Guidelines for Participants


If an emergency precludes your appearance, please notify your session chair and commentator as well as the conference coordinator (James Naylor Failure to do so has some consequences.  (The Northern Great Plains History Conference operating statement bans anyone who does not appear and who does not submit appropriate notices from presenting for the next three years).


• Submit your paper and brief curriculum vitae to both the chair and the commentator (if there is one) by Sept. 1st, 2019.

• Respect the limits of your presentation. Papers in two-paper sessions must be completed in 25 minutes and those in three-paper sessions in 20 minutes. Therefore, paper lengths, excluding documentation, should be about 12 and 10 pages respectively (typed, double-spaced, with one-inch margins).

• Practice reading your paper aloud to determine timing, including the use of audiovisual materials.

• Read the same copy that you submitted to the chair and the commentator. It is unfair to the audience and the commentator to write one paper for the commentator and present a much abbreviated or different paper at the conference.

• If you submit your paper too late to allow the commentator adequate time to evaluate it, please inform the audience that the commentator will not be considering your paper because of tardiness.  A commentator should not be placed in the position of having to explain someone else’s conduct).

• You are also urged to send a copy of your paper to each of the participants in your session as a means of enhancing scholarly interchange.



  • Acknowledge receipt of papers and curricula vitae.
  • Assess the length of paper and, for any that appear too long, notify the presenter to adjust it and to send the revised copy to both you and the commentator (if there is one). It is expected that presenters will, as noted above, produce a paper of a length appropriate for a 20-25 minute presentation.
  • Contact those who are tardy about submitting their papers ASAP.
  • If the presenters do not submit papers and other materials, make every effort to contact them and determine their status.


  • Briefly introduce yourself, the presenters, and the commentator.
  • Control the session: start and finish it on time and limit presenters to their allotted times.
  • Provide the opportunity for presenters to respond briefly to the commentator’s remarks, should they desire.
  • Direct and, if necessary, stimulate audience questions and comments regarding the papers and the commentary.


  • Submit your curriculum vitae to the session chair.
  • Acknowledge receipt of papers and curricula vitae. It is also a good idea to send your vitae to each of the presenters as a way of introducing yourself.
  • Limit your remarks to 10 minutes. Commentators should be concerned mainly with providing perspective for the papers and stimulating discussion.


  • Chairs and Moderators should introduce all participants and otherwise manage the session.
  • All participants should send their brief curricula vitae to moderators, chairs, and other panelists.
  • Provide the moderator with a brief preview of your presentation.
  • Allow adequate time for audience participation.