Pat Browne Undergraduate Paper Awards

About the Pat Browne Undergraduate Paper Awards:

The undergraduate paper competition recognizes the best paper presented by an undergraduate at the Midwest PCA/ACA conference each year.  The winner will be announced at the conference, and will be presented with an award.

How to nominate a paper:

To be considered for the competition, undergraduates must first submit a proposal to any area of the conference.  If the proposal is accepted to the conference, the presenter must submit a completed paper to the award committee.

Area Chairs should encourage undergraduate presenters from their areas to submit high quality papers to the competition. Entrants should email their contact information, institutional affiliation, and an attached copy of their paper (in .pdf, .doc, or .rtf format) to


Deadline for receipt of submissions is September 1 of the year of the conference.

Paper Guidelines:

MPCA consists of scholars from across the arts, humanities, and social sciences.  Thus, completed papers should be written for a general scholarly audience.

Conference presentations may take the form of an informal talk or a more formal speech (or reading).  The former is common in the social sciences and in presentations that use charts or graphs, or that discuss art, music, or other media forms.  In the latter format, presenters frequently read a paper; this more common in the humanities.  Some presenters read formal papers, while others read a more accessible “reading version” of a formal paper.

Entrants may present a paper in any format they choose, and are encouraged to consult with their professors regarding presentation style.  Papers may use any style (MLA, APA, etc.).  The length of the paper can vary depending on how it will be presented.  If the paper will be read, it should be the appropriate “reading length” for a 15-minute panel presentation; this is typically about seven pages (two minutes per double-spaced page, excluding notes/bibliography).  If, on the other hand, the paper won’t be read, but is the basis of a talk/presentation, then longer papers may be submitted.  While there is no page limit, it is assumed that the content of the paper can be presented in 15 minutes.  In other words, the paper will be evaluated based on the assumption that it will be condensed into a 15-minute presentation.  Thus, if a presentation is based on a lengthy research project – for example, a senior thesis – the committee would recommend submitting a shortened “reading version” for the competition.