Frequently Asked Questions

Labors of the Months: September - Havesting and Pressing of the Grapres. Illumination on parchment. Psalter. Königliche Bibliothek 76 F 13, fol. 9V. Normandy, C.1180. Wikimedia Commons, courtesy of The National Library of the Netherlands.

How long should my abstract be?

Ideally your abstract should be between 150 and 200 words.  This gives us enough detail to assess the viability of your paper and help sort papers and presentations into panels.

Is it better to read my paper or to speak from notes?

That’s a personal decision.  Either can work, as long as you practice it multiple times beforehand.  The papers that are hardest to listen to are ones in which presenters put their heads down and read without modulating their tone or looking at their audience.  On the other hand, presenters with sparse notes who become nervous can sometimes lose their focus.  In both cases, prior practice makes a big difference!  For some very useful hints on undergraduate academic conference presentations presentation, please see the work of Dr. Catherine Cox at Pitt:  Depending on your style, either the instructions on “A Paper Reading Followed by Discussion” or “A Timed Talk Followed by Discussion” may be applicable.

How should I dress for my paper presentation?

Again, this is a matter of personal choice: some presenters wear jeans and some wear suits.  Neat casual is usually a safe bet, but we have no dress code.

I need to take the LSAT/go to my aunt’s birthday/play a soccer game on the day of the conference – can you schedule my panel for a particular time slot?

Usually, if you give us enough prior notice.  Contact Prof. Bardsley or Black as soon as you can – we need to know before we put the program together two weeks before the conference.

Can you guarantee that my paper presentation will have an audience?

Unfortunately, no.  We strongly encourage students from Moravian College to come and hear papers, but we cannot compel them to.  We are also unable to control which sessions attract a large audience and which do not.  That’s why it is especially important to bring friends and family to help make up the audience. 

Something has come up and I cannot deliver my paper – what should I do?

Please contact Prof. Bardsley or Black ASAP!  See if someone else from your school is able to read your paper for you (this has happened in the past).  In the worst case scenario, your paper will be cancelled.  Signing up to give a paper is a commitment, however, and we build the schedule around the expectation that everyone who has submitted an abstract will follow through on their commitment.  It is highly inconvenient for all concerned – fellow panel members, moderators, audience members, and organizers – when someone backs out at the last minute.  That said, we realize that there are occasionally genuine emergencies. 

May I use technology in my presentation?

Yes – the classrooms are equipped with PCs and LCD projectors.  You may also bring laptops to plug into the LCD projectors.  Most rooms also have ‘Elmo’ document cameras and DVD players.  Plus, of course, chalk & blackboards!  It’s important to indicate your technology needs on the abstract/registration form so we can be sure to match you with a technology-equipped classroom and a panel moderator who is comfortable with the technology.  If your needs change, please let us know that ASAP too.

What are the lunch options?

You are welcome to eat in Moravian College's Marketplace student cafeteria (2010 cost is $7.50 for all you can eat) or to buy salads, sandwiches, yoghurts, etc. from the Blue & Grey Café. There is also an off-campus sandwich shop and pizza place within a few blocks.  If you have a car, you can find multiple fast food places (McDonalds, KFC, Long John Silver, Arby’s, etc) about 2 miles away.  There is also a Panera Bread bakery-café a couple of miles from campus. 

I’m flying in for the conference – where can I stay?

We do not arrange accommodation but are happy to point you in the right direction.  A couple of rooms in the “Widows’ House” are sometimes available – call (610) 861 1516.  These rooms are cheap, basic, and within walking distance of the college.  Also within walking distance (but considerably more expensive) are several bed & breakfast options (e.g., the Morningstar Inn ( and the Bethlehem Inn ( along with the Hotel Bethlehem ( and a Hyatt Place hotel ( Commercial chain hotels can be found a few miles from the college (you will need to have transportation or get a taxi) – they can be found through,,, etc.

Is there transportation to and from the airport?

Not as a matter of course, but we can usually send someone to pick you up if you email us to arrange it in advance. 

Where can I find driving directions to Moravian College?

Here:  You can also find us by typing “1200 Main St, Bethlehem, PA 18018” into any mapping program.  Please note that Moravian has two campuses, separated by a mile.  All conference events are on the North Campus at 1200 Main St.

I have another question that isn’t addressed here – what shall I do?

Email Dr. Bardsley (sandybardsley [at] or Dr. Black (jrblack [at]!


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