We offer this paper as a primer for accounting doctoral students and new faculty on how to discuss a paper. We believe that this topic can serve to “jump start” the engagement of students and junior faculty in developing and delivering quality discussions. We begin by emphasizing the importance and benefits of being a good discussant to both the profession and the discussant. We then outline the discussion process and provide detailed suggestions on points to consider in each phase of this process: (1) volunteering to discuss, (2) receiving the discussion assignment, (3) preparing the discussion, (4) presenting the discussion, and (5) following up with the authors after the discussion. Next, we examine data that highlight the need for additional discussant volunteers at conferences. Finally, we present possible innovations to foster high-quality discussions. This paper formalizes the ideal process typically learned through years of mentoring and conference experience.

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