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Course Information. English 316, Course Code 13061. Tues./Thurs. 2:30-3:45 p.m., McCarthy Hall 617. Office hrs: Thurs. 5:00-6:00 in University Hall 329. e316-tr@ajdrake.com. From the Catalog: "A study of Shakespeare's major plays. Units (3). Prereq: English 101 or equivalent.'' English 316 is a required course for the Bachelor of Arts degree (and for a minor) in English, and it serves as a prerequisite for English 416, an advanced seminar in Shakespeare. I will use +/- grading.

Course Objectives. This course covers Shakespeare's selected Sonnets and a broad selection of his comedies, histories, tragedies, and romance plays from around 1593 to 1611, the consensus date for The Tempest, one of Shakespeare's later dramas. My goal is to offer students an effective introduction to some of the central themes and styles in Shakespeare's plays, with some attention given to the historical and cultural factors that inform them.

Major Study Units. The course will follow a roughly chronological order. While it's possible to structure a survey or major author course thematically and assign texts to groups based on certain unifying themes, my preference has long been to employ temporal succession as a more or less neutral principle of arrangement. In surveys and broadly-gauged major-author courses, I prefer to approach literary works without relying too heavily on teleological or exclusionary interpretive schemes. Such schemes, I find, tend to force a degree of continuity upon literary works that may actually prevent us from discovering what is most valuable about each one, taken individually. My preference is (insofar as possible) to establish connections freely as I proceed, not rigidly or far in advance.

Classroom Activities. Lecture, student presentations, and discussion when students pose questions or offer comments to me or to the entire class. I encourage such questions and comments -- thoughtful student participation immeasurably improves any course, broadening its scope and introducing a variety of opinion that wouldn't be available otherwise. A key point: my lectures improve significantly when students take an active part in the class: I remember to mention things I might have forgotten to say, and sometimes make connections I hadn't thought of. My tasks are to lecture concisely, to listen well, to ask good questions, and to help you find out more about the texts we study. Your tasks are to listen, respond, and develop your own ideas, your own "voice," as a reader of literary works. In humanities study, insightful interpretation and an ability to make interesting connections between one author or concept and another are central goals.

Evaluation Methods. A term paper; a journal requirement; in-class presentations based in part on prior discussion by email with the instructor, an in-class final exam. YOU CANNOT PASS THIS CLASS WITHOUT SUBSTANTIALLY COMPLETING ALL FOUR REQUIREMENTS. I will use +/- grading.

Attendance. Students should attend regularly. Missing an inordinate number of meetings (i.e. more than 20%) may become a factor in the final grade. Students are responsible for keeping up with missed sessions by listening to the audio files that become available within a few days of each session.

Exam, Alternate Scheduling. If you run into a scheduling problem, taking the final a day or two before its set date might be possible at our mutual convenience. Please inquire about this well before you make such a request.

Paper Rough Drafts. One-paragraph descriptions of projected paper required. Please read the term paper instructions carefully since they contain the prompt and advance draft comments. I reserve the right to require proof of the final paper's authenticity, such as notes or an early draft.

Paper Final Drafts. The default due date for final papers is the day of the final exam, although if possible (based on my schedule and when I must turn in grades) I will try to extend that deadline several days. Please send papers by email attachment; if you do so and do not receive confirmation within approximately three days, it is your responsibility to email me. IF YOU DON'T RECEIVE CONFIRMATION, I DID NOT RECEIVE YOUR WORK!

Presentations. Presentations are fairly informal, but students should approach them with a sense of intellectual responsibility. Presentations are as much for others as for oneself. I will judge presentations on the following grounds: did the student 1) Consult with me beforehand, as required, to discuss substantive ideas? 2) Seem to have put genuine effort into preparing? 3) Send me a written version by email afterwards so I can post it to the collective students' blog? I won't judge students on their "rhetorical" skills during the actual presentation: the grade for this component will be based on how seriously they approached the task beforehand, and whether they followed up afterwards with a written version as required.

Journals. I will not mark journal sets down unless they are late, incomplete, or so brief as to suggest evasion of intellectual labor. They should consist of honest responses to the assigned readings, not "yes-or-no" style answers or quotation without further comment.

Plagiarism. Cheating on papers and tests will result in an "F" for the course. In severe or repeated cases, plagiarism can lead to suspension or even expulsion. Many problems are caused not so much by dishonesty as by a lack of experience in consulting and incorporating sources, so please read the writing guides (see "Resources" in your course menu, and click on "Guides") on citing texts and "Plagiphrasing." Please note that plagiarism isn't simply a matter of wicked intentions -- grades can be badly affected by a simple failure to handle sources responsibly.

Source Work. It is acceptable to consult legitimate sources (scholarly articles and books) while developing your paper, and if you are a graduate student you should engage with some secondary material. But if you are an undergraduate, the most important thing is to study your chosen primary texts patiently. Relying heavily on commercial notes (even good ones) may hinder this process. Other people's ideas are valuable only if you manage to make them your own in an honest way; if you do little more than repeat them under the guise of informing your audience (i.e. if you give a "book report" rather than offering a genuine analysis based mostly on your own insights), you haven't accomplished much with regard to your own education. Check your school library's online portal for article databases. Project Muse and JSTOR are among the best for humanities work. They not only list scholarly essays but, most often, even allow you to download them as HTML or PDF files. Chapman's portal is Chapman Library, and CSU Fullerton's (unless you use "My Fullerton") is CSUF Library.


Created by admin. Last Modification: Friday 22 July, 2011 01:30:07 PM PDT by admin_main.

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