Guidelines and Information for Student Presenters

For the 2009 Senior Symposium Presentation

Important Information | Guidelines | Research & Awards | Workshops | Video

The Annual Mount Holyoke College Senior Symposium will be held on Friday, April 17, 2009. Students will share the projects, scholarly research, and intellectual passions that they have brought to their year of independent research and 395-course work. The emphasis is on the subjects that you, our seniors, have chosen to study and the ways in which your questions, theories, and conclusions about your project have evolved during this academic year.

The Weissman Center coordinates the symposium events and the student presentations. Please review the following information and guidelines. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at the Center at 538-3071.

Presenters will be allotted 15 minutes and this schedule includes time for questions. All presenters are encouraged to attend the talks of other students and are invited to participate with enthusiasm in the post-presentation discussions.

On-line registration is required to present at the Senior Symposium.  On-line registration will be available the week of October 20.

Required Meetings
Students presenting at the Senior Symposium are required to attend an information meeting. Students may choose to attend one of two meetings scheduled for either Wednesday, February 4, at 4:15 pm in Gamble B, or Thursday, February 5, at 12:15 pm in Cleveland L2. In order to present at the Senior Symposium, students must attend one of these meeting.

Abstracts and Presentation Approval Form Are Due by Friday, February 27, 2009
A hard-copy paper abstract of your talk and a completed Presentation Approval Form signed by your project advisor is due by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, February 27th. You will also upload your abstract as a PDF file at this time. You should discuss with your advisor your abstract and obtain your advisor's signature on the approval form well in advance of the February 27th deadline. This deadline cannot be extended, so do plan accordingly.

Abstracts will be included in the symposium booklet and distributed to all participants and attendees. The booklet also will be widely distributed to other schools and to funding sources, and posted to the Senior Symposium website. Be sure that the abstract you submit to the Weissman Center, and on-line in PDF format, is free of errors, typographical and otherwise, and adheres to the abstract format described below. Abstracts that do not adhere to the formatting instructions presented below will be returned for correction.

Abstract Format Instructions
Each abstract should be no more than one page in length. Please note that each participant will be allotted only one page. Start your abstract with the title of your talk in all capitals (centered); leave one blank line; type your name (not all capitals, centered), followed by another blank line; then start your abstract. The abstract itself should be single spaced and include an overview of your project and review of the primary questions, sources, and issues with which you have been working.

The type font must be Times New Roman, size 12 for the text. References and/or footnotes must be Times New Roman, size 10. The top, left and right margins must be 1.25" and the bottom margin should be 1" or more. Abstracts do not have to fill the whole page. We do ask that you do not print beyond the 1" margin on the bottom. We have included two abstracts from an earlier symposium which have been “marked up” to show how the above requirements are met. The abstract booklet should contain abstracts in the same format, type style, and size. If you have any questions about the format of your abstract, please consult with Pat Scigliano at the Weissman Center well before February 27th.

Sample Abstracts

Each abstract should include a few key references as footnotes, which you should list at the end of the abstract (but still within the one-page limit).

Footnotes for the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences should follow the Chicago Style Format Guide unless the specific academic discipline requires another format. For Math and Sciences, the references should be cited as they normally would within the academic discipline.

Please take the time to review your footnotes for accuracy and consistency with the appropriate style guide.

Photograph Deadline
We request that you submit a tasteful, portrait style (head and shoulders) photo that can be used on the Senior Symposium website and in on-campus publications. The deadline for submitting an image is Friday, February 13, 2009. It is preferable that you submit your photo through the Senior Symposium Registration. Photos also may be sent to as an attachment. If you need assistance, please contact the Weissman Center to arrange a date for us to take your photograph. 

Presentation Workshops
The Speaking, Arguing, and Writing Program of the Weissman Center will be offering a set of symposium preparation workshops for all participants. Information about dates and times of these sessions, and registration information, will be announced in February. In addition, students should feel free to use individual appointments with SAW writing and speaking assistants. Students are strongly urged to register for one or more of the seminar presentation workshops.

Technology Presentations
It is each student's responsibility to ensure that her PowerPoint presentation or other technology will work on the computer equipment in each classroom. Students will be asked to test their technology a few days prior to the Senior Symposium. More information on scheduling a time to test presentations will be available later this spring

Celebratory Dinner
All Senior Symposium presenters, their advisors and guests are invited to attend the symposium banquet on Friday, April 17th. Additional information will be available in the spring.