Mr. Spurgin, Fall 2004

MWF 1:30-2:40, MH 404

Oral reports

This course will offer a mixture of lecture and discussion, and a good bit of our time will be devoted to your own oral reports. These reports will give you a chance to polish your presentation skills; more importantly, they’ll help you to master course materials. Let me say a bit more about these reports before moving on.

• These reports will be three minutes long. I'll let you know when time is running out, and I won’t hesitate to cut you off if you go overtime. The best way to make sure you don't run long is to practice. It might also help to know that most people, speaking at a reasonable clip, can read a double-spaced page in about two and a half minutes.

• The reports will be focused on very specific questions, and you’ll want to be sure that your answers are as crisp and sharp as possible. There won’t be time to cover everything you’ve learned about your topic, so choose a single major point (or maybe two) and develop it in some detail. You can fill in the gaps during q-and-a.

• Here are a couple of sample questions, just so you’ll know what I have in mind:

o Critics like Ian Watt have said that novelists often set their stories in "real time." According to such critics, novelists may date the action of their stories, perhaps by situating it in relation to real historical events, and they may also be quite precise about the marking of time within the story itself. How might we compare Richardson's use of time with Fielding's?

o How does Fielding's thinking about human actions and motives differ from Richardson's? Do both authors agree that it can be difficult to discern the true motives behind another person's action? How easy, in their worlds, is it for a person to hide his or her true self?

• You will be able to speak from an outline but not from a complete script. I suggest that you rehearse several times. Bill Dalsen, a speaking consultant from the CTL, will be working with our class. His extension is 6351, and he checks his e-mail regularly. I think it’d make sense for you to take advantage of his services, especially if it’s been a while since you gave an oral report.

mail to Mr. Spurgin

last modified 9-24-04