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Presentation Guidelines

If you’re reading this, one of the requirements for your class is an oral presentation of some sort. The following give general guidelines for this assignment, but you should see your syllabus for any specifics.

These are general directions to get you to begin thinking about your presentation. Specifics about this assignment will follow.

You will give one five-minute presentation on one of the major components of the course from one text of your choice from the syllabus, textbook, or one that addresses the course subject matter. All topics should be approved by me. Topics must be submitted to me by midterm, or you will be assigned a topic. Submit your topics to me via Twitter at anytime, using the hashtag below.

The goal of this exercise is to generate engaged discussion of the cultural text (literary work, film, etc.), not simply to summarize the material. Think of questions or observations that are likely to spark the interest of your audience and encourage them to share their own ideas.

This exercise is intended to help each of you write and speak confidently in class and online discussions. Avoid giving too much background information on your chosen text. Instead, think about ways to (1) introduce the text’s most compelling features to the class and (2) get the class engaged in a discussion about the text using specific passages and scenes. Think about your audience, and be as lively and interesting as you can. Make every minute of the presentation count.

The minimum requirements are as follows:


  1. Discuss a specific aspect of the course content in your chosen text.
  2. Avoid plot summary unless it pertains directly to your discussion.
  3. Point to specific lines or scenes from your chosen text (if you are presenting on a film, make arrangements to show 1-2 scenes of your choice).
  4. Give your own interpretation of the text.


  1. Plan to talk for at least five minutes.
  2. Speak clearly and loudly enough for all of us to hear you.
  3. Make eye contact with your audience.
  4. Have at least two questions prepared to ask the whole class.
  5. Refer to page numbers of the quotations you select.

Presentations will usually be scheduled for the last day(s) of class. Attendance is mandatory. Presentation order will be based on a random lottery. If you are in an online course, presentations will take place in a Google Hangout.

Thanks to Dr. Heather Braun for the basic outline of this assignment. Last updated: May 27, 2013.