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California High School

Model UN » How to Prepare for a Conference

How to Prepare for a Conference

Step 1: Check the date, check with parents &/or other commitments (job, band, sports, etc.) to make sure you can go.
Step 2: Request your committee/topic with Mr. Reagan as soon as they're available - sometimes done at Wednesday meetings, sometimes earlier by email. PLEASE don't waste our time by signing up for a conference you can't attend.  Very rude - it wastes our time and takes good spots away from people who actually are committed. 
Once you know your topic, committee, & country:
Step 3: Print out, and thoroughly read,  your Topic Synopsis -  provided on the website of the host school.  This helps guide your further research. If you have questions about the conference, all answers will typically be located on the host school's website. 
Step 4: RESEARCH - Spend a few hours researching each of the main components of your Position Paper (Background, Past Actions, Country Policy, Possible Solutions). 
A) Position Papers - Required for almost every conference, and by far the best way to prepare to represent your country in committee.  If you can't write one, you're not prepared to speak on your topic yet.  Writing them is difficult the first time, and especially for the country policy section.  Work with friends in the same committee, and/or email or talk to any officer for help anytime.  Proper format is standard, although slightly different at various schools. Before emailing it to your chair, make sure it's formatted according to their school's expectations, which can always be found on their website.  There is a sample Position Paper below, in our preferred format, as well as the rubric that we would use to grade it, if it's for a Novice delegate. After you've created your masterpiece submit it to as well as to your committee chair's email. 
B) Sources - Sometimes you will be required to turn in to us, before your Position Paper is due, a list of sources as proof that you're actually researching and preparing for the conference.  It's just a list of the sources you've read (& printed), with a few bullet points for main ideas & interesting facts (that you might use in a speech), and a 1-sentence summary of what it told you about your topic. It's also a great idea to include which section of the Position Paper it would most apply to: Topic Background, Past Actions, Country Policy, or Possible Solutions. There is a good sample linked below. 
C) Resolutions - Mira Costa is the only conference we go to that requires you to turn in Resolutions before the conference instead of Position Papers.  You can get a good sample, and description of them from the "Delegate's Guide" on their site
Step 5: YOUR COUNTRY - Your position paper is about done, but recent developments can affect things in committee.  Although doing the Country Profile helped a little, it's also a good idea to find some regular news on your nation, as well as your topic, just so you have the most up-to-date info on your topic, your nation's major issues, and your nation's views of the world. 
Step 6: CLOTHING - Ok, you've turned in your position paper, & you've paid for the conference.  Now only 2 things left - First, clothes.  Do you need to go shopping, get something dry-cleaned/washed/ironed, etc?  Don't wait until Friday night - dry cleaners take a couple days, and parents don't like last minute "I NEED______ !!!!!"   Not sure what the appropriate dress code is?  Look it up online - you'll find plenty of pictures, and maybe some humorous youtube clips as well.
Step 7:  SUPPLIES - You should put together an MUN binder with all of your research, pertinent handouts (vocabulary, sample resolutions, etc).  Get a notebook to take notes in, Post-it Notes to communicate with other delegates, bring a few pens or pencils, maybe even any medical supplies, small snack, etc. Many students will even print out a color copy of their nation's flag and slide it into their binder to make themselves visible, and memorable. 
Finally:  Get a good night's sleep, eat a nutritious breakfast, and don't be late to meet your team at the designated time and location. Show up with all of your supplies, including a great attitude, ready to have fun, meet new people, and excited to SAVE THE WORLD!  (:D)