Presentation Grade Guidelines

1. Organization: The presentation is organized in a way that fully and imaginatively supports some claim or purpose. The sequence of ideas is effective. The audience always feels that the author is in control of the organization, even when the organizational plan is complex, surprising, or unusual. The subpoints serve to open up and explore the author's insight in the most productive way.

2. Support: The presentation offers the best possible evidence and reasoning to convince the audience. No important pieces of available evidence and no important points or reasons are omitted. It is clear that the author is very well informed, has searched effectively from among our readings for the appropriate evidence, and has thought about the evidence presented to the class. Evidence presented is always relevant to the point being made.

3. Use of Sources (related to #2): The presentation uses academic and, where appropriate, popular sources to support, extend, and inform the ideas but not to substitute for the student's own development of an idea. The student has effectively combined material from a variety of sources, including, as relevant and needed, personal observation, scientific data, authoritative testimony, and anything else called for. The presenter uses quotations to capture a source's key points or turns of phrase but does not overuse quoted material to substitute for the writer's own development of an idea. Quotations, paraphrase, and citation are handled according to accepted scholarly form. A short (one page) bibliography of sources should be turned in at the time of the presentation.

4. Connections: The seminar makes relevant connections to other course material, showing links.

5. Design: The presentation uses design elements effectively. That is, nothing in the visual part of the presentation is distracting or detracts from the material. Design should not overwhelm the subject matter. It should be simple and easy to follow. On the other hand, the powerpoint slides should not be limited to a few bulleted lists. See
PowerPoint Makes You Dumb, and a counter-argument, Does Power Point Make you Stupid?

6. Style: The presenter's style of presentation is effective. That is, the presentation is audible, there are no distracting habits or tics, the presenter is easily understood. The presenter has practiced the presentation and knows how much information can be conveyed in 30 minutes. The presentation engages the class, as evidenced by discussion or by comments from the class.