The prompt for the Research Presentation Assignment is as follows:
Humanities Fellows Program
Due Date: Friday, November 22nd in class
One of the requirements of your summer research fellowship is that you present that research and the A&S Symposium on Friday, April 17th. As part of our independent study this semester, we will be doing a trial run of that presentation. A presentation of this type has three goals:
- To introduce and explain your research to a general audience: the questions and hypotheses with which you began, the methodologies you employed, and the conclusions that you reached;
- To educate and entertain (but don’t overdo it!) an audience of your professors and peers;
- To present yourself as a highly competent, professional individual who has mastered her/his area of research and considered its larger implications.
- Presentations should be ten minutes long. Ten minutes of speaking is approximately 5 double-spaced pages of writing if you were to read the document aloud—and a bit more than five pages if you speak from notes or bullet points. Either approach is permitted, depending on your individual style and level of comfort with public speaking.
- Whichever you choose—to read a paper, speak extemporaneously from notes, or a combination of the two—your tone should be conversational and professional. Do take yourself, the audience and the assignment seriously by practicing, a lot. We strongly recommend that you arrange for a Speech Center consultation and that you make the presentation to yourself in front of a mirror or before friends multiple times.
- Examples are crucial! Abstract comments about complicated ideas can be hard to follow. Whenever possible, provide specific examples that will focus and make concrete your larger points. Referencing specific evidence will make your presentation more rhetorically convincing and more enjoyable for your listeners.
- Visual aids (a Powerpoint or Keynote), are extremely useful. They help the audience to follow your major points, provide visual interest to complement your comments, and present examples of what you are discussing—images, important block quotes, and so on. We strongly recommend them.
- If your project involves a digital map, an online exhibition, or something similar, you should be prepared to link to and demonstrate it.