In ENG 132, we wrap up our semester with presentations on our research projects. We’ve discussed guidelines for these presentations in class, but I wanted to share electronic resources with you that you may find helpful, especially for alternative (i.e.: non-PowerPoint or Prezi) presentation formats.
- Posters. Posters can be a useful means of presenting information when they are done well. This means that if you choose this option, I expect to see something of higher quality than what an elementary school student might put together (and I spent several hours last night helping my 4th grade daughter work on this, so know that my standards are high because I know you are capable of doing polished and professional work!). You can make posters using various software and web-based programs; consider typing the text rather than using handwriting (unless you are experienced in hand-lettering), and pay attention to things like white space, color, and juxtaposition of images. As Marshall McLuhan says, the medium is the message, so you’ll want to make sure that the medium (the poster) reflects the significance of your research subject.
- Brochures, fliers, and newsletters. A friend of mine introduced me to Canva over the holiday break. It’s a free app, so you can use it from your phone or tablet, and there are several templates to choose from (some do cost money, but I believe they are reasonably priced). If you go this route, you might want to consider printing at FedEx/Kinkos so that the quality is superior to what you might get from a black and white printer in the college library. There are other software/web-based programs that can provide templates for you to make these types of documents as well.
- Comics, zines, and other self-published and self-circulated materials. Depending on your research topic, you might choose to pursue a DIY aesthetic and make your own publication that honors the spirit of your work (i.e.: do you need a professional document, or would a self-published work that exists outside of formal systems be a better option to communicate your ideas?). YouTube has a number of resources for doing this kind of writing/creating; here’s how to make a mini-zine . Comics are another genre worth considering: you don’t have to be a great artist to make a comic! You can use existing photographs and give them captions, or draw stick people; what matters is that you recall what we discussed early in the semester about icons as representations, and the use of panels to tell a story. Use Blankets as a model!
**If you choose to make something like a brochure, flier, newsletter, comic, or zine, remember that these genres are meant to be reproduced in multiples; you’ll want to make copies for everyone in the class (so, 24-ish).**
Other possibilities include 3-D models, artifacts, and/or artwork, and you might find these links to be useful: Jody Shipka’s “Tour Student Work” webpage, and the Celebration of Student Writing (CSW) at EMU.
Regardless of which format you choose to present in, you’ll need to keep our attention for a few minutes by describing your topic, the research you did and what you learned, and then convey the significance of your work as it contributes to a larger conversation (i.e.: why does this work matter?). Remember that anything electronic needs to be sent to me ahead of time so that I can have it ready to go at the start of class. You also have a brief rationale to complete and submit on the day of your presentation, listed on your assignment sheet.