Reading Tests

Grade Weight: 40%
Due: As administered

Reading tests will be administered in order to ensure every play and every essay is read prior to the class in which discussion of that play and / or essay starts.

2 Short papers

Grade Weight: 15% each
Due: According to sign-up

Each student will be required to decide and sign up by Friday, September 15, for both of the two short essays they plan to write for this course. A sign up sheet will be circulated, and every play and every essay will be given approximately equal coverage by student authors, who must expect to be called on in class to lead discussion on the play and essay on which they have written.

Audience: The population of this class (i.e. people who have read what you've read for class, but not with as much attention)

Purpose: To amalgamate your reading of the play and the secondary essay in order to prepare you to lead class discussion. Think of the essay you read for class as the opening commentary in an ongoing conversation, and your own essay as a brief response to that opening.

Criteria: In grading your papers I will look for a clearly articulated central thesis that demonstrates you have read and considered (and hopefully understood) the essay associated with the play. You will be graded in the full expectation that you have taken the time to proofread your work so that what you submit is error free, coherent, and entirely comprehensible.

The Modern Language Association (MLA) has developed rules for the presentation of scholarly research in the Humanities. The purpose of these rules is to ensure scholars who read works written in conformance with MLA rules can conduct their own scholarly investigation into the sources that support the work being read, and to ensure immediate recognition of and distinction between a "Chapter Title" and a Book Title, or an "Article Title" and the name of the Journal within which the article appears. To engage in scholarly work in the humanities you need not know this meta-discourse intimately (I certainly don't), but you do need to know of it, to know that you must follow it, and therefore to know how to access it in order to make your work conform to it.

You are required to provide a list of references (a.k.a. a bibliography) you consulted as you prepared to write and wrote your paper. This list will conform to MLA rules.

Click here for an MLA Style and Citation guide.

A (hopefully unnecessary) word about Plagiarism:

Don't do it. The open and honest exchange of ideas is the coin of the academic realm. Anytime you offer someone else's ideas as your own you are as guilty of a serious offence as if you'd counterfeited dollar bills. Most academics, and I would certainly count myself among them, would consider plagiarism to be a much worse offence than the counterfeiting of mere money. So be warned: the wages of plagiarism can be academic death. The penalties far outweigh any potential benefit that might accrue from the act of plagiarizing, so just don't do it. Click here to read Acadia's Academic Calendar's section on plagiarism.

Class Contribution

Ask not what the class can do for you, ask what you can do for the class. When you are absent, or when you are silent, the rest of the class suffers the want of your insight. I expect people to come to class not because if they are absent they might miss something, but because if they are absent or if they decline to speak up the rest of the class misses an opportunity to hear a fresh perspective or a new idea.

Final Exam

The final exam (20%) will be comprehensive, and it will be developed out of classroom discussion. Thus, the best way to study for the final is to attend every class.