You have received an invitation to a conference. Tell us what kind of conference it is going to be.

Whether it will be a national or an international conference.
Where and when it is to be held.
Who the organizer and sponsor of the conference programme is.
Whether the problems on the conference programme are within the scope of your interests.
How you are going to present your material: whether it will be a poster presentation or you are going to read your paper.
How often such conferences are held in your field of science.

Discussion point.

Scientific international gatherings do not really matter that much if you want to be informed about the developments in a certain field of science. You can learn all you want from the Conference Proceedings. Is it true? Do you think conferences are important?

SECTION III

Reading

Starter activity.

Before you read the text below say how conference participants can use computers for preliminary information exchange.

Professional conference organizers see great hope in the use of computers to facilitate making contacts at conferences. This new technology can help both the young and the more established scientists find people with similar interests. Future conference participants will preregister their specific areas of interest and indicate their preferences for meeting in small groups or on a one-to-one basis. Each participant will also indicate the times he or she will be available. The computer will then match parties with the same interests and schedule contacts.

Conferences can be computerized by using a message processing system. Groups of terminals could be set up at the conference site with assistance available to help participants use them. To retrieve your message, you would simply type your name and registration number. All messages for you would either appear on the terminal screen or be printed out. Simple messages like “You left your coat in my car” could be stored. But, more important, a graduate student could ask, for example, if anyone at the conference would like to discuss his or her thesis topic. Or you could ask a question on a particular speaker that you didn’t have a chance to ask during the session. The speaker could answer the question some time later. You would find the answer when you interrogated the terminal the next day. This could help young scientists participate more fully since they are often reluctant to ask questions from the conference floor … . In the meantime, young scientists should try to discard their assumptions that eminent people are unapproachable.

2. Read the following text and look for the answers to these questions:

a What is the requirement to the choice of words in writing scientific papers?
b Why is it important to tie in with the readers experience?
c What is the role of variety in academic writing?

“Keep sentences short. On the average, most sentences should be shorter than 25 words. But sentences should vary in length and structure.

Prefer the simple to the complex, avoid complex sentences and phrases.

Prefer the familiar word but build your vocabulary. If a reader doesn’t understand your words, he can miss your meaning. But you may want to use long words in some cases – to clarify your point.

Avoid words you don’t need. Extra words weaken writing. Make every word carry its own weight.

Put action into your verbs. Passive verbs tire the reader. Write “We intend to write clearly” not “Clarity in composition is our intention”.

Use terms your reader can picture. Choose short, concrete words your reader can visualize, not abstract terms. Don’t say “industrial community” when you’re describing a “factory town”.

Tie in with your reader’s experience. The reader probably won’t get your new idea unless you link it with an old idea he already understands. If you’re describing how a new pump works, compare its operation with that of an old, standard pump.

Write the way you talk, or at least try for a conversational tone. People rarely use business jargon when they talk.

Make full use of variety. Vary the length of words and sentences and arrange them in different ways. Avoid monotonous patterns of writing.

Write to Express, not to Impress. Don’t show off your vocabulary by using needlessly complex words”.

Read the text “The World Conference on Computers in Education”. Try to understand it and then do the tasks that follow.


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