Guidelines for Writing a Roundtable Proposal Description

Abstracts are an important tool in assembling the program for the Law and Society Association annual meeting so that papers can be grouped into the most intellectually coherent panels. In addition the program committee hopes that requiring a longer abstract than in the past will insure that those who submit a proposal or agree to organize a roundtable are serious about their planned participation in the meeting in New Orleans. Hence, we now require all participants in paper sessions to prepare a minimum 1,000 word abstract for papers and a minimum 500 word abstract for roundtable sessions. To assist you in preparation and make the abstracts as useful as possible, we’ve adapted some guidelines from the website of the Linguistics Society of America
A suggested outline for a roundtable description and presentation is as follows.

  1. Choose a title that clearly indicates the topic of the discussion in no more than 300 characters.
  2. State the main point or argument of the proposed presentation and explain how it relates to the topic of the roundtable.
  3. Very briefly describe the research that will be drawn upon in the presentation.
  4. If you are proposing possible future research as part of your presentation, briefly describe the nature of that research and the hypotheses it would test or the questions it would answer.
  5. If your research presents the results of an empirical study, also indicate explicitly the nature of the empirical materials you have or will be collecting and the specific hypothesis to be tested or question to be answered.
  6. State the relevance of your ideas to past work or to the future development of the field of law and society. If you are taking a stand on a controversial issue, summarize the arguments that lead you to your position.
  7. While citation in the text of the relevant literature is essential, a separate list of references is generally unnecessary. 
  8. When you submit to the website, please identify as accurately as possible both primary and secondary keywords that most align with your topic’s general area.

Adapted from