you will have to present the paper (usually 10-12 minutes). Usually the Interest Group Chair will send a copy of your paper to the respondent. Read the acceptance letter carefully to be sure this is the case.
- Editing the paper. If your paper is accepted, you normally have a chance to edit the paper, if you wish, and send it to the respondent. Usually the edited version is due to the respondent a month before the convention/conference. If the respondent does not hear from you, s/he will respond to the paper s/he received from the Interest Group Chair.
- Bring copies of the paper to the convention/conference. You will usually be asked to bring multiple copies of the paper. Be sure to attach a full title page to each copy (see 5 above).
- Submitting a paper is a commitment to attend the convention/conference. Do not submit a paper unless you are fully committed and have the ability to attend and present your paper at the convention/conference.
*Adapted from materials prepared by Dawn O. Braithwaite, Communication Studies Department,
University of Nebraska-Lincoln.