Instructor Posts

For class on Monday, March 27, please complete the following homework assignments:

  1. Read WOVENText 517-533 on Collages/Visual Arguments
  2. Watch the video on “Teamwork Fundamentals.” Remember, you will need to sign in to with your GATech credentials to watch the video for free.


Looking ahead to Wednesday, March 29, the homework will be:

  1. Bring a digital draft of your poster and a draft of your movie blurb to class for peer review/poster session rehearsal
  2. Watch this video on “Giving an Effective Poster Presentation” on YouTube


Your movie posters and blurbs will now be due on Friday, March 31 and we will hold our mock poster session in class. An updated version of the syllabus for the remaining 4.5 weeks of class is coming soon.

A large number of people have said they will be absent on Friday due to the start of Spring Break. Therefore, I’m going to post Friday’s class content online so that everyone can get the same information before they leave town.

It is important that you go through this “class” before you finalize your research papers, as all of this information will be directly relevant to putting the finishing touches on your paper. DO NOT wait until the last minute to submit your papers, as “the wi-fi on my cruise ship was malfunctioning” is not a valid excuse for not submitting your paper.

On Friday, in lieu of holding an in-person class, I will hold extended office hours from 8:30am-12:00pm. You may email me or stop by the office during this time and I will be happy to answer any of your questions or talk through any last minute concerns you have about the research paper.

Friday’s “class” will cover the following:

  1. Complete and post a reflection on your presentation
  2. Watch a lecture on improving Introductions and Conclusions
  3. Read through a few tips about the intricacies of MLA in-text citations
  4. Look at a few resources I have provided to help you proofread and double-check your formatting for your research paper

Continue below to find all the information you need to complete Friday’s class – you may work through this class at any point this week, so long as you complete it, then turn in your research paper prior to Friday, March 17 at 11:55pm.

Continue Reading

Monday, March 13 – Final day of our Mock Conference. Please come prepared either to present your paper, or to engage in the same form of peer review/livetweeting as we have been doing all week. See this post for more.


  1. OPTIONAL: Extra Credit blog post 6 is due at 11:55pm Monday night
  2. Take my Twitter poll in reference to this Friday’s class
  3. Read the Assignment Sheet for the Group Project: Propaganda Campaign and the website about movie poster design available on TSquare for Wednesday
  4. Complete CATME team builder survey before Friday (you should get an email from CATME in the next 24 hours)
  5. Continue to work on research paper, due Friday, March 17 at 11:55pm to TSquare. Plan to bring a nearly complete version to class on Friday.


Wednesday, March 15 – IN DESIGN WORKSHOP in the Homer Rice Classroom of the Library.

The Multimedia Librarian Alison Valk will be giving our class a tutorial on using InDesign which will come in handy for both the movie poster and propaganda campaign assignments for the final project. Please come to class in the library having read the assignment sheet for the group project and the website with guidelines for creating a film poster. You will want to be thinking about your film poster starting now, as it will be due the Wednesday after break in class.


  1. Read Purdue OWL sample MLA paper, sample MLA work cited, and basics on in-text citation
  2. Read the proofreading tips and MLA formatting checklist available on TSquare (Resources folder)
  3. Work on research paper, due Friday, March 17 at 11:55pm to TSquare – bring draft to class on Friday
  4. Complete CATME team builder survey



Friday, March 17Class will be held ONLINE, available Wednesday, March 15 at 1:00pm – please plan to complete the classwork before you leave for break, as there are important tips for finishing your research papers!

In lieu of teaching, I will have extended office hours from 8:30am-12:00pm on Friday in Hall 121. Feel free to email me or come by if you have questions or concerns.


  1. Research paper due Friday, March 17 at 11:55pm. SUBMIT BEFORE YOU LEAVE FOR BREAK!
  2. CATME team builder survey due Friday, March 17 at noon
  3. Complete online class work for Friday’s class


  1. Watch Lynda Video “Teamwork Fundamentals” for Monday, March 27
  2. Read resource on elevator pitches for Monday, March 27
  3. Movie poster due in class on Wednesday, March 29

For the next 4 class periods, our class will be engaged in a mock academic conference. Each student will present the key points of their research project to the rest of the class (a knowledgeable audience on YA dystopian fiction) in a 6-8 minute presentations.

The conference schedule is available here: be sure you double-check to see if you are moderating/videotaping on days you are not presenting.

If you are presenting, moderating or videotaping, you DO NOT need to peer review for that day.


  • Upload your visuals to PPT the night before your presentation – I’ll download all of them and have them ready before your class begins
  • Come to class 5 minutes early to get set up and have time to do your calming routine before your presentation.
    • First panel: sit at the front of the room
    • Second panel: sit where there aren’t peer review sheets


  • Come to class 5 minutes early
  • Bring a device you can use as a timer (phone, tablet, computer is fine)
  • Be prepared to warn presenters when they are running out of time with signs (2 minute warning, 1 minute warning, stop)


  • Use the supplied video camera to record the presenter- it is important to keep them in the center of the frame
  • Stop and start the camera between each presentation


If you are not presenting, moderating or videotaping, you are a peer-reviewing audience member!

  • You should have 2-3 peer review sheets, each for a different person. You will NOT have a peer review sheet for every presenter.
  • Watch the presentation and fill out the sheets for the appropriate person
  • Live tweet the presentations you are not peer reviewing
  • Turn in all your peer review sheets to Dr. Fitz at the end of the class for participation credit



  1. Prepare for your presentation
  2. Continue working on your research papers, due Friday, March 17

We are meeting today in the Communication Center (CULC 447). 

For today’s class you will need a printed copy of your presentation script, your talk title, and your usual note-taking tool (laptop/notebook). We will be further discussing oral presentations, ways to improve your oral and non-verbal communication and workshopping parts of your presentations.

Double-check the conference schedule here, then enter your talk title no later than noon on Friday, March 3.


If you are presenting on Monday:

  1. Finish your presentation and visuals.
  2. Consider completing Blog Post 4 early (it will help you)
  3. Submit your visuals to TSquare Sunday night
  4. Plan to arrive for class 5-10 minutes early so you can get set up and ask any last minute questions

If you are not presenting Monday:

  1. Arrive on time on Monday – we will start promptly so everyone has enough time to present.
  2. Plan to participate with the presentations either by volunteering to videotape/moderate a panel or completing the required peer review exercise.

We started class today with a sample presentation given by yours truly. While the presentation was a little longer than yours (9-10 minutes), it should give you a good sense of what a conference presentation like your should look and sound like. The PPT and script I used will be available for you to look at on TSquare – I would recommend a script that is 1/2 a page to a page shorter than mine to make the 6-8 minute time frame of your presentation.

After we talked about the sample presentation, we went over a few of the key concepts from the video you watched on Presentation Fundamentals. I highlighted some of the tips about preparing for question and answer sessions and added in some additional advice about rhetorical context, preparation, common questions to expect and how to respond when you don’t know the answer. We also looked at crutch words and some common ways to avoid using them in your presentations, including identifying your common crutch words, working to use them less in everyday speech, preparing your presentation thoroughly and working to remain calm during your presentation.

Friday’s class will be in the Communication Center (CULC 447). For class you will need to have a draft of your presentation script and a title for your talk.


  1. Draft script of your presentation, print and bring to class Friday
  2. Compose a title for your conference presentation and bring it to class Friday
  3. Continue to work on research paper
  4. Continue to work on conference presentation

The first thing we did today was look ahead to next week’s mock academic conference. We looked at the schedule and the roles that each panel will need; if you are interested in volunteering to be a moderator or videographer for a specific panel, please let me know (otherwise I will assign individuals to those roles). On days you are not presenting or helping with a panel, you will need to come prepared to engage in a peer review activity for each paper presented.

Next we talked through ways to build a strong foundation for your presentation by incorporating research into your argument. We emphasized the importance of making your own individual contribution to the argument clear; your argument should be at the center of the presentation and paper. We talked about how to write a strong, clear, dynamic thesis statement that makes an argument, that takes a stand and that forecasts the structure of your paper or talk. We also talked about how to surround your evidence with your own argument and interpretation in a quotation sandwich so that you are always explicit and clear about how your research supports the claims you are making. These kinds of quote sandwiches are vital to a well supported paper and presentation, though you will need to adjust depending on the mode of your communication.

Finally, we talked through some fundamentals of good presentations and looked at some key points of good presentations. You want to be sure you identify your audience and their needs as you begin to structure your presentation. You also want to think carefully about your goals and the ways in which your goals can be communicated to the audience. We talked a little about the levels of formality and how to use specific mediums of delivery to communicate with particular audiences. Then we talked more about how to structure your talk to help keep your audience invested, to hep your audience remember your key points and to avoid common pitfalls of presentations.



  • Watch Lynda Video – Presentation Fundamentals (log in with your GATech credentials)
  • Continue to work on research paper – draft dynamic thesis statement and bring to class Wednesday
  • Begin drafting/outlining presentation script – plan to bring to class on Friday IN THE COMMUNICATION CENTER
Today, we talked about Darko Suvin’s essay on “the Poetics of the Science Fiction Genre.” We worked through his major arguments and his classification scheme for SF and other genres commonly associated with SF (fantasy, fairy tale, myth). We highlighted the context for Suvin’s argument, the political upside to grouping utopia/dystopia with sci fi, and the difference between the analogic and extrapolative models of SF.
We also talked about Lyman Tower Sargent’s article”The Three Faces of Utopianism Revisited” and the ways in which it is conversation with Suvin’s article. We focused on the three “faces” that he discusses (literary utopia, intentional communities and utopian social theory) and the investment in revisiting these concepts given a prevailing opinion that utopia is increasingly possible in our contemporary world. In particular, we looked at his criticism of using the word “perfect” when defining utopia and the ways in which that particular word in the definition undermines the overall utopian project.
  1. Annotated Bibliographies are due tonight by 11:55pm to TSquare – please be sure to submit them as a Word doc or a PDF and include your last name in the file name.
  2. Read WOEVENText 10, 11, and 12 on Oral Presentations for Monday
  3. Start outlining, drafting, writing your research paper. You will want to aim to have a draft of your paper complete by next week; the conference presentation can be a very valuable exercise in helping you to distill and clarify your arguments, but you need to know what those arguments are before you can clarify them.

As a quick reminder, I made some changes to next week’s schedule on the syllabus (see previous blog post) in order to add a visit to the Communications Center on Friday, March 3. Please keep these deadlines in mind as you are working in the next few days and don’t forget that Friday’s class will be held in CULC 447.

Today we started off with a discussion about the two societies present in The 100, “the ground” and “the ark.” You worked in teams to build an argument either for or against the idea that each of these societies function as a dystopia within the narrative. By engaging in an active back-and-forth debate over these two societies, we talked through some of the overarching themes of the show and examined the ways in which anarchy can be the cause of dystopian societies.

We will discuss the Darko Suvin article that you read for class today on Friday along with the Sargent article (see below).


  1. Continue working on your research project – Annotated Bibliography due to TSquare by 11:55pm on Friday
  2. Read Sargent’s “3 Faces of Utopia Revisited” (Available on TSquare – Resources – Week 7)