Dr. David R. Burgess
Rivier College

Please see the Oral Presentation Assignment page for a description of the assignment.

General Grading Criteria

What You Do: Provide correct information, inform the class, and take an appropriate amount of time. Grade: C
What You Do: Same as for a C but also develop a concept with good sequencing and good illustrations without reading from notecards or other notes. Grade: B
What You Do: Same as for a B and provide a coherent presentation with argumentative structure and appropriate activities that are focused on the concepts presented. Grade: A

More Specific Grading Criteria for Oral Presentations

The following criteria will be used to determine the grade for your oral presentation. The numbers in parenthesis are the percentages that each criteria will contribute toward the final grade.

  1. (10%) Does the presentation have a thesis statement? Is there a clear focus? Is there a main point?

  2. (20%) Is the presentation organized? Does the main point have major divisions that combine to make the main point clear? Is each major division properly elucidated? Does the presenter start from where the students are and take them to a new place? Was the amount of time appropriate?

  3. (20%) Does the presenter clearly have an internal understanding of the material? Must the presenter rely on notes or read from a prepared text? Is the presenter a conduit for information or a font of knowledge? (Is it just memorized or is it really understood?) Is the presenter able to explain concepts clearly? Are questions answered in a way that indicates a sound grasp of the main concepts?

  4. (15%) Does the presenter engage the members of the class intellectually? Do the students in the class want to know more? Are the class members given an opportunity to go beyond where they are individually? Is the presentation at the correct level of difficulty for the class and for the time allowed?

  5. (15%) Are there demonstrations or activities that have previously been worked out? Do the demonstrations and activities clarify the main point (are they relevant)?

  6. (15%) Does the concept outline have the correct form? Does it correctly reflect the concepts needed to understand the main idea?

  7. ( 5%) Is the "exam question" appropriate for the material that is presented?


  1. This is an opportunity to develop a concept. Argue for a "theory" as if you were the scientist that originated the theory.

  2. Find something in your topic that is counter-intuitive or unusual and prove to the class that it really is true.

  3. Be direct. State your purpose and tell us how things are connected.
    Good luck! If you need further clarification just drop me an e-mail.