Format: This assignment asks you to read one of the Suggested Readings listed in the Course Schedule and to present an overview of the main ideas of the reading to the class in 5 minutes or less. A sign-up sheet will be distributed in class and each student will select the day on which they will make their presentation. Working in small groups of 2-3 students, you will select one of the Suggested Readings assigned for that particular day, discussing it amongst yourselves and coming to a shared understanding of the authors argument and main points.  Each group member should contribute in some way in the final presentation.


Purpose: The purpose of this assignment is for students to: a) be exposed to additional information on course topics; b) work in small groups to discuss and evaluate that information; and c) develop and practice important intellectual skills including: reading proficiency and comprehension (the capacity to read at different levels of difficulty and to identify levels of significance); the ability to express ideas clearly and with precision; and the development of skills of critical interpretation and analysis.


Considerations: Some of the Suggested Readings are more difficult than others, and some may require reading more than once. As a group you should discuss points of confusion or difficulty. You may also wish to consult me.


Think about the following questions as you develop your presentation: What is the purpose of the article? What is the authors central argument, or thesis? What kinds of evidence or examples does the author use in supporting his or her thesis (for example: statistics or other kinds of scientific data; anecdotes; historical evidence; bibliographic or other kinds of research)? Is this evidence compelling? Often an authors argument will consist of several different subpoints, and in your presentation you should endeavor to outline these step by step. You may find it useful to employ an outline format in developing your presentation, indicating the main points and various subpoints. Finally, consider what the author may have missed, misunderstood or failed to address.


Length: Each presentation should be no more than 5 minutes. This means that you must be concise in outlining the authors argument and main points. It is highly recommended that you rehearse your presentation while timing yourself. Going significantly over or under the time limit will result in points being taken off your final grade.  If you have any uncertainties or fears about speaking in public, or just want help with this assignment, I encourage you to contact the IUPUI Speakers Lab located at Cavanaugh Hall 340. Their website is: Their job is to help you!


Grading: Presentations will be graded on the following criteria:


a)     Accuracy: Does your presentation accurately present the authors argument and main points? Do you attend to the various subpoints of the argument? Do you discuss evidence and examples?

b)    Conciseness: Are you able to convey the main ideas with clarity and brevity?

c)     Preparation: Does your presentation fall over or under the time limit? How careful and thorough was your preparation? Do all members participate?