Reading Presentation

A short reading response delivered to the class, followed by a facilitated discussion.

Once in the semester, on the day you serve as a Reading Post leader, you’ll write and deliver a short reading response and then facilitate a class discussion guided by one or two questions you pose to the class. You’ll sign up for your slot on the first class session.

Reading responses should be composed in essay format (with quotes and full citations) and should be no more than 3-4 pages in length. Your goal is to explore one or two issues or concepts that interest you about the reading in relationship to an artifact of your choice (e.g., you’ll offer a critical application of the assigned text, reading the artifact across the text or the text across the artifact). Ideally, the artifact you choose will be one that links your particular scholarly interests or project to the theme of the course. You are welcome to include video clips, music, art, and so on as objects to think with, but do make sure they’re screen sharable.

Think about the reading response much as you would a conference paper (or better: a presentation at a roundtable): your job is not to teach the reading but rather to apply the aspects of the reading that interest you to something that resonates with your research and/or scholarly interests.


  • Presentations should last 8-10 minutes (10-minute MAX), and you’ll want to practice to get the timing right.
  • Deliver your response as if it were a conference paper or roundtable presentation, with the goal of actually communicating your ideas (sometimes nerves make us want to race through to get it over with 🙂 ). Practice looking up at your (Zoom) audience, moderating your tone and volume, your reading pace, and so on ahead of time.
  • Since your goal isn’t to teach the reading but to put it to work on or with your artifact, you’ll need only to highlight the “gist” of it before moving on to your discussion and application. Some readings will be very tough to summarize, so just do your best and move on to what you find interesting or important.
  • If you want to use video or images, make sure they work via Zoom shared screens and let me know ahead of time to allow screen sharing.
  • End your presentation with 1 or 2 questions to stimulate and focus class discussion. You’ll then facilitate further discussion about this and other possible critical applications of the reading(s) with half the class in a breakout room.
  • Post a copy of your response to the Canvas discussion board for all of us.