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Book Club Project

Part I- Group Presentation

Overview
If you’ve read carefully enough, you will notice that you and your book club groups are responsible for
preparing and presenting a project related to your book club book.

What You’ll Present


You and your book club group will be responsible for a 12 minute presentation which you will give at the
Undergraduate Research Mid-Year Symposium for First and Second Year Students. You should expect to
present for the entire 12 minutes. While you should give a brief overview of the book, the bulk of your
presentation should discuss themes and the analytical work you did throughout your book club. You can
choose to focus on whatever aspect of the text you would like. For example, a criticism, an ending rewrite,
etc.

Who’ll You Present With/To


You will present at the Undergraduate Research Mid-Year Symposium for First and Second Year Students
which is attended by faculty, staff, students, and you may even invite guests. This is considered a
professional conference that you can place on your resume.

When You’ll Present


Please see the schedule for presentation rehearsal date and final presentation date.

Workshop/Dress Rehearsal
Once you finish your book (preferably by week of Thanksgiving), you will work on your book club
presentation in your book club AND in our class. In class the week before the presentation you will do a
dry run of your presentation. I will give you feedback to help you improve your presentation so that it is at
its best when we present it for a grade at the MYS.

Details
As I mentioned in the overview, you have 12 minutes to present. You should use exactly 12 minutes, not
more and not much less. During those 12 minutes you should include the following:

1. A brief, and not boring summary of the plot of your novel. This should not go on for more
than three minutes. Too much summary is boring but remember some of your audience has not read this
book.

2. A brief overview of the important themes of the novel. In other words, what is the thesis,
essentially, of the novel? What is the author trying to get you to think about and understand by writing
this particular story? This is the most important part of your presentation. It is also the most creative. You
have a lot of freedom to come up with the best way to present the theme to the audience (more on this in a
minutes).
3. Any aspect of the book you would like to discuss for the bulk of your presentation. Your presentation
must include a creative component such as movie, skit, etc. Be creative. entertain your audience.

That is what you need to include in terms of content during your 12 minutes. As for presentation, how you
develop this content into 12 minutes is up to you. Here are some ideas students have done in previous
years.

Make the movie trailer for the novel. This involved writing a script and putting together a
short movie/powerpoint slide show that looked sort of like what a movie trailer for the movie
version of your book would look like. The movie trailer was not the full fifteen minutes—the
students did a regular power-point for the summary & review sections. They explained how the
movie trailer represented the theme of the movie, and they took time to highlight how the
research contributed. They also included ideas for casting the movie—what characters would be
played by what stars and why.

Talk show discussion between main characters about significant ideas in the novel.
They had some characters from the novel and then other characters that allowed the book
characters to talk about ideas, fears, anger that the group felt like they would have expressed
about what happened in the book. It turned out to be a really effective way to combine research
and theme. Variation on this: the courtroom drama “you can’t handle the truth” scene. In this
version, instead of a talk show, the characters interact in a court in front of a jury. This only works
if you have a novel where a crime or potential crime or law suit could realistically be part of the
story.

The Happy-ending Remake. This is a tricky one. Students made a video of a scene from the
book—a really important scene. Then they red-made the scene the way they wished it happened.
Then they explained to the audience why they wished it happened that way, but why, in the end,
the author didn’t write it that way—how the scene, as written by the author, embodied the theme
of the book.

These are just some of the things students have done over the years. There have also seen a lot of basic
powerpoint presentations. And those work too. You are a clever bunch and, as I said, good presenters. So I
look forward to what you might come up with. Most importantly, I look forward to engaging and
thoughtful presentations that do not bore the audience.

Other Things
On the day of the presentation, please dress decently. Don’t wear anything that it would embarrass you to
wear to your grandmother’s funeral. Wear something that might be considered “business casual.” So no
hoodies or sweats. I guess nice jeans, but I’d prefer decent pants and a decent shirt and decent shoes.

Introduce yourselves to the audience, tell them the title of the book and who the author is, and clue people
in as to why you are doing this presentation. So set things up.

Remember to thank, by name, your book club facilitator for their help with this project and the entire
semester.
Part II Individual Paper

For the second and individual part of your book club project you will compose a 2 page essay that analyzes
your book club experience and the reading habits you employed/developed. This is a formal essay that
should consider the following:

● What tactics did you use when reading your book to help you be prepared to contribute to book
club discussion? Be specific and provide examples of support.
● What skills/activities did your book club group use to help with reading comprehension? Be
specific and provide examples of support.
● How did the tactics you used when reading the book on your own and the skills/activities used in
book club discussion help you comprehend the novel? Be specific and give examples of support.
● What did you learn from this book club experience about your reading habits and analytics skills?
How might it assist you in future courses?
Your essay should be in MLA or APA format and include all the components of a formal essay. This will be
due as part of the final portfolio.

A note on grading: The book club project (part I and II) counts towards both ENGL101 and ENGL144
grades.