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Presentation Assignment Example

The following is an example of an individual presentation assignment and a group presentation. The individual presentation assignment explains that students will give two presentations over the semester on a topic of the student's choice. The student should submit a 1 to page paper explaining the presentation also. The group presentation provides four areas of focus: interpretive approach, important issues raised by the text, a comparison to another work, and using a scholarly source to further understand the work. A handout follows the assignment that clearly explains the criteria.

  1. You will each be responsible for giving two presentations this semester.  The presentations should be between five and ten minutes long, and the topics will be of your own choosing.  Along with each presentation, please submit a 1-2 page paper that summarizes your topic.  I will return these to you with comments and a grade for your efforts.  Please take these presentations seriously as we will often use them as starting point for our class discussions.
  2. The collaborative group presentation will require you to: 1) share your interpretive approach; i.e., explain how you accessed the text to make it “mean.”  For example, was your interpretation influenced by one of the formal features of the novel (plot, point of view, etc.), by the presence of certain ideas or beliefs you related to, or a critical approach that helped you dis-entangle the complexities of the narrative? 2) identify, for discussion, the important issues and questions raised by the text; 3) contextualize the reading by relating it to another work by the same author, another contemporary text that invites comparison in terms of shared ideas, themes and "horizons" that respond in some way to the major concerns of the core text, or by locating it in some literary or paraliterary movement; 4) summarize a scholarly response to the work and try to identify the author’s critical approach.

Guidelines for Presentations

Equal Participation
Each team member should contribute equally. Teams will compile a list of major topics to be covered in their presentation, and assign one to each member to research and present. Each member should speak for approximately three to five minutes. The presentation can reflect the diversity of viewpoints of the presenters. Designate one team member as the team leader. This person will be responsible for introducing the presentation as a whole, and each presenter. The team leader will also summarize the presentation at its conclusion, and lead a class discussion.

Since grading is based on the presentation as a whole, team members should notify the professor before the date of the presentation if any member does not do their share. Shyness or stumbling do not negatively affect the grade.

Prepare Handouts
Team members may decide among themselves how to distribute the work of preparing the following information sheets.

  1. Things to Know -- One to two sheets listing major facts relevant to your topic, significant concepts, key points, terminology with definitions, and other interesting points of information_
  2. Quotes -- One sheet containing salient quotes from your readings, with explanations of their significance.
  3. References -- A compilation of references used for the presentations, including two or more for each presenter, written in MLA style, with one sentence summarizing the content of the text.

Many students elect to use PowerPoint. This is not absolutely required, but provision of some visual aids is helpful.

Class Presentation
Talk to us, don't read. You may use notes when you make your presentation, but you may not read from a fully written out text.
Here is one way to make a successful presentation:

  1. Do plenty of reading and research. Explore the topic as fully as possible. Make notes.
  2. Read over your notes, and think over the results of your reading.
  3. Discuss your results with your team members. Tentatively plan the presentation in its general outlines.
  4. On your own again, and setting notes aside, brainstorm and write down all the interesting ideas that you have come up with.
  5. Organize these ideas into a coherent sequence. Return to your notes and add any information relevant to your major ideas which will illustrate or explain them..
  6. Add an introduction, which tells what you will talk about, and a conclusion which sums up what you have discussed and learned. Cut out any irrelevant or uninteresting material.
  7. Meet with your team members to organize and streamline the presentation.
  8. Visualize yourself giving a talk to the class, going through all these ideas, in a comfortable and relaxed fashion. If you wish, practice talking about your subject to a mirror.
  9. Using only brief notes, give your presentation to the class and have fun!
  10. The team leader will also prepare a short general introduction to the presentation, lead-ins for each individual presenter, and a very brief possible conclusion, which may change according to how the presentations unfold.

Discussion Topic
Prepare three possible questions with which to lead a class discussion_ Designate one team member as the discussion leader. Other team members may contribute to the discussion, but the discussion leader will be responsible for organizing and controlling the discussion. Lead a discussion utilizing your prepared questions, along with any others which have occurred to you during the presentation. Conclude your presentation by opening the floor for questions and comments from the class audience.