How to Prepare a Presentation in Literature: Boost Creativity but Rely on Science

Writing guide
Posted on January 28, 2020

If mathematics is the queen of all sciences, then literature is definitely the love of a lifetime for all students of humanities. And already this fact will significantly speed up the task of creating a presentation on literature. Right now, there is a complete guide in front of you that will help to cope with this task even for those who have more mathematical than creative abilities.

How to Prepare a Presentation in Literature: The Correct Algorithm of Actions

Below we have described how to properly distribute your time and organize your work in such a way that this task becomes a fascinating and calm scientific research, and not a source of stress and tension.

Set the Correct Time Frame

Most likely, you have already seen from personal experience that putting off homework at the last moment is a bad idea. This is a direct way to get in a bad sense a magical but sleepless night, impaired concentration and productivity, a sense of rush that only harms the quality, plus an inability to think soberly the next day.

When you need to prepare a presentation, this is especially true. A presentation is not a movie review of a 500-word text, which is quite realistic to write overnight, especially if you watched the movie. It will be a long work consisting of several stages. Therefore, we recommend allocating time this way.

  • Two hours to get to know the topic. If you need to choose a theme yourself, then add another two hours to search.
  • Three-four hours to search for scientific literature and extract key ideas.
  • An hour to develop a thesis.

The next day:

  • Two hours to find arguments and evidence.
  • An hour to plan.
  • Two hours to write a presentation text
  • Three hours to create slides
  • Two hours to rehearse the text of the speech

Plus, it is advisable to leave at least one day in reserve so that you can take a break from this work, be able to look at the result with a fresh look, plus make changes if the insight comes to you at the last moment.

Choose a Topic

So, it all starts with a topic selection. Two options will be available here. Either your teacher will independently distribute the topics between the students, or you will have the opportunity to choose. Both approaches have their advantages.

  • In the first case, you can immediately start searching for scientific materials and not waste time developing a personal topic. But of course, the circle of your searches will be significantly limited by the given framework.
  • In the second case, you get more freedom, and at the same time more responsibility. You can find that area of literary research that is close in spirit to you but remember that the responsibility for choosing an interesting and accessible way to research and understand the topic is entirely yours.

But in any of the options, it’s still really possible to cope with a presentation on literature.

  • If you received a predefined topic, make sure that you understand it correctly so that at some point you do not have to start the study again.
  • If you choose a topic yourself, make sure that you can find enough scientific material, plus you can present this topic in a way that is beneficial to you.

A Short List of Relevant Topics

Well, if you really don’t know where to start, here are a few topics that are definitely suitable. And in any case, you will be able to customize them a little, so that they correspond as much as possible to the studied section of the literature, plus they give you interesting opportunities for research.

  • The Influence of Jewelry on The Fate of Literary Heroes;
  • The Fantasy World in Modern Literature;
  • The Development of the Dystopian Genre in the Literature of The Twentieth Century;
  • The Role of Dreams in Literary Works;
  • Television, Literature and Social Networks: What Will Be Stronger?

Search for Scientific Materials

So, any research, including literature, begins with a search for suitable scientific articles which you will rely on in the course of your presentation. Of course, the specifics of the materials will depend on your topic. Sometimes it happens that one literary work that you are considering is enough, while other topics require a strong scientific reinforcement.
The universal rule is as follows: do not use obsolete research. Although the literature is eternal, science does not stand still. Or use the thoughts of previous scientific generations to compare with current scientific results.

Try to immediately grasp the main idea of the author of each scientific article, and even better write it down. This will help you to formulate your thesis and plan.

Thesis Development

If you followed the previous advice and wrote down the main ideas of all the researchers whose work you looked at, then it would not be difficult to write a thesis. But try to come up with something individual. Compare different ideas, find common and different features.

And remember that your thesis statement should be capacious, not contain more than two sentences, and it should give room for argument.

Justification of the Thesis

Since literature is science and art in one package, it is obvious that you can use the most winning combination to substantiate your thesis. So, you can use personal and scientific evidence. The top of skill is to give personal proof and back it up with science.

  • Personal evidence. There are times when you will need to tell your personal opinion and justify it in a presentation. Here you can calmly reveal your creativity and share your personal thoughts. Literature is impossible without personal reflection, otherwise, it loses its original meaning. Therefore, do not be afraid to back up your thesis with your own examples from life, history, other art forms, personal emotions, and perceptions – all this has a right to exist.
  • Scientific evidence. But even this is impossible to forget about scientific evidence. For example, if you are analyzing a certain literary genre, you are looking for its strengths and weaknesses, then here it will be more reasonable to build on scientific materials, and only then voice your opinion if necessary.

Presentation Planning

Everything is simple here. If you ever wrote an essay, then you can immediately catch the point.

  • Introduction. In the best literary tradition, your introduction should be catchy, interesting and intriguing. You can pick up some interesting facts, quote, or intrigue readers with an unfinished thought. Just be so kind as to finish it during your presentation.
  • Main part. The main part of the presentation is compiled according to the rules for writing paragraphs in an essay. At the same time, you can write down the argument short enough but justify it more extensively already in the process of speaking.
  • Conclusion. The conclusion is necessary to systematize all thoughts. For example, you can make a small list of ideas that you discussed and combine them into one logical finding.

Visual Presentation Design

Now, after you have thought through the structure, developed the thesis and gathered evidence, it’s time to move on to the visual design of your work. Here are some rules:

  • The first slide should contain the name of your topic.
  • The second slide should contain a quote or intrigue, as we have already said, plus a brief statement of the thesis.
  • Each subsequent slide should contain the rationale for each argument. Here, try to follow the rule of paragraphs when writing an essay. Just as one paragraph should contain one complete thought, so each slide should contain one key idea.
  • Create separate slides with illustrations, if necessary. For example, if you analyze a book and a film taken based on its motives, then screenshots from the film may be appropriate.
  • The final slide necessarily contains a list of references. However, academic rules have not been repealed.

How to Find a Balance Between Science and Creativity

And yet, since literature is primarily art and creativity, and only then science, it is impossible to study this subject without the use of creative abilities and without the involvement of one’s personal life experience.
And if in the case of anthropology, for example, everything depends on science, then in the case with a presentation on literature, creative and personal initiatives are welcomed. But here, too, you need to maintain a reasonable balance. The academic rules are such that you will have to reinforce every creative impulse of your personality with scientific justification. Here’s how to do it.

  • You can develop your own unique thesis, and break it down into arguments that you will prove. This is the creative part.
  • Evidence is the scientific part of the work. Now for each of your arguments, you need to find a corresponding example from science (not necessarily literary science), history, works of art, even politics or economics.

This is the case when literature comes into reality. You can analyze literary heroes and transfer them to modern conditions, you can analyze modern literary trends and transfer them to the plane of ancient Greek literature. This is the case when creativity and science work in conjunction, creating more and more creative ideas and approaches.

The Most Important Stage – Rehearsal Before the Speech

Now we finally got to the main task and to the deepest essence of the presentation – you need to present it. A presentation is not just about collecting scientific material, not just about forming a thesis, your vision, and its justification, and not even about visualizing the result. It is also about the ability to convey your thoughts to the target audience, reinforcing each of your words with an appropriate slide.

Therefore, in the end, you get as many as three papers that will help you – this is a draft plan of your presentation, which we used to fill the slides, the slides themselves, and the text of your speech.

Obviously, it would be wrong to just go to the pulpit, turn on the projector and read everything from the slides. This is what your audience will do without your help. And you need to compose the text of your speech. But fortunately, this will be easy to do.

Go back to your plan again and open the slides. Now imagine that right now you need to tell everything in such a way as if the audience does not see the slides, but only hears your speech. And start writing down your thoughts. If you start your presentation with a quote, then you can start like this.

Scientist X said XYZ. This phrase most accurately conveys the essence of my literary research. It is devoted to topic Y, and the key problem of literary science within the framework of this topic is …
I conducted a study of available resources and concluded that …

Next, you move on to your argument, reinforcing each of your evidence with an appropriate slide.

When working on the text of your speech, try to write as you speak. You should not complicate your speech with long constructions and complex terms, at least in situations where it is possible to do without it. Your speech should sound like an interesting story, which will lead the audience along a logical chain, and they will pay attention to the slides in order to maximize the visualization of your story.


So, as you see, everything is not as difficult as it might seem to you before starting work. Presentation is an invaluable experience that allows you to develop research, writing, visualization and public speaking skills at the same time. Therefore, do not ignore this task, but rather, give yourself a chance to get such a cool arsenal of skills in one action.

Upgrade your essays with these FREE writing tools!
Get started now