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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: August ::
Re: Syllabi and Papers
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 511.  Friday, 27 August 1993.
 
From:           Douglas Lanier <
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Date:           Thursday, 26 Aug 1993 16:04:29 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 4.0501  Q: Syllabi and Papers
Comment:        RE: SHK 4.0501  Q: Syllabi and Papers
 
I typically teach nine plays in a semester for the introductory Shakespeare
course.  Any more and there seems no time for any discussion or classroom
activity; any less and the students don't get a sufficient taste.  For essays,
I typically assign three sorts:  for each play, at least two short writing
assignments on passages or a range of tightly chosen topics (these are no more
than a paragraph long, ask for explication or some sort of interpretive
conclusion, and serve as discussion starters;  I grade them with a check, a
check minus or a check plus); a four page essay for each group of three plays,
on various topics or issues that I assign (this is given as a take-home
mid-term); and a final research project of eight pages or more.  Students can
in the last case opt out for a performance project as a substitute for the
research paper (I've also approved set or costume designs, illustrations for
plays, even storyboard shooting scripts for film versions a student has
conceived).  One caution:  with the "creative" projects, I always require a
two-page paper suggesting in detail the concept behind the project.  That way,
if the student forgets her lines or isn't the draftsman he thought he was, you
can still judge the general merit of the project.  Usually about a third of the
class takes the "creative project" option, and it makes for a wonderful last
day of class as the students present their creative work.
 
I hope that this is useful.
Bet, Douglas Lanier, University of New Hampshire
 

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