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OWL logo, Online Writing Lab, Purdue University.

Project #04

Analytical Speech

(including in-Class ten-minute presentation)

Righthand Illustration

(P#4) Job #4 is analytical writing on a topic of your choice for oral presentation for something like a "Coffee or Conversation" session, or for a "Brown Bag" luncheon. This must be a report written out in full, not just an outline for giving a talk. In other words, you have to (1) write, and (2) give a speech.

For Paper #4 choose your own topic, or write on one of the topics listed below. Review Ch. 43 of The New St. Martin's Handbook, "Writing a Research Essay."

  • Write on a topic of your own choice (subject to the instructor's approval) after developing your own data base. Your data base must include at least two differing points of view.

    You may work on a paper that you are writing for another class, if it is all right with the instructor of that other class.

    - OR -

  • If you do not have a specific topic in mind, how about trying something on one or more specificaspects one of the following? These are only examples of general topic areas; variations are encouraged.

    • affirmative action
    • ape language
    • culture of poverty
    • flextime/flexible working hours
    • seventeenth century deviance (and witch hunts)
    • social stratification
    • varied theoretical assumptions about human nature
    • Bigfoot
    • alliances (personal or international or community or business or ?
    • economic bartering to avoid taxes, NAFTA, UN in former Jugoslavia, school consolidations, government vouchers for primary and secondary school, or ? . . .)
    • child training practices (enculturation and socialization)
    • conditions before and after contact with outsiders
    • leadership
    • male/female roles in . . .
    • religious similarities/differences between Christianity and another religion or belief system
    • why Jesse Ventura (should/should not) run for President
    • problems with studying a group like the Yanomamö
    • warfare/aggression
    • other specific conflict/conflict-resolution situation (For e.g., should UMD spend more money on women's athletics? Should Miller Hill Mall be allowed to expand? Should we give Jeno any more of the taxpayers' money? Should the taxpayers of Minnesota spend $150 million on a new stadium for the Vikings?
    • Or write about a conflict/conflict-resolution situation involving domestic violence, male/female domestic roles, American Indian spear fishing treaty rights, other American Indian treaty rights, US-Canadian relations, Mexican Chiapas Zapatista revolt/revolution, assassinations, Neo-Nazi "Skinheads" in Germany, Neo-Nazis in America, IRA in Ireland and Great Britain, Chicago drug gangs in Duluth, UN. . . .)

Version #1 for Audience #1:

Your main audience for the written version of your talk should be a lay audience such as a non-technical audience attending a typical "Coffee and Conversation" session held at the Duluth Depot or a "brown-bag" lunch at UMD.

  • The written version is due is due at the end of Week 12. Class presentations will be Week 13 and Week 14.
  • Version #1 of this work must be written out and handed in. You may not submit only an outline as your Version #1 assignment.
  • Length: 10 minute presentation (including question / answers)

    • Abe Lincoln spoke at the rate of 105 words / minute

    • Maxine C. Hairston, in "Papers for Oral Presentation," suggests:

      "When you are writing a paper for oral presentation, you should figure on at least two minutes to read one double-spaced, 250-word page in pica type [12 points]. (For elite type, adjust accordingly.) If you can read 125 words in a minute -- and that's a fairly brisk pace -- you can plan on twenty minutes for a 2,500-word, ten-page paper. And if your finished paper runs 11-1/2 pages, you should not plan to rush through it to meet your deadline. Better to cut it back to the proper length and read it effectively."

      However, this assumes that the pages are of professionally written quality!

  • The written version of your presentation is due at the end of Week 12
    (12% of your grade, or 24 points of a possible ca. 200 points)

  • Information about Handing in Your Paper
    • You must also prepare a press release for your talk,
    • including a 100-150 word abstract of your speech.

Version #2 for Audience #2 (Class Presentation):

  • You also need to make a ten-minute in-class presentation of your talk.

  • Ten-minute in-class presentations will be Days 25 - 28 (Week 13 and Week 14).

  • For the in-class ten-minute version of your talk you may use an outline.

    • You do not have to hand in the materials you use for your in-class presentation.
    • Your in-class presentation will be evaluated, but not graded beyond P / N

Suggestions for your Analytical Class Presentation:

    • Start fast. State your thesis early, and often.

      • Example: "We need to understand the causes of riots in order to prevent riots."

    • Be mindful of your audience.

    • Be mindful of your purpose.

    • Be careful not to overuse pronouns. For an oral presentation it is better to repeat the subject.

      • For example, instead of saying something like, "Reactionary methods do not prevent problems, it only allows them to fester and blow up in our face," you might say, "Reactionary methods do not prevent problems. Reactionary methods only allow problems to fester and blow up in our face."

    • Keep the structure (outline) simple. Often it is helpful to organize using numbers.

      • For example, you might say, "You can take five stepts to avoid riots. One. . . . Two. . . . Three. . . . Four. . . . Five. . . ."

    • Use verbal transitions frequently.

    • Speak slowly. And loudly.

    • Have someone else introduce you.

    • Use effective visual aids, including maps.

      • Integrate them into your presentation.

    • Define technical terms.

    • Don't read your speech.

    • Look at your audience, with confidence.

    • Mention and reply to relevant objections.

    • If appropriate, make plain the need for action:

      • Answer the question, "Exactly what is the problem?" (¶ #1)

      • Work on the paragraph explaining who the problem affects. (¶ #2)

      • Write one paragraph explaining why the problem needs a solution now. Why can't it wait? (¶ #3)

      • Write a list of solutions/resolutions that are possible for your problem.

        • List as best you can the reasons for and the objections to each.

        • Use two columns.

        • List pros in one column, cons in the other. (¶ #4)

      • Work on the paragraph outlining who can do something about the problem? (¶ #5)

    • Back up your arguent(s) with good reasoning and good data and evidence.

    • Allow time for questions, and invite them enthusiastically.


    See also:

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