Marks: 15% of the final grade

Due Date: this depends on the short story, novel, or novella that you choose to focus on for the presentation since, in most cases, the presentation will occur after we have discussed the short story, novel, or novella in class.

Description: present to the class in a creative format your insight about one of the stories on the reading list. You could focus on conflict, character, theme, setting/atmosphere, imagery, symbolism or any other element of fiction in the story. The presentation should be about ten minutes in length, but it might vary. For example, a dramatization could be 10 minutes, leaving five minutes for the explanation, but a mashup or collage might only be 5 minutes, leaving five minutes for the explanation.

Purpose: (1) to engage in creative, transformative thinking by responding to a work of fiction in a format other than the essay (2) to convey insight about the story by presenting a new twist or interpretation (3) to gain experience working collaboratively and speaking to groups (4) to have fun


(1) work in pairs or groups of three, but exceptions can be made as long as you explain to me at least one week before the presentation why fewer or more people are needed.

(2) (a) possibilities for the format can include the following: various forms of dramatization (presented live or filmed by camera or other devices); panel discussions/interviews with characters or authors (including parodies involving well known actors/celebrities or genres such as game, talk, or “reality” shows); visual collages (not on posterboard but uploaded to Youtube and presented as a quick succession of images) or slideshows (based on your photographs or Web-based images) that could include text and/or music; a mashup of  video clips, music, still photographs, text, voice overs, etc.; radio play segments or other forms of storytelling that focus on the spoken word and other sound effects; any combination of the above or other formats that I haven’t included (but see me first before going ahead). For digital storytelling ideas, see, the Center for Digital Storytelling (, or Bryan Alexander’s blog,

(b) Use Powerpoint or Prezi to create a more straightforward presentation of information about a specific author and his/her cultural background and how it might have influenced a specific story, or (b) explore a variety of critical or theoretical approaches to or interpretations of a specific story (and decide which approach or interpretation seems most valid to you and explain why). The highest mark you can achieve if you choose either of the options in (b) is B. The purposes here are to present the information clearly, to analyze an influence or interpretation, and to use Powerpoint or Prezi effectively.

(3) after the presentation, the group should explain the goal of the presentation (what main idea or insight about the story did you want to get across to the audience? How did you get the idea across? Why did you focus on the part of the story that you highlighted in the presentation? In what ways did the format that you chose alter your previous view of the story? How did the story (or the element of the story) change as a result of the format you chose to re-present or adapt it?).

(4) sign up on the sheet that will circulate and, if possible, indicate what format will be used and what story will be the focus. If you don’t know at the time you sign up, you must let me know what your plans are at least one week before the presentation.

(5) some time will be available for group meetings in class, but most of the time will need to be spent outside of class. It might be possible to arrange seminars through Brian Lamb, Director of Innovation, for those interested in using new media to explore digital storytelling, mashups, collages, etc.

8—creative use of format and insightful response to the story; 4—preparation and organization; 3—explanation and analysis