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CWP's Chiang Research Festival

College Writing Programs Research Festival UC Berkeley

Every semester, more than 300 undergraduate CW R4B: Reading, Composition & Research students gather for the College Writing Research Festival to present their final projects. Speaking in waves, students have the chance to test ideas, ask questions, engage with an audience of their peers in other sections, and develop an academic community bigger and richer than any one classroom. 

** The Spring 2022 Festival will be Monday, May 2 on Zoom: due to COVID19 safety restrictions, the Research Festival will be in a digital format this semester. We will offer two sessions to accommodate students in different time zones; you should choose either 8-10am PST or 4-6pm PST. Please contact your instructor for more details and the registration links.** 

Quick Links:

Banner for Chiang Research Festival

College Writing Programs gratefully acknowledges our co-sponsor the Moffitt Undergraduate Library for partnering with us, focused on the common goal of showcasing student researchers presenting work developed with the expert guidance of librarians in accessing the wide array of primary and secondary sources.

Festival Guidelines & Documents

College Writing Programs' Chiang Research FestivalCollege Writing Programs' Chiang Research Festival

Among the topics presented in previous semesters:

  • "Monsters of Our Own: The Atomic Influence within the Godzilla Franchise"
  • "Environmental Injustices: How an Indigenous Green New Deal Could be the Solution"
  • "Incels, 61b GSIs, and Spider Girl: Anonymity in Technology and Confessions from UC Berkeley"
  • "Musical Censorship and the Suppression of Hip Hop in China"
  • "In God We Trust, In Others We Track: The Gaze During the Age of Surveillance" 
  • "When They Came for Them: Americans Who Opposed the Japanese American Internment"
  • "Love Your Body Based on 'Likes': How Social Media Influences the Development of Eating Disorders"
  • "Cautionary Tales From the Lab: Antibiotic Resistance as an Omen for CRISPR"
  • "The Middle East & North Africa: Democratization through Social Media & the Internet"
  • "Problematic Values for Native American Art: How Museums Display Art"
  • "Writing like a Nuclear Engineer"
  • "Toxicity of the Twilight Saga for Teens"
  • "The Impact of Sea ­Level Rise on Low-­Income Communities"
  • "Does Ink Matter? Looking at Tattoos in Academic Culture"
  • "Embracing ‘Gamer Culture’: The Rise and Industrialization of the eSports Industry"
  • "Turning Back the Clock on Climate Change: How to Take Back our Carbon"
  • "The Sharing Economy: You're Not as Powerful as What You Own"
  • "American Culture and Pyschopaths: Hannibal Lecter's Sophisticated Cannibalism"
  • "You Can't Be What You Can't See: Arab Queer Visibility in Media"
  • "Ocean Fertilization: How Can Phytoplankton Be Used to Combat Climate Change?"

College Writing Programs' Chiang Research FestivalCollege Writing Programs' Chiang Research Festival


When and where is it?

  • Monday of RRR Week on Zoom with multiple sessions lasting 1-2 hours and accommodating various time zones (TBD).  

What is it?

  • An opportunity to present your research findings to a small group of peers -- and get feedback to inform the final revision of your research paper or project.

College Writing Programs' Chiang Research Festival

What will I do?

  • Students will be randomly assigned to a breakout room with 1-2 other CWR4B students. In the breakout room, each student will have two roles:

  • Role 1: Presenter. You will have roughly 12 minutes to present your research question and findings to other students in the breakout room. Prepare visual aids (e.g.,Google Slides, PowerPoint, Google Doc, an actual poster board to hold up), as well as questions about your research you’d like help with; these questions can guide the answers and observations that Respondents offer after your presentation.

  • Role 2: Respondent. After each student presents, you will have 6 minutes to answer the presenter’s questions and to offer observations and suggestions for what could help the student finalize the work. 

  • Because breakout rooms will include students from different sections, students will have an audience of people who may be unfamiliar with their research or even the topic they’re addressing. Therefore, you’ll be able to hear what audiences need to follow your ideas. You’ll also be able to witness the range of research topics in other CWR4B sections and provide constructive, supportive feedback to others.

Festival History

First begun in Fall 2014 by College Writing faculty Sim Chiang and Ryan Sloan with just two R4B sections, the Research Festival has grown to include every R4B student, and has become a twice-yearly tradition at College Writing. As one student put it recently: "I'm proud that we have so many interesting people doing such interesting projects. It says a lot about the diversity of ideas at Cal."

CWP Faculty Sim Chiang and Ryan Sloan on the 5th Anniversary of their first two-section Research Festival

CWP Faculty Sim Chiang and Ryan Sloan in Fall 2019, five years after the first two-section Research Festival

Caroline Cole