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21L000/21W734J Report Guidelines
1. Research your topic, consulting a balance of print and online sources and drawing on the resources offered in the research workshop (SES #6).
2. Select salient points and materials: facts and information, sample passages for a writer, central ideas for a thinker or scientist, the passage(s) in Frankenstein where you see Shelley referring to or showing knowledge of your source or topic.
3. Prepare a handout with copies for the class, no more than one sheet, presenting your materials in an organized, concise format. You may include pictures or other visual materials if they fit and are appropriate. Give your talk a title.
4. Include discussion questions for the class. Make sure these are questions the class can actually answer, given how little they will know about your topic. So, “why does Shelley refer to Coleridge?” may be impossible to answer and hard to discuss. “How does Shelley’s knowledge of Humphrey Davy’s experiments seem to have influenced her portrayal of scientists in the novel?” might work better, if you have supplied enough information to allow students to speculate on that topic.
5. Provide a bibliography in correct MLA format at the end of your handout. 6. Practice delivering your talk so that you’re sure you can make your points in
under five minutes, can address the class directly without reading from and repeating the handout materials, and can hit the high points clearly and concisely.
7. Meet with the other member(s) of your report group to compare your materials. You want to avoid overlap and repetition, but you may also find intriguing shared themes and threads to emphasize, and working together will enrich your individual efforts. You can decide as a group if you want to present your talks in a particular order or format (PowerPoint, speaking from different parts of the room, doing an interpretive dance, etc.—just remember to stay within the time limits).
8. You will be graded on the effectiveness of your handout and oral delivery and on the usefulness of your report for engendering discussion and understanding of Shelley’s use of sources.
MIT OpenCourseWare http://ocw.mit.edu
21L.000J / 21W.734J Writing About Literature Fall 2010