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Robert Kennedy's United States History Class

Power Point Taking Sides Writing Alternative

Want a Break From Writing Essays?

Make a PowerPoint Presentation Instead! 

Three of the Five Taking Sides Assignments can be PowerPoint Presentation 

The Assignment

1. In place of writing a Taking Sides Essay, make a PowerPoint presentation instead.

2. Following the guidelines for the Taking Sides essay:

  • Identify the historical issue
  • Identify the historians’ arguments (both the historian that argues “yes” and the one that argues “no”.
  • As a general rule, student should provide at least THREE examples from each historian to demonstrate how the historian supports her/his argument.
  • Formulate your own opinion: Where do you stand? Be sure to use evidence and examples from the essays.
  • Do Not Use First or Second Person
  • Any degree of plagiarism will result in a failing grade for the semester.

3. Power Point Must Have Audio Narration for each slide


4. Send instructor a file of your PowerPoint by the deadline listed in the syllabus for Taking Sides Essays by email


5. Please print and read the rubric thoroughly before beginning this assignment.  

Student will be graded on the following

  • Degree to which student followed guidelines
  • Degree to which follows "Do's and Don'ts" of POWERPOINT (grade will be heavily weighted on the quality of your PP layout)
  • Degree to which audio narration is clear and concise (grade will be heavily weighted on the quality of your narrated presentation) 

Do Watch These Videos Before Considering This Assignment



  • Save your work frequently (Ctrl+S)
  • Store it in a cloud service like Google Drive!
  • be brief (no more than 6 bullets/points per slide)
  • use appropriate fonts: big (min. 28pts) and clear (sans-serif).
  • If possible, test your slides: run the slide show and see if you can read your slides from the last row of the room where you will be presenting.
  • use appropriate colors: not too bright, high contrast, consistent. Remember that what looks good on your monitor does not necessarily look good on the big screen.
  • create contrast using font size, colors


  • rely on the program's Autosave feature.
  • put everything you present on the slides. Remember that slides are just a visual aid -- if you overload them, the audience will end up trying to read the slides and not paying attention to you.
  • use different colors / fonts on every single slide.
  • use bright background colors that will strain your audience's eyes
  • use too many animation effects! They are VERY distracting for the audience and make you look like a show-off. Use animation only to make a point and not to make your presentation more interesting (use content to do that!).