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October 18, 2021
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Tips for Submitting to MLA '22

The Contributed Content Workgroup of the NPC ‘22 has put together a series of tips for submitting a paper or immersion session to MLA ’22. Follow along and when you’re ready to submit, go here.

TIP 1—Know your audience.

Will your paper or immersion session resonate with the attendees of the conference?

Tip 2—Review the MLA ’22 FAQs.

Pay special attention to the scoring rubrics for scoring abstracts. Use keywords for your paper’s description that the reviewers will be looking for.

TIP 3—Submitting an immersion session? Think of collaborators to work with and cosponsor the session.

Be sure to submit a clear overview of your session, including instructional methods and participant engagement.

TIP 4—Where does it fit?

Decide what area of practice your submission fits best in (and a secondary area, if relevant).

TIP 5—Keep it short.

For Program Description Abstracts, you have up to 360 words to work with between the background (100), description (140), and conclusion (120). You don’t have space to explain every detail—focus on the most important parts of your project.

TIP 6—Leave the jargon at home.

It may sound impressive when you add fancy words, but avoid too much jargon. You will most likely be presenting to a mixed crowd; not everyone will be familiar with jargon related to your topic.

TIP 7—Have a point.

Even if you don’t yet know what that point is, make a concise and intelligible claim. Emphasize the innovative. The abstract doesn’t have to break new ground; it only needs to suggest your paper might do so.

TIP 8—Only have one or two points. 

You only have time in a presentation to develop one or two points. No one will remember more than two points, so keep it tight. It’s always more effective to go in depth into one aspect of your research.

TIP 9—Remember who you’re presenting to.

You will be addressing other health sciences librarians, but you may also be delivering to an audience that is unfamiliar with your specific area. Think about how your paper will sound to this audience.

TIP 10—Remember TIP 5.

Presentations are typically limited to 12–15 minutes. It takes roughly 2 minutes to read a double-spaced page of text. So, anything more than 7 or 8 pages is more than you can say in the presentation.

TIP 11—Organize your information.

Keep your information structured. The more transparent your structure, the more likely an audience will be able to identify key takeaways of your presentation.

TIP 12—Ask a friend to review.

Have colleagues review your proposal before submission and check that it is well organized, free from grammatical errors and typos, and clearly describes your session.

Ready to submit? The CCWG looks forward to reading your abstracts! #mlanet22

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