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Presenting an Assignment

The way in which you go about a presentation depends very much on what you are trying to present. However, I will assume that you are wanting to present a sizable A4 assignment / project with many different sections.

The best place to start is by going down to your local stationary store and buying a display folder. In Australia, these are like a set of transparent plastic sleeves which are covered back and front by two thicker colored pieces of plastic. The sleeves and the covers are bound together by a plastic spine with 23 teeth that go through the covers and sleeves. Its hard to describe...I hope you know what I mean, and I hope you can get them if you are not in Australia.

Assuming that your work has already been written and checked, the next stage is to start organizing your work. It makes no difference if your work is on a computer or not, your work will most likely be split into general sections. Organize these into a logical order. If these sections are presenting a new idea or summarizing something, make sure that they are in an order that will develop the concept as the presentation progresses.

If there are a lot of things that you refer to or want to refer to, use an appendix. An appendix is a section at the back of an assignment where everything is arranged like a chapter in a book, only the chapters are labeled progressively using letters of the alphabet. Therefore, there will be Appendix A, then Appendix B and so on. From here on you can refer to these resources in your main section(s) as the appendix they are contained in. An example of such a reference could be: "For further detail on Dinosaur bone structure see Appendix D", or simply "See Appendix D".

Make sure that there is a clear introduction and summary to the sections of your work, and make sure that there is a main introduction and summary / conclusion for the entire assignment. These things are very valuable because a marker will sometimes just read your introduction and conclusion if it is a big assignment. Hence, to start and end with a good impression, it is essential that these sections are highly polished pieces of writing.

To make it easy for reference and other purposes, use page numbers. If there are many headings that you use, make them clear and try to put them at the top of pages. If you use heading and then sub headings (and even sub sub headings), make the difference obvious, ie donít use the same size and properties. For example, make headings bold underlined and sub headings just bold, or make up your own combinations.

Where possible, use tables, pictures, charts spreadsheets or anything else that makes the work less monotonous. If you have access to color printing facilities, make good use of them, color enhances a projects presentation tenfold. I once heard a saying : "A picture/diagram is worth 1000 words". This is true, a diagram can explain the intricate workings of an apparatus within seconds of looking at it, as opposed to the many words that would be needed to achieve the same result.

At this stage you will almost be ready to place your work in the folder. However, you must write a contents page. If you have used page numbers, then tabulate all the main headings with page numbers (including the appendices) and indent any subheadings and include page numbers in there too. If you have not used page numbers (for whatever reason), simply use the headings and sub headings of each page. This has one advantage in that the contents page is not so clattered and harder to construct as it is.

The next thing to do (if you havenít been doing it through the procedure) is what I call the 'cosmetics'. Go through your work and make the assignment look NICE. By this I mean, make the assignment easy to look at and simple to appreciate. This includes outlay and organization.

The second to final stage is to CHECK CHECK CHECK. You will be surprised at how many stupid errors you can make (especially when you are in a panic). You will also be surprised at how many little things you can do to make the project look better. For example, shrinking the font so that a paragraph fits on a page (without being severed to the other page) can do the world of good for presentation. Get someone else to check grammar for you because they may pick out other things that you have become blind to as you have been working. Besides it is good to have a second opinion! As soon as you have a list of corrections, start to change everything so that you finally have the 'dream' piece of work.

If you have been doing your work on the computer, now is the time to print. If you have simply been handwriting it, then this is the time to write out the final copy. The final stage is to put it into the folder. Slide the sheets of completed work in the correct order (make sure that ink doesnít smudge if its been printed).

The final thing to do is to make a colorful cover page. Make it attractive, make it 'jump' out at anyone around it. Make the title or focus of the assignment blindingly obvious. Once this has been done, stick this on the cover of the folder. Donít put it inside because it will benefit the marker much more if they can see what the project is about when they donít have to open the cover. the cover should also have the following info:

You are now ready to hand up what should be an A grade assignment!

Here is an example assignment that you can download. There is nothing better than an example, so here is one... download them in

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