Week 5 Discussion Guide: Thursday--The Hawthorne Project
Prepare your presentations carefully. Make sure you have used printed scholarly sources. Pay close attention to the basic questions I am asking each group to consider for all the authors we are researching. Use your ten minutes wisely. Prepare the printed bibliographic handout or a bibliography, or send me the MS-Word or RTF document so that I can put it on the course Web page to contain all the relevant information about your sources so that you will not have to repeat that orally. Talk about what you found in the sources that seems relevant to Hawthorne's career, especially to the issues which he addresses in the short stories we read. Remember that authors usually develop lifelong explorations of their major concerns, and return to them periodically in their creative writing and in their personal letters and notebooks. (We will look at those sources of evidence for Hawthorne next week.)
Decide in advance who will actually present your results. If you are not going to divide up the material among the group's members, pick a "presenter" and make her/his job easier by putting together a coherent sequence of specific points you want to communicate to the class. If you all are presenting, you still have to decide on a reasonable order in which to talk, just as if you were writing a paper to the class.
If you intend to load your information into a PowerPoint presentation or web page, do not make the common mistake of putting everything you are going to say in the PowerPoint slides and then reading them to us (AKA "death by PowerPoint"). Use the slides to put before us major topics, images, or data (e.g., time lines, charts, graphs) that are not easily described verbally. Also make sure you have tested your access to the materials from the classroom before the class meets. Do a test the day before--don't wait until five minutes before class. If getting to the classroom equipment is a problem, you can get a pretty good idea whether your access will work by trying it out from any of the computers on campus as long as they're not the one you originally were working on. You can send me documents you want to project and I can link them to the "Web Pages" page below.
Time your presentation for the ten-minute limit by rehearsing it at least once in its entirety. Remember that it takes longer to read a passage out loud than it does to read it silently. For ten minutes of presentation time, a maximum of four pages of double-spaced text may be about all you can manage, but trust your practice run to test what you actually have. Remember that we want to give the class a chance to ask questions when you are done, so be ready to talk about your results.