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Writing Rome : Site reports
Introduction Objectives Reporters Guidelines Grading

In Writing Rome, students will deliver the 15–20 minute site reports that they researched and wrote for Reading Rome. These reports are the backbone of our itinerary and have dictated the number and order of our excursions.

Although you ought to be very well prepared to hold forth on your site or monument, you will still need to plan ahead to make sure your report suits the realities of being on location. This means visiting your site and practicing your report several times in order to make the most of this opportunity.

This page details the objectives, order, and guidelines for the site reports.


The reports are intended to

— provide an opportunity for independent research;

— cultivate public speaking skills;

— shape our itinerary while in Rome; and

— foster peer-to-peer teaching and learning.


(See our Itinerary for more precise daily schedules.)

Mentor: Curley

  • Bourikas: Mausoleum of Augustus (May 23)
  • Chantzi: Columns of Trajan (May 19) & M. Aurelius (May 23)
  • Cruz: Via Appia Antica (May 29)
  • Dubrow: Horologium of Augustus (May 23)
  • Hocker: Ara Pacis (May 23)
  • Kirk: Porta Maggiore and the Baker's Tomb (May 25)
  • Kohlhagen: Arch of Constantine (May 20)
  • O'Toole: Curia Senatus (May 21)
  • Stack: Protestant Cemetery & Pyramid of C. Cestius (May 30)
  • St. Dennis: Temple of Vesta and Vestals' House (May 21)
  • Stone: Area Sacra di Largo Argentina (May 24)

Mentor: Spinner

  • Annunziato: Monument to V. Emanuele II (May 19)
  • Chenoweth: Basilica of S. Clemente (May 20)
  • Donovan, A: Piazza Navona (May 24)
  • Donovan, S: Talking Statues of Rome (May 22, 23, 24)
  • Farrington: Basilica of S. Maria in Aracoeli (May 19)
  • Griffin: Piazza del Popolo (May 23)
  • Menezes: Tiber Island (May 28)
  • Santos: Piazza Campo de' Fiori (May 24)
  • Sater: Piazza San Pietro (May 27)
  • Toro: Piazza di Spagna/Spanish Steps (May 23)
  • Wang: Basilica of S. Sabina (May 28)

Your report is the culmination of a semester's worth of careful research, reading, note-taking, and consultation with your faculty mentor.

That said, some work in the field will be necessary before you deliver your report. Please observe the following guidelines to maximize your chances for success.

PREPARATION. Visit your site(s) in Rome as soon as you are able and walk around the space(s). Identify the details you hope to present and think about the logistics of presenting them. Where will you stand with respect to the site and your peers? How will you ensure that they see what you want them to see?

Some physical movement, whether on your part and/or on the group's part, is inevitable — and probably desirable — during your report. If your site covers a lot of ground in the literal sense, you should plan out the movements from point to point. Do note that such migrations, however instructive they prove to be, will not count toward your talking time of 15–20 minutes.

PRACTICE. Along with your logistical preparation, you should rehearse your report(s) at the site(s) out loud, as many times as you can. Rehearsal will re-familiarize you with your own narrative and make your talking points easier to negotiate. In addition, on-site rehearsal will help you tailor your talking points to the space.

Remember that an engaging presentation has a consistent and lively delivery. Consistency means that you have a sense of where your presentation is going and that you are delivering the material with confidence throughout. Liveliness comes from speaking with expression, making eye contact, asking questions, but not reading your talking points verbatim.


Reports will be evaluated in terms of content, form, and delivery.

  • Content will be assessed based on your overall knowledge of your topic and your use of secondary sources;

  • Form (or format) will be assessed based on the organization of your report in relation to the space, and on your success in telling the story behind your topic.

  • Delivery will be assessed based on the quality of your speaking, engagement of your audience, and your ability to answer questions.

All three members of the instruction team will listen to your report and rate aspects of its content, form, and delivery on a scale of 0 to 4. Of these three areas, content is the most important and will be worth twice as much as form and delivery. The maximum score is 48 points.

The evaluation form is available here; please review it well in advance of your preparations so you are aware of the criteria by which your report will be evaluated. As always, we invite your questions and comments.

Following your report, the instruction team will meet to discuss your scores. Although the peer mentor's evaluation will be considered, only the scores of the two professors will count toward your report grade. Once your report has been graded, you will meet with your mentor to receive your grade and feedback.

© MMXV Skidmore College Classics Department