The oral presentations are an opportunity for you to strengthen your speaking and analytical skills
The oral presentations are an opportunity for you to strengthen your speaking and analytical skills. It is also an opportunity for you to develop your own voice and point-of-view with regard to some challenging scholarly texts. You might imagine it as a way of introducing a discussion about an aspect of the book that you found most interesting or challenging. It is also a way to delve into areas that you found confusing, or that you disagreed with. There are, in short, many approaches to this assignment, and we will no doubt see a wide diversity in the presentations.
Length: 8-10 minutes, plus a few minutes for discussion.
Notes: Some of you may choose to write out a reading response paper of 3 pages and present it orally. Others of you may prefer simply to use notes.
What Should I Talk About?
The best strategy is simply to identify a part of the book that you found most interesting or challenging. Introduce us to that part of the book. Provide us with some context and tell us why you chose that passage, and provide concrete details from the text. Then, discuss what questions the section raises, what challenges it presents, and/or how it helps us understand some of the broader themes and ideas in the book. Finally, you may want to conclude by briefly arguing how the book helps us understand something about the development of Los Angeles. After you have completed your presentation, we will open up the discussion for a few minutes to the rest of the class.
Grading: You will be graded on the clarity, structure, and persuasiveness of your presentation, much like you will be on your written assignments. I do not necessarily expect perfect eloquence. Rather, I will be looking for your ability to craft an interesting set of claims about the text and to spark reflection and discussion in the class. You will also receive feedback from me after your presentation, highlighting your strengths and areas for future growth and development.