You have three responsibilities with your assigned story. Feel free to consult with me on any of these responsibilities a day or two before your presentation.
1. Introduce your story. Do not under any circumstances summarize the plot or read us the author introduction from the textbook, but give the class any important background information you have gleaned by googling the story or its author. A key fact or two about the author’s background, relevant circumstances of the story’s composition or its literary reputation—these can be useful to the class in placing the story in appropriate context. Keep this portion brief—a minute or two.
2. Post your essay on the story to your blog and read what you have written. Also, print one hard copy to give to me and submit electronically to turnitin.com (Assignment: Short story presentation). Your topic may be any aspect of the story’s technique, style, or meaning. Suggested length is 600 to 800 words. We will follow your reading with a brief round of commendations and questions from the class.
3. Lead a discussion of the story in the time remaining. One excellent way to begin a group discussion is to ask a question to which you don’t have a complete answer yourself, something important about the story you’re still trying to figure out. If you’re not sure whether the main character made the right decision, ask the class. If there’s a scene whose meaning is ambiguous or whose significance is unclear, ask the class.
For stories other than your assigned story, you have these responsibilities:
1. Read the story before coming to class that day.
2. Contribute to the discussion, either by offering a commendation or question to the writer of that day’s paper or by contributing your comments during the open discussion the second half of the period.
3. Post an entry to your blog once a week. You may write one longer entry on an individual story or post an entry made up of several shorter pieces on a number of stories for that week. Entries may be written prior to class, containing your reader responses to that day’s story or be written after class, developing and elaborating on an issue raised during discussion. No rehashes, please.
4. (Optional, but strongly encouraged): Post a comment on the blog of each day’s presenter.