LITR 5731 Seminar in Multicultural Literature: American Minority

Reading discussion leader

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


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

  • Identify idea, theme, problem, issue, or literary feature  in the reading assignment.

  • Relate this idea to a course objective (or, if not, indicate why it doesn’t fit).

  • Direct class (page numbers or via webpage) to one or two brief passages

    • read selections aloud

    • apply to opening theme or idea.

    • (If online text, discussion-leader or instructor may locate passages on projection screen.)

  • (All these opening steps may be rearranged.)

  • Ask a question to start discussion. Question should follow from your interpretation or appeal more broadly to challenges in the text or intertexts with other class readings.

  • You may also ask questions along the way, at end of each passage for instance.

  • Lead discussion. You may follow up or re-start discussion with follow-up questions as prepared.

  • Conclude discussion by highlighting major points from discussion + relation to course objective


  • Don't march through entire reading assignment, seeking complete coverage.

  • Don't focus on the author's biography or force the text to conform to external facts.

Instead of biographical reading try:

  • Intertextuality: instead of connecting the text to the author, connect it to other texts


  • Posting or Summary for Web Page--email ahead of time to instructor for posting, or bring file on thumb drive.