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powerpoint presentation of an argumentative paper

How to set up a powerpoint presentation of an argumentative paper

Dec 23, 2012 - Posted to  Power Point Presentation Writing
Argumentative papers are sometimes assigned to students at the end of a term or semester to test their research, debate, analytical skills-all of which are needed to compile a well-crafted argumentative paper. As compared to other assignments, the argumentative paper allows a student to showcase key examination techniques as well as demonstrate their overall insight into the best means of pushing and arguing a particular statement or claim. Likewise, satisfying this goal also involves heavy research efforts and a flawless presentation of support evidences.
Some of the key components of an argumentative paper are a (1) clear and concise thesis statement,(2) a firm position on an issue, and (3) strong supportive evidences to convince the reader to adopt the position of the author.
Presentation aids such as powerpoint can be very helpful and advantageous to a presenter if implemented properly. The main issues to consider in presenting with this method are (a) deciding how to use the program as an aid (please see below for details) (b) extracting the necessary points from the paper to present a clear argument (c) and effectively presenting the information onto slides to ensure that the information is easily understood and received by the audience.

So how can I use the powerpoint program in my presentation?

This may seem like a peculiar question, but an important factor that needs to be thoroughly understood by students is that; when utilizing powerpoint, the slides provided by the program are only meant to aid you in delivering your presentation and should not actually be your presentation. With that said, the first step to using the program as an aid is to figure out which role the slides will play in your presentation.

Presentation slides may...

  1. Be used to outline the information that you plan to cover in your speech
  2. Highlight major points and provide brief descriptions and examples
  3. Be used as a visual aid by displaying pictures, charts, tables, or graphs to the audience
  4. Combine two or more of the above mentioned uses
In most cases, students will choose # 4, which is to combine between several of the different uses mentioned. This may be optimal in certain situations where the audience can benefit from visual aids as well as brief descriptions and explanations of the points being discussed. And as with any presentation, the characteristics and needs of the audience also need to be taken into consideration when compiling presentation materials.
For review purposes, since the audience is likely to be other students and or professors, the pressing need for note taking, for instance, is not present. Therefore in situations such as this the presenter may find it more beneficial to share very short and brief slides (similar to an outline) along with relevant and useful graphics rather than giving more detailed descriptions of topics found in some educational presentations.

Extraction: Making slides out of your argumentative paper

After organizing your presentation method, to help you identify exactly what information needs to be placed on each slide it may be beneficial to revisit the main the purpose of an argumentative paper. An argumentative paper, more than anything else, seeks to persuade (quite aggressively) the reader into accepting and adapting the position held by the writer. In doing this one of the most powerful weapons the writer has is his or her evidential support (*and due to this the research involved in developing such an essay is extremely important).
So during a presentation, in order to leave your audience positively convinced about your position, each powerpoint slide should work supportively to help illustrate and drive home your main point. An example of what can be included in each slide is detailed below.

A sample breakdown of slides for an argumentative paper

*Slide 1: A comprehensive topic sentence that gives clear and substantial information. For instance, a sample sentence may be: 'A significant amount of the population is addicted to and dependent upon technological devices such as cell phones and laptop computers.'
*Slide 2: An impressive statistical figure to support the topic sentence.
*Slide 3: 1-2 lines introducing the first point of the argument. For instance, an author could write about 'the recent surge of smart phones on the market and its impact on people's daily lives.'
*Slide 4: Support the first point with a graphic (it could be a picture of a smartphone, or a table showing an increase in android and smartphone sales in the past 3 years)
*Slide 5: Connect the point made in slide 3 to the overall topic sentence mentioned in slide 1 (in order to show a relationship amongst the ideas.)
*Repeat steps 3-4 as needed making changes to the support evidence that was used for slide 4 as deemed necessary.
Now that you have an idea of what information needs to be extracted for each slide the final and most important aspect of the powerpoint presentation is effectively displaying your notes onto each slide.

Creating slides that are easy to understand and comprehend

Visually appealing slides are a significant part of effectively utilizing the powerpoint program. Cluttered, distracting, and poorly written slides will not only be hard on the reader but may also take away from your research by belittling and trivializing some of the fine conclusions that were gathered. With an argumentative paper especially, presentation is very important. To act as a proper persuasive and convincing tool, an audience should feel that the presenter is qualified and knowledgeable of the topic being discussed-and clean and effective slides will aid in accomplishing this goal.

Some helpful tips for creating powerpoint slides:

  1. Place one idea per slide and avoid writing more than a couple of lines
  2. Use strong contrasting colors that will be easy to read such as blue on white
  3. Aim for consistency when using fonts, colors, and sizes
  4. Avoid distracting templates and graphics
In addition to the above tips, its also worth mentioning that the presenter should prepare other materials to add variety and interest to the presentation such as handouts or physical samples. Likewise, notecards or an outline should also be prepared beforehand to assist in speech-making rather than relying on powerpoint slides for critical information.
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