Is the topic an appropriate and interesting one for an audience consisting primarily of undergraduates? In general, we would like student papers to not be so elementary as to be uninteresting but no so esoteric as to be unfathomable.However, there certainly have been instances when a paper has given a unique or clever approach to an elementary topic or beautifully unmasked an esotericand complicated topic.
We expect the student to put some thought into the arrangement of topics and the development of the material. References and historical notes should be cited where appropriate. The order of topics and logical development should be sound.
The presenter should be well rehearsed. A good presentation should flow. It should be neither verbose nor terse.
The paper presenter should be comfortable and familiar with the material. The presenter should not get lost in the material, and should be responsive to questions in a confident and thoughtful way.
If transparencies are used, then the print size should be easily readable from the back of the room. Transparencies should be neatly prepared and well organized. Chalkboard work should also be neat, organized, and easily readable from the back of the room. If an electronic device is used (e.g., computer, VCR) then its output should be easily audible or viewable by all.
We look for and reward both good exposition and good research. Try to ascertain if the student authored the exposition or did the research. We are more interested in the work done by the student than by the student's faculty advisor.