Proposal Formats: Topical Paper Sessions

In a topical paper session, the session organizers are proposing a complete research-paper session that consists of three to four research papers that address a particular topic.  Unlike a submission for an individual research paper, the names and backgrounds of presenters, session chair and discussant should be included in a topical paper proposal submission.

Proposals for topical paper sessions should describe as many of the following as applicable, preferably in this order:

  • Objectives of the session;
  • Importance of the session to ASHE members;
  • Backgrounds of the presenters as related to the session topic;
  • Brief description of each research paper that will be presented;
  • Structure and format of the session, including the designation of a session chair/moderator and discussant.

Topical paper session proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Contribution to knowledge (that is, the extent to which the session addresses an important problem and gap in current knowledge);
  • Originality;
  • Clarity of focus;
  • Theoretical and methodological rigor of the research papers included in the session;
  • Integration and coherence of panel’s presentations as a group; andThe overall clarity of the proposal (e.g., quality of writing, organization of ideas, clarity of assumptions, logic of arguments, etc.). 

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