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ESL 912: Assignment



Group Presentation: Civil Rights Activist


For this presentation, you and your group are going to talk about a civil rights activist. A civil rights activist is someone who fights for equal rights for a particular group of people. Martin Luther King, Jr. is an example of a civil rights leader who fought for equal rights for black Americans. You and your group will choose one civil rights activist to present. This activist can be from any place around the world from any time in history, including the present. You may not choose Martin Luther King since we are reading about him, but you may choose other activists mentioned in the book such as Mahatma Gandhi, Stokely Carmichael, Malcolm X, John F. Kennedy, or Rosa Parks. Other examples of activists not mentioned in the book are Cesar Chavez, Nelson Mandela, Susan B. Anthony, Harvey Milk, and Malala Yousafzai.


You will work in groups of three to five. You will have 20 minutes to present plus 3 minutes to answer questions. The presentations will be on Tuesday, May 15. It’s worth 100 points.


The objectives of this assignment are

  • to analyze, evaluate, and interpret the topic we read on civil rights.
  • to use vocabulary from the novel.
  • to learn and improve public speaking skills.
  • to become confident speakers.
  • to use on-campus resources such as the library.
  • to practice research skills.
  • to do further reading on a topic and be able to present the information orally.
  • to collaborate with others.


The content of the presentation should include

  • the historical background of the issue the activist fought for.
  • information on the activist’s background, beginning with his/her early life.
  • rights that the activist fought for, including how he/she fought for them and what he/she accomplished. (This should be the main part of the presentation.)
  • a part of a speech or a quote from the activist
  • source information


Forming the Group

  • Choose your partners.
  • Exchange contact information.
  • Plan dates and times to get together.


Preparing for the Presentation

  • Choose an activist you are interested in.
  • Research information on the activist.
  • Organize the information in an outline.
  • Decide which part each person is going to present.
  • Create a PowerPoint for your presentation.
  • Practice the presentation several times. Practice in front of other people. The more you practice, the more confident and prepared you will be when you present.


Proper Collaboration in Groups

  • Everyone must participate and work equally.
  • You must know the entire presentation even the parts you are not presenting in case one of your partners is absent.
  • If you are going to be absent on the day of the presentation, it is your responsibility to let your group know as soon as possible so that they can present your part.
  • If you have any issues, please speak to me.


The Outline

You must create an outline for your presentation. An outline is a list of main ideas and supporting details. It is a good way to organize your presentation. I will provide you an outline you can use. I will also email you that same outline so you can change it to fit your presentation. Every group must turn in an outline before or on the day of the presentation, and it must be typed. I advise one person to make the outline, but everyone must provide the content. You don’t have to write complete sentences. Check the spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and grammar before you submit the outline.



Every presentation should have visuals. The purpose of visuals is to help guide you, the presenter, on what to say and to make it easier for the audience to follow and understand what you are saying. You are required to use PowerPoint as your visual. You can bring in additional visuals such as posters or objects related to your topic.



You may use notes during your presentation. The notes can be written on index cards, on your phone, or on paper. Be sure that you write notes, not your whole presentation. You don’t want to read to your audience; you want to speak. Use the notes only as a guide. They are supposed to help you remember what to talk about.


Tips on Presenting

  • Speak loudly and clearly.
  • Speak with enthusiasm.
  • Make eye contact with everyone in the audience.
  • Do not read your presentation. Only glance at your notes and the visuals.
  • Don’t block the visuals.
  • Stand up straight.
  • Never turn your back on the audience unless you’re writing on the board.
  • If you forget what you have to say, take a few seconds to glance at your notes.
  • Relax. If you are nervous, take a few deep breaths to calm yourself down.


Speaking Details

The first person who speaks should begin by

  • greeting the audience.
  • introducing everyone in the group.
  • providing a “hook”
  • introducing the topic of the presentation.


At the end of your part, introduce the next person who is going to speak and his/her topic. Each speaker, except for the last one, should end his/her part by introducing the next speaker and his/her topic. This is the transition. The last person to speak will conclude the presentation. The conclusion includes the main idea of the topic and a final thought. This speaker at the very end should give a concluding signal, ask the audience if they have questions, and thank everyone.


Greeting and Introduction

“Good evening everyone. My name is Sandra and my partners are Ruben, Hamed, and Michiko. Tonight we are going to talk about Martin Luther King.”



“Now Ruben is going to talk about Martin Luther King’s background.”


Concluding Signal, Questions, and Thank You

“This concludes our presentation. Do you have any questions?”

 After the questions, thank the audience.