Business Communication (English 302): Style Oral Presentation

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MEMO

To: English 302 Students
From: Chris Nelson, Course Lecturer
Date: 11 January, 2007
Subject: Style Oral Presentation Requirements

Style plays a large part in how we communicate with each other. Communication carries many expectations. For example, you expect your teachers to communicate with you in ways that differ from your friends. You most likely communicate with a police officer or public official much differently than you would a family member. So, clearly the style you use to communicate is based upon the nature of your relationship with a person. But, style can be used to cement a strong relationship, as well—especially in writing, where the only thing that gives a strong impression of you as a writer is the “writing on the page” itself.

The Task for the Presentation

Select a partner from this class with whom you will provide a brief oral presentation about an element of style. You and your partner will select a day and a topic from the Style Sign-Up Sheet, and give a presentation on that day. Use the format I used for my own Style Presentation (see the “Using Numbers Effectively in Written Documents handout” to inform and involve your audience.

The Requirements for the Presentation

  • Use A Writer’s Resource as your primary source of information regarding explanations and rules. On your handout, cite the page(s) where you found your information.
  • Provide a copy of the handout to each member of the class. Your handout will:

Explain and define your style topic and its importance to clear writing
Contain an original passage with erroneous usage of your topic
Provide us with an activity where, as a class, we can correct the passage

  • Involve the audience in your presentation, as well as explain the topic. Refrain from simply reading your handout. Rather, use your handout to cover the salient points.
  • Create your handout to be a page in length, or even half a page (make arrangements with me at least 24 hours in advance to cut your document in such cases), as long as it addresses the style topic clearly and completely, and has examples and activities.

The Criteria for Evaluating the Presentation

You will be graded on using words clearly, having a clearly formatted and relevant handout, and coordinating your speaking as a pair so that both people provide relevant information. The challenge of this presentation will be how to make your topic interesting. For pointers, be sure to read Maimon, Peritz, and Yancey’s discussion of your style topic to understand how you might make your topic sensible to the class. (Some style errors, such as dangling modifiers, can be quite funny).

You may not use the examples in your handbook or the text for your own presentation, although you must paraphrase or quote the rules in the handbook (see my example memo). You may use other sources for examples, even those online, but you must cite them in your oral delivery and on your handout (APA Style). Doing so fulfills the expectations of an academic communicator; not doing so constitutes plagiarism. You do not need to format your handout according to memo format, but you should have a clear format that helps the reader read from section to section, and you should also have the course information in the header (i.e., the information in this handout’s header).

This presentation is worth 50 points, or 5% of your course grade.

Submitted by Chris Nelson for the O-Fair, Feb. 27. 2007