Presentation assignment: Discussion-leader
for Reading Assignment


PowerPoint presentations (and other presentation programs) are discouraged. If you prefer to use PowerPoint (etc.), use only for materials not available on course website (e.g., for your own questions or summaries of your answers). You may always bring handouts on paper or aids on a thumb drive for projection, or email ahead to instructor for posting to course website,


Do not copy and paste materials from course website into PowerPoint. Go directly to website or course texts for materials (e.g., text passages, instructor's discussion questions, objectives, etc.).


Student location: Student may work up-front or remain seated; instructor can help with computer-projector.


Length: 8-12 minutes for presentation; Discussion may continue indefinitely.


Responsibility: You're not responsible for the day's entire reading assignment. You may choose one or two texts from day's assignments, or focus on part of one text.


Questions & discussion center on our three primary course objectives, with 1 & 2 required for each text discussed.

1. Evidence of minority (or in special cases immigrant  or dominant or settler culture) identity, voice, or narrative.


2. Identification & analysis of literary purposes, devices, or genres.


3. Identification & analysis of universal human attributes?


Required parts to presentation: (order of these parts may change)


Open presentation by inviting students to raise questions, problems, or overall observations regarding reading assignment. (Questions may be addressed to instructor or class as well as discussion leader.)


Review course objective(s) to preview discussion questions.


Direct class to to 2 or more brief passages (page numbers or web location) in day's reading assignments. Read passages aloud, briefly commenting on application to course objective(s) 1, 2, or 3, and / or to Detailed Course Objectives.


(Order of first two steps may be reversed.)


Ask a question or questions centering on primary objectives 1 & 2 to begin discussion. In addition to the course objectives, at least one of your questions should be from the instructor's assigned discussion questions. You are welcome to ask questions of your own.


Lead discussion. Ask follow-up questions, or restate original question(s).


Single biggest aid to a good discussion: Start discussion as soon as possible after reading selected passages. After hearing and sharing the passages, the seminar is ready to jump in and discuss. Usually the only discussions that "die" are the ones where the students have to wait too long to start talking.


Next biggest aid to a good discussion: Don't save questions and discussion for end, but mix in questions and discussion as presentation proceeds.


More advice for successful presentation:

  • Mix discussion with your own analysis. Instead of telling class what you think, ask what they think, then add what they didn't say for you.