Presentation Projects

Geography is the study of all aspects of the world—not only its physical features, but the people who live in the world, and their interactions with the world and with each other.  Because this is an honours course, you will have the opportunity to learn about some aspects of the world around us on your own, and to tell the class about them.  You will choose a topic to research (to be approved by Mr Sayers), and present the results of your research (with the help of a visual aid) to the class.  Each presentation will be a major grade, approximately equal to a test grade.

No more than two students may present on the same day, so presentations will be spread out throughout the year.  You will sign up for one day before Fall or Spring Break and one day after it, and research a topic related to the part of the world we are studying that week.

Your oral presentation will last between three and ten minutes.  You will use one or more visual or other aids to help the class learn about your topic.  These can be posters, music, videos, food (talk with Mr Sayers about this first), or anything else that you think will make your presentation interesting and memorable.  You will also turn in a list of references to Mr Sayers showing where you got your information.

You must have at least four sources of information.  The internet only counts as one source (although you should mention every web site that you use).  The sources should be given in bibliographic form.  If you do not list your sources properly, your work may be considered plagiarism.

Your presentation will be scored in five areas, each worth 0-20 points, for a total of 100:
1.    The quality of your presentation (speaking clearly and distinctly, being engaging and             interesting, keeping the class’s interest)
2.    The quality of your information (accurate and detailed information)
3.    The quality of your visual or other aid (how well it is made, how good it looks)
4.    How well the aid is integrated into your presentation (the aid should illustrate the things         you are talking about, and you should refer to it during your presentation)
5.    Your reference list (the right number and type of sources in the right format

Sample Bibliographic Forms

Other examples may be found on the internet and in style guides in the library.  One good web site for citing references in MLA style is http://library.uww.edu/GUIDES/MLACITE.htm by the University of Wisconsin.

Books with one author:

Ellis, Joseph J.  Founding Brothers:  The Revolutionary Generation.  New York:  Vintage, 2002.

Reprinted books:

Ramsey, J.G.M.  The Annals of Tennessee to the End of the Eighteenth Century Comprising its Settlement, as The Watauga Association from 1769 to 1777; a Part of North Carolina, from 1777 to 1874; the State of Franklin, from 1774 to 1788; a Part of North Carolina, from 1788 to 1790; The Territory of the United States South of the River Ohio, from 1790 to 1796; The State of Tennessee, from 1796 to 1800.  Johnson City:  The Overmountain Press, 1999.  Original printing, Charleston:  Walker and Jones, 1853.

Books with one author in multiple volumes:

Roosevelt, Theodore.  The Winning of the West, Volume III.   New York:  The Knickerbocker Press, 1894.

Books with multiple authors:

Bailey, Thomas A., David M. Kennedy, and Lizabeth Cohen.  The American Pageant, 12th edition.  New York:  Hougton-Mifflin Company, 2002.

Books with editors:

Rossiter, Charles, ed.  The Federalist Papers.  New York:  Mentor, 1999.

Books with editors in multiple volumes:

Smith, Paul H., ed.  Letters of Delegates to Congress, Volume XXI.  Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1994.

Signed articles in encyclopedias:

Le Patourel, John. "Normans and Normandy." Dictionary of the Middle Ages. Ed. Joseph R. Strayer. 13 vols. New York: Scribner's, 1987.

Unsigned article in a well-known encyclopedia:

"Tennessee." The Encyclopedia Americana. 1994 ed.

Journal articles:

McBride, Robert M.  "Lost Counties of Tennessee."  East Tennessee Historical Society's Publications 51 (1979):  138-150.


Papers of the Continental Congress, M247, r107, i81, v2.  Washington:  National Archives.


“Cherokee Seven Clans.”  Western Cherokee Official Site.  2003.  http://www.westerncherokeenation.org/history_and_culture/seven-clans.shtml (2 Mar. 2005).

Presentation Projects Research Topics

    You may create your own topic to research, or you may choose one of the topics suggested below.  Only one student may work on each topic, and all topics must be approved by Mr Sayers, who will keep a list of who is doing what.

USA and Canada

Frederick Jackson Turner’s Frontier Thesis
The First Nations (American Indians) of Canada
Any American Indian tribe in the United States
The Electoral College
The history and economy of any US state of Canadian Province
The influence of the United States on the rest of the world
Archaeology in North America
NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)
Lewis and Clark’s expedition of discovery
The California Gold Rush
The Canadian Gold Rush
Any national park in the USA or Canada
The Appalachian Trail
TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority)
The counties of Tennessee

Latin America

The history, economics, and culture of any nation in the region
The Aztecs
The Incas
The Maya
The discovery of the New World
A modern American Indian tribe in South America (like the Yanamamo)
Simon Bolivar’s revolutions
The favellas of Brazil
The Falkland Islands War
The Organization of American States
The South American drug trade
Communist revolutions in Latin America
The rain forests

The history, economics, and culture of any European Country
Napoleon’s influence on Europe
Separatist movements (Southern Italy, the Basque Country, British devolution of Wales and Scotland, the Irish Republican Army)
The Dayton Peace Accords
The Spanish reconquista
The expansion of the European Union
The EU Constitution
The Berlin Wall
The Iron Curtain
Europe’s influence on the world
The Austro-Hungarian Empire
NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)
Population trends in Europe (is Europe dying?)
The Protestant Reformation


The Czars of Russia
The Communist Revolution
The Expansion of the Russian Empire
The Cold War
The Fall of the Soviet Union
The Russian Orthodox Church
The Trans-Siberian Railway
The Tunguska asteroid impact


The Middle East

The history, economics, and culture of any nation in the region
The rise and spread of Islam
Islamic beliefs and practises
Zionism and the creation of Israel
Middle Eastern forms of Christianity (Maronite Christians, Coptic Christians)
The Armenian genocide
The Ottoman Empire
The Barbary Wars
Oil in the Middle East
OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries)


The history, economics, and culture of any nation in the region
The colonisation of Africa
Decolonisation of Africa
Conflict diamonds
The Rwanda and Burundi genocides
Apartheid in South Africa
Robert Mugabe in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe
An African tribe or people (Zulu, Khosa, Khoi, San, etc.)
Afrikaaners in South Africa
The Sahara Desert
Wildlife of Africa
African heritage revivals in Africa and the United States


The history, economics, and culture of any nation in the region
Mao Tse-tung and the Communist Revolution in China
The Tiananmen Square Massacre
The Vietnam War
Pol Pot and the Cambodian Revolution
Colonialism in Asia
The Japanese invasion of China in the 1930s
The atomic bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima
Japanese influence on American culture
The “Asian Tigers” (economic growth of Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan)
Nuclear weapons in Asia today
Wildlife of Asia

Australia, Oceania, and Antarctica

The history, economics, and culture of any nation in the region
Other wildlife of the area
Australia’s Aborigines
New Zealand’s Maoris
Captain Cook’s exploration of the Pacific
Journeys to the South Pole
Sheep ranching
Aboriginal art
The Relationship between Queen Elizabeth and her Commonwealth Realms

This page last updated 5 August, 2007.