English 362: Foundations of Technical Writing
Hybrid Course Lessons

Module 11: Presentations

Module Contents:
    Textbook Readings
    Supplementary Readings
    Sample Presentations
    Peer Review
    Back to Syllabus
    Back to Course Index Page

This module covers the following topics:

  • Making presentations.
  • Giving presentations.
  • Using PowerPoint, Prezi, and other presentation tools.

Sample Presentations

A recommended video from a former student, here's a great analysis of an outstanding speaker, Steve Jobs:

You can learn a lot from studying a master at work!

Now some more examples to study:

  • "The Art of the Stand-Out Talk" (PowerPoint I made for a presentation workshop - note that it has too much content per page; designed to serve as a handout)
  • "Europe Tour Top 10" (former student's PowerPoint)
  • "History of Spaceflight" (a great example of a terrible PowerPoint - see how many things you can identify as poorly done in this one; a teacher shared this on NASA's website)
  • "Using CSS" (former student's PowerPoint)

Textbook Readings

Finish the textbook readings before the discussion starting on Monday at noon.

Supplementary Readings

Finish the supplementary readings before the discussion begins on Monday. These and lots more are also available on the Handouts page.

This Week's Discussion

Topics to include in this week's Blackboard discussion:

  • Making presentations.
  • Giving presentations.
  • Using PowerPoint, Prezi, and other presentation tools.
  • Discuss when a presentation has gone well for you, or has not, and why.

Discussion leaders: Start the conversations by noon on Monday. Everyone else: Get involved right away, but feel free to continue dropping in to read and respond to new posts throughout the week. Everyone is required to participate in these discussions by posting useful responses to the student leaders' prompts, or at least in response to other comments in the discussion forum. Your participation level - even when not leading discussions - strongly affects your semester grade, so get fully engaged every week!


Bonus opportunity: A link to your Website (team or individual project) is due to your peer-reviewer(s) this Wednesday by class - earlier is better! Revised version due to Blackboard by Sunday at 5:00pm.

Due weeks 14 and 15: Presentation. We'll enjoy these during the last two weeks of class, some in person (I'll ask for volunteers), and the rest via online workshops.

After completing each assignment, make sure to back it up (I recommend using a low-cost USB flash device like this or a Web service like Dropbox) before you turn it in or send it to your peer-review partner. Even if you are late creating a project, you can often avoid getting zero points for that assignment by completing it and turning it in to Blackboard late. Be aware that turning in late projects could harm your peer-review partner's score, as well, so be thoughtful.

Paste the link to your website into the Submission text filed of the appropriate Blackboard Assignment slot only after you address your peer-review partner's suggestions.

Peer Review

Bonus opportunity: (not required) Peer-review your partner's progress on the Website assignment to help develop their project, and earn up to +4 bonus points! When you have completed your responses, turn in the peer-review that you wrote for the project you reviewed in the appropriate Blackboard assignment slot ("Website Peer Review").

Send a link to your Website to your peer-review partner as indicated below. To maintain feedback consistency and to watch the progress from early design to final website completion, work with the same partner(s) and peer-reviewer(s) over the full project.

Treat this as developmental-editing, where you get involved from the early planning stages through final delivery. Don't just think of this as single-stage reviews; instead, stay in touch throughout the process. Ask lots of questions: For example, from the reviewer's POV: "Who is your audience?" From the web-designer's POV: "What do you think is the best layout for presenting this information?"

Also, take full advantage of the Blackboard Discussion Board's "Adding Awesome to Your Website" forum. Can't figure out how to make things work? Ask your partners or post to the forum. Want to try using some funky widgets but can't figure it out? Ask. Want to make your website look really professional by taking full advantage of CSS? Ask!

Whenever you'd like feedback, it's best to upload your most-recent files to your Web host first, so your partner can see what you're talking about.

This should be fun! In the end, you'll have some really great projects to show potential employers, show off your art or photography or writing, and so forth.

  • Use the peer-review guide document (in .doc format) when critiquing your partners' work. Because it's a website, provide all the feedback you would normally use via revision tracking in this document, as well. Provide comments on everything from HTML and CSS coding problems to design, layout, and other issues.
  • When you're done critiquing, send your peer review of your partner's project to the original author by Wednesday class-time - obviously, earlier is better! That gives you plenty of time to review, revise, and comment on your partner's website. Early is better than waiting until the last minute.
  • Submit the peer-review that you performed on your partner's project and the filled-in peer-review guide document to Blackboard under the appropriate peer-review assignment slot ("Website Peer Review") by Thursday at 5:00pm. Note that Blackboard can accept multiple files attached to any Assignment.


  • Read the textbook and supplementary readings by Monday at noon.
  • Participate in this week's Blackboard forum discussion starting on Monday.
  • Exchange links to your Website with your partner for peer-review during or before class on Wednesday.
  • Turn in your peer-review of your partner's work and the peer-review guide document to the appropriate peer-review assignment slot on Blackboard at the same time you return it to your partner by Wednesday at 5:00pm - earlier is better - and earn up to +4 bonus points!
  • Big bonus opportunity: Turn in the Website on Blackboard by Sunday at 5:00pm to earn up to +25 bonus points!
  • Turn in your Reading Response on this Module's required readings before class on Wednesday.
  • Earn a bonus point by uploading a second Reading Response to reflect your thoughts on more readings and reflections on the week's discussions. Due by Sunday at 5:00pm.

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Last updated 10/24/2015.