7.13 | Fall 2008 | Undergraduate

Experimental Microbial Genetics


To foster the development of strong communication skills, you are required to make three formal oral presentations to the class during the semester. Students frequently use Powerpoint for their presentations with supplementary information written on the white board as needed and/or other visual aids for these talks.

Oral Presentation Feedback Forms will be handed out for each group/presenter at the beginning of each group meeting. This will give you an opportunity to critically evaluate the presentations of your peers and provide them with constructive suggestions for the improvement of their presentations as well as get additional feedback on your own presentations.

Grades for the oral presentations will be based on your demonstration of a firm understanding of the subject in question, the clarity of the presentation, and the mechanics of the presentation itself (use of visual aids, speaking style, etc.)

Journal Club

With your partner, you will present two or three articles from the primary research literature that you have read and analyzed. During the presentations, you will provide background information on the subject of the paper, providing context for the research to be described and explaining the questions that were addressed in the paper. You will describe the series of experiments described in the papers and show how the data were interpreted, presenting the authors’ conclusions while commenting on the strengths and weaknesses of the papers. You are expected to describe the papers in such a way that they “tell the story” of how research in that particular field has evolved recently.

Progress Report

Individually, you will present your project to the class. You will briefly describe the background of your research area and the goals of your project. You will then describe your own experiments and whatever data you have collected to that point, interpreting your results as you go. You are also encouraged to discuss any problems that you have encountered during your research. This is an opportunity to get fresh ideas about your project and suggestions for other approaches.

Final Report

With your partner, you will present your project to the class. You will introduce your project briefly, indicate the approaches you took, describe (and illustrate) your results, and formulate conclusions. You may also wish to propose avenues for further research. It is important not to try and cram everything you did into this one presentation; you will need to be selective regarding what you include.

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2008
Learning Resource Types
Problem Sets
Written Assignments