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195.4 Translation

For the final unit in WRT195, you are asked to translate your extended research project from Unit Three into a six minute, 40 second PowerPoint slideshow: a Pecha Kucha. This format embraces "liberation by constraint"--the principle that artificial constraints are potentially generative, even inspiring.

Pecha Kucha, Japanese for "chatter", was developed by a team of architects interested in encouraging concision and focus in oral presentations delivered in the presence of a live audience. Since its inception, their idea has taken off; now nearly 100 cities worldwide have organized "Pecha Kucha nights" where presenters fine-tune their skills in succint, slide-accompanied speaking performances.

To develop this project, you will need to become familiar with some of the basic design features in PowerPoint. You will determine which images and words to display, and while the slideshow should resonate with your Unit Three project, it should also mirror the design principles we will read about from Garr Reynolds' Presentation Zen blog. In other words, the slides may not be text-heavy (i.e., no more than five words per slide); they must incorporate the most powerful, compelling images you can find in the various image databases we will work with in class.

Each slide in the slideshow should be set to transition automatically after 20 seconds. The slideshow, that is, will function like a moving picture (or a slow movie); it will advance on its own pre-programmed accord. Therefore, your talk will work best if you prepare to be somewhat improvisatory, if you prepare to talk in loose coordination with the auto-advancing slides.

The purpose of this project is to get you thinking more deeply about presentational modes, about the different demands involved with presenting your researched argument as a text-intensive and paper-bound piece to be read and, as in this unit, as an image-intensive and performative piece to be experienced by a live audience. All modes require of you certain rhetorical choices; this translation into a Pecha Kucha should make your rhetorical choices for Unit Three still more tangible and apparent.

Here's what your Unit Four project will include:

Assignment Details
For Unit Four, you will develop a PowerPoint slideshow of six minutes, 40 seconds. You will also present the slideshow to us on December 2-4 during class. Thus, you should have your slideshow completed no later than Tuesday, December 2.

Evaluation Criteria

Your project will be evaluated on each of the following:

Each item listed above will be evaluated on the following scale:


NA: Not applied. The writer has not applied the criterion in the project.
NI: Needs improvement. The writer has minimally applied the criterion in the project.
AC: Acceptable/meets expectations. The writer has applied the criterion to a satisfactory degree.
EX: Exceptional. The writer has applied the criterion with distinction.

Contact Information

Derek Mueller
Office: HBC 002
Fall '08 office hours: Thur., 11-Noon
Phone: (315) 708-3940
Class listserv: wrt195@listserv.syr.edu


"Google has been my best friend lately." -Anonymous student commenting on research-in-progress

googol n. - A fanciful name (not in formal use) for ten raised to the hundredth power (10100). -Oxford English Dictionary

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