English 339: Introduction to Shakespeare
Syllabus, Winter, 2020

Head of Shakespeare
              (engraving)Class Meetings: T/Th 7-9 AM (ENGL 339-01) and T/R 9-11 AM (ENGL 339-02) in 2-13
Office: 47-35G, tel. 756-2636 (email me rather than leaving a voicemail; I am not usually in my office outside my T 12-1 office hour)
Office Hours: T 12:10-1:00 PM in 47-35G; Th 11:10 AM - noon in 2-13; F 10:10 AM - noon in 2-13; and by appt.

Woman Reader (engraving)Dr. Debora B. Schwartz 
e-mail: dschwart@calpoly.edu
Main ENGL Dept. Office: 756-2597

pointing finger graphicSite Navigation

Calendar of Assignments.  PLEASE NOTE that the on-line calendar (not any print-out you may make) is authoritative.  Assignments may be modified in the course of the quarter.  Check the on-line syllabus regularly (before each class) to ensure that you are completing the correct assignment.  It is accessible at http://cola.calpoly.edu/~dschwart/engl339/339syllw20.html

Course Information:

Study Guides and Plot Summaries: Video Assignments:
Online Readings: Renaissance Web Resources: Shakespeare Web Resources:

Shakespeare portaitPREREQUISITES: GE area A (esp. expository writing, e.g. ENGL 134, and reasoning, argumentation and writing, e.g. ENGL 145); AND GE area C1 (ideally a 200-level literature class, e.g. ENGL 230 or 231 or 251 or 252 or 253).  Students enrolled in this class are expected to have the basic writing, argumentation and analytic skills taught in the Prerequisite classes and to have prior experience in reading and analyzing literature at the 200-level.

A WRITING-INTENSIVE, G.E. AREA C4 CLASS.  As a writing-intensive class, ENGL 339 requires a minimum of 3000 words of writing over the course of the quarter, and at least 50% of the course grade must be based on writing assignments.  As a G.E. area C4 class, it provides historical perspective on a significant literary period; covers a range of literary genres and conventions; helps you understand both individual works and their relationship to the social, cultural, and historical context in which they were written, including attention to relevant issues of gender and diversity; and aims to foster an appreciation of the connections between literary works and non-verbal forms such as the visual and/or performing arts.  Course readings, lectures and writing assignments aim to help you develop the skills necessary to read with insight, engagement, and detachment; to analyze and evaluate works from cultures which are unfamiliar to you; and to write clear, effective textual analysis that is firmly grounded in close reading of literary texts.

GWR:  As a C4 literature class, ENGL 339 may be taken by students wishing to fulfill the Graduate Writing Requirement (GWR).  However, please be aware that successful completion of the course does not guarantee GWR certification.  To achieve GWR certification, you must 1) have junior or senior standing; 2) pass the class with a grade of "C" or better (a C- is not adequate); and 3) write a GWR-certifiable essay on the essay portion of either the midterm or the final exam.  A GWR-certifiable essay must conform to the standards for formal analytic writing about literature:  a valid argument (appropriate and adequate content), logical organization, appropriate and adequate textual support, and reasonably correct mechanics and style (grammar, spelling, sentence structure, punctuation, etc.)  See Tips for Writing a GWR-Certifiable Essay; consult the formerly used Paper Writing Guidelines and Essay Evaluation Sheet if you are unsure about the conventions of formal analytic writing about literature.


ENGL 339 is designed to introduce both General Education students and students with a more specific academic interest (e.g. English or Theatre majors and minors) to representative plays of all genres by William Shakespeare, perhaps the finest poet ever to write in English.  ENGL 339 aims to encourage YOUR interaction with and enjoyment of Shakespeare's plays. The primary emphasis is on the interpretation of the text, not historical background or scholarly debate, but some familiarity with the historical context is essential to an understanding of the plays -- so historical and cultural context will be covered in online background readings, in lectures, and on exams.  By the end of the course, you should:

  • know basic biographical facts about Shakespeare, including dates of major milestones in Shakespeare's life and composition and publication dates of the five plays read in class.
  • understand attitudes toward the theater and common theatrical practices during the Renaissance and early seventeenth century.
  • be familiar with terminology relevant to the plays read in class. This terminology includes but is not limited to genres (comedy, history, tragedy, revenge tragedy, tragi-comedy, romance); types of language (prose, rhymed verse, blank verse, capping couplets); dramatic structure (rising action, falling action, turning point, subplots, foils, etc.); publication practices (quartos, First Folio, "foul" papers, copyright, base text, etc.).
  • have a basic understanding of the interpretive processes involved in the production of a Shakespearean play, and be able to scrutinize such a production critically, based upon your informed understanding of the text.
  • feel confident of your ability to read and enjoy a play by Shakespeare on your own!
  • While there will be some lectures, particularly early in the quarter, class will typically be discussion-based, using questions from the online Study Guides and/or raised by the instructor to explore important themes, characterization, and developments in the plays.  PLEASE NOTE:  My role is not to impose a specific interpretation, but to help students open up the text, to model how to anchor interpretive analysis in textual evidence, and to push students to back up their ideas with well chosen textual support.  While there is no single "right" interpretation of a Shakespeare play, an interpretation can be wrong -- if it is based upon a misunderstanding of the text (or its contexts) or if it cannot be supported by textual evidence.  

    First Folio photoREQUIRED TEXTS:  The SIGNET CLASSICS editions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Henry V, Macbeth, Hamlet, and The Tempest.  Do NOT substitute another edition! During class discussions, we will refer to page and line numbers in these editions; there are required background reading assignments in these editions; the text of passages on Reading Quizzes and Exams will be taken from from these editions; and you are required to cite the text as printed in these editions in your written work. ALWAYS BRING THE TEXTBOOK WITH YOU TO CLASS MEETINGS!
    NOTE: As You Like It has been dropped from this class because of reduced class meetings due to university holidays, but I highly recommend this gender-bending pastoral comedy.
    Other required readings will be accessed electronically:  Online Readings are found in .HTML files accessible through links on this website and E-reserve readings in the form of .PDF files on "electronic reserve" in PolyLearn.  Please note that you must have access to ALL required electronically accessed readings in class; ideally, they should be PRINTED OUT, PLACED IN A COURSE BINDER, AND BROUGHT WITH YOU TO CLASS.

    FILM SCREENINGS / PERFORMANCES: Shakespeare's plays were written to be performed -- they were originally seen, not read. Because there was no such thing as "copyright" in the sixteenth century, playwrights kept their plays from publication to protect themselves (and their acting troupes) from unauthorized productions. Thus, the written text was not "sacred," as it seems to us today; variations and changes occurred from production to production and from performance to performance. Also, keep in mind that ANY production of a play -- in Shakespeare's time or in our own -- is an interpretation of the text. We will pay close attention to this interpretive layer through the analysis of selected performances (video screenings) and by performing scenes and speeches from the plays. 

    FILMS: You are strongly encouraged to watch filmed versions of the plays read in this class. Some DVDs from the library's collections have been placed on reserve for ENGL 339 at the Kennedy Library Circulation Desk; additionally, the BBC Shakespeare Series can be streamed through the Library Website (Cal Poly Log-In required).

    Three SPECIFIC film productions are REQUIRED viewing for the class: the film adapted from the Video Analysis Assignment, ENGL 339 1996 Royal Shakespeare Company stage version of A Midsummer Night's Dream (directed by Adrian Noble) and Laurence Olivier's classic film versions of Henry V (1944) and Hamlet (1948). There will be at least two scheduled group screenings (outside of class) for each required film (details TBA), or you can see them on your own time.  Copies of each of these required videos are on Reserve for ENGL 339 in the Kennedy Library. For each REQUIRED video, you must submit a video worksheet electronically to your Polylearn Discussion Group and bring hard copy to the class meeting devoted to video discussion.  Your three video worksheets will not receive a letter grade, but they should be completed with care as the information they ask you to compile is covered on the midterm and final exams.  Video worksheets factor into the Participation, Intellectual Engagement and Collaboration component of your final course grade:  each Video Worksheet that is NOT posted to your Discussion Group counts as an Unexcused Absence.

    -- Renaissance actors (engraving)STUDENT PERFORMANCES: the last week of class, each student will present a group scene or a monologue from a play read in class. The text should be memorized and acted with as much dramatic flair as you can muster (costumes and props are encouraged but not required). Scenes and monologues should be chosen carefully to illustrate key issues in the work; the significance of the scene must be briefly explained prior to the presentation. This REQUIRED oral exercise will be graded pass/fail. Quality of the performance (and of the memorization) will be recorded only as a plus or minus used to decide borderline grades. However, failure to present a scene or monologue will result in a zero as half of your Participation, Intellectual Engagement and Collaboration grade (i.e., 10% of your final course grade = 0, making it impossible for you to earn an A in the class).  You may not present a scene or monologue that has already been claimed by another student.  As specific speeches and scenes are claimed (first come, first served!), I will post the list in the Announcements section of Polylearn.

    For some ideas on what scene or speech to choose, follow these links for lists of speeches/scenes performed in past quarters:  W17 ENGL 339-01 Performances; W17 ENGL 339-02 Performances; W16 ENGL 339-01 Performances; W16 ENGL 339-02 Performances; F13 ENGL 339-01 Performances; F13 ENGL 339-02 Performances, F13; W12 ENGL 339 Performances.

    NOTE:  Yes, seeing Shakespeare performed well is fun, but remember that performances / screenings are NOT 1) a substitute for reading the plays or 2) a free-ride that gets you out of doing "real" work.  You will be expected to ANALYZE and INTERPRET required performances with a critical eye and to fill out and post a Video Analysis Worksheet for each required video in your PolyLearn Discussion Group.  To do this assignment, you will need to note specific details from the production that reveal the textual interpretation behind it and to identify important textual passages upon which this interpretation is founded.  Remember that your opinions must always be justified textually -- based not upon whim but upon your solid knowledge of the play and informed interpretation of its meaning. Note: A SECTION ON THE REQUIRED VIDEOS WILL BE INCLUDED ON THE MIDTERM AND FINAL EXAMS!!

    Queen Elizabeth portraitCLASS EMAIL ALIAS:  Important announcements concerning this class will be sent over the class email alias.  The class email alias is automatically generated using the email address found in the Cal Poly Directory server for each enrolled student. If your Cal Poly email account is NOT your preferred email address, you must

    Remember: you are responsible for any information sent over the class email alias (e.g. changes in assignments; other class-related announcements), so be sure to check your email regularly.


    King James I and
        Queen Ann engravingParticipation, Intellectual Engagement, and Collaboration together count for 20% of your final course grade. 

    YOUR active participation is essential to the success of ENGL 339!  For these reasons . . .

    Participation 1: Attendance Policy.  Due to the twice-weekly class meetings, any absence causes you to miss a substantial chunk of material. Regular and punctual attendance is required.  Please note that EVERY absence will affect the 20% of your course grade that is based on Participation, Intellectual Engagement, and Collaboration. 

    Each student starts out with a 4.0 (A) for Participation, Intellectual Engagement and Collaboration.  This component of your final grade drops by .1 for the first EXCUSED absence (4.0 to 3.9) and .2 for the second excused absence (3.9 to 3.7). Additionally, it drops .3 for the first UNEXCUSED absence; the Unexcused Absence penalty increases by .1 for each subsequent unexcused absence (from .3 to .4 to .5, etc.).   Please note that excused absences in excess of two (a full week, 10% of the class) count the same as unexcused absences.

    Please note that only absences due to illness, family crisis, or circumstances which are truly beyond your control count as excused.  Deadlines for other courses, work conflicts, and job interviews are NOT valid reasons for missing class.  FOR AN ABSENCE TO BE EXCUSED, YOU MUST NOTIFY ME IN WRITING (email preferred).  On the subject line, put your class section (ENGL 339-01 -- I teach more than one class!), the word absence, and the day and date when you missed class (for example, "339-01 absence T 4/3/18").  Please repeat that information in the body of your email and provide a full explanation of the circumstances leading to your absence.  (I must understand why you needed to miss class in order to evaluate whether your absence qualifies as excused.)

    Please note: work conflicts and job interviews are NOT valid reasons for missing class; you are responsible for keeping work commitments from conflicting with academic ones.  Exception:  if you are a graduating senior and must travel out of town for a final interview, ONE such absence will count as excused.  Please do not schedule local interviews or other appointments during class hours.

    Participation 2: Online Conversations; Engagement with the Texts and with Each Other.  Attendance is not the sole measure of your participation; I am also interested in your intellectual engagement with the material and your willingness to collaborate with your peers as demonstrated by regular participation in class discussion, an online PolyLearn Discussion Group and through peer-editing of written assignments. 

    While I notice and appreciate active participation in class discussions, I don't like to penalize students who are less comfortable speaking up in class.  I therefore measure Intellectual Engagement and Collaboration primarily based on out-of-class participation in your assigned Discussion Group Forum, to which you will submit 5 (ungraded) Mini-Essays (MEs), 10 (ungraded) Classmate Responses, and a series of three (ungraded) film analysis worksheets.  While these assignments are not graded as Written Work, each ungraded assignment that is not submitted to the Discussion Group Forum counts as an Unexcused Absence and will negatively impact the 20% of your course grade that is based on Participation, Intellectual Engagement, and Collaboration.

    You will be assigned to a PolyLearn discussion group of 6-8 students to which you will post a series of five short (2-pg.) Mini-Essays (=MEs).  Each time a mini-essay ("ME") is assigned, you are expected to read the postings of the other members of your discussion group and to post a thoughtful response of one-two paragraphs to TWO of their ME postings. These Classmate Responses (=CRs) must include additional textual evidence from the Shakespeare play under discussion (other than the passages quoted in the ME to which you are responding).  Discussion group postings (both MEs and CRs) will be graded pass/fail only, but they will be factored along with Attendance into the 20% Participation, Intellectual Engagement and Collaboration component of your final course grade.  EACH MISSING DISCUSSION BOARD POSTING WILL COUNT AS AN UNEXCUSED ABSENCE

    COME TO CLASS ON TIME AND PREPARED!! Readings are to be completed before class on the date assigned. Reading Quizzes PRECEDE discussion of the play on the first day for which the full text is assigned (see Calendar). You are expected as a matter of course to read the "Textual Note" and "Note on the Source(s)" following each play in the required Signet Classics edition, as well as all assigned online or e-reserve readings (.PDF files accessible through PolyLearn). Ideally, background material should be read BEFORE reading the play, but if you are short on time, read the plot synopsis and the text of the PLAY first (by quiz day, using the relevant Study Guide and Plot Summary as reading aids) and complete the background readings ASAP thereafter (before the last class meeting on that play).

    Shakespeare Portrait engravingONLINE STUDY GUIDES and PLOT SUMMARIES are provided to facilitate reading the plays. USE THEM! Familiarize yourself with study questions before you begin to read, and refer to guides as you go, noting relevant passages. After completing the play, I recommend that you reread the questions and write up a summary of your ideas. (This summary is FOR YOU. It will not be collected or graded, but you may be asked to share responses in class.) You are not expected to read the Introductions in your textbook, although you may well find them interesting and useful.  But it IS important that you consult the notes in the text itself; they will provide guidance on points that might otherwise be hard to understand.

    Remember: THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR READING THE PLAYS!! You will NOT pass this course by watching videos, reading Cliff  or Spark Notes, or merely by knowing "what happens." Plot synopses are assigned reading tools for each play, so you are ASSUMED to know "what happens" even before you begin to read the text. Plot alone will NOT be sufficient to pass reading quizzes.
    Finally: allow yourself enough time to read thoughtfully-- it will greatly enhance your comprehension (and enjoyment!) of Shakespeare's plays.


    Class will begin with a READING QUIZ on the first day for which the full text is assigned. Quizzes will consist of nine significant passages from the play.  You will choose six of these nine passages and answer four short questions about each.  For example, you may be asked to state if the passage is in blank verse, rhyme or prose; identify the speakers and people spoken to (know NAMES!!); identify persons/things referred to by pronouns (e.g. "he," "she," "it," "we," "they"); explain when and where the scene takes place. You will not need to know the act or scene numbers of the passage; instead, you should be able to explain in general terms what is going on (e.g. what just happened or what is about to happen). Because the Study guides are designed to draw your attention to important passages, if you use them and read with care, you should recognize most or all of the passages on the quizzes.

    Christine de Pizan writing

    Scaffolded Writing Assignments

    As a writing-intensive GE class, at least 50% of your course grade must be based on written work. Each student will complete a series of written assignments starting with lower-stakes, ungraded assignments that help you explore the assigned texts and which prepare you for the higher-stakes, graded writing assignments that count for approximately one half of your final course grade (a three- to four-page expanded and revised Essay and the essays on the Midterm and Final Exams). 

    Out-of-class writing assignments will be of two sorts:  a set of five two-page Polylearn Discussion Group Mini-Essays (one per play)  of which must be revised and expanded into a 3-4 page essay submitted in hard copy for a grade and instructor feedback) and ten 1-2 paragraph Classmate Responses (ungraded, but counted towards your Participation, Intellectual Engagement, and Collaboration grade AND required in order to be eligible to receive credit for your graded 3-4 page essay).  Both sorts of writing will require close reading of and analysis of supporting quotations from the assigned plays.

    Lower-stakes (ungraded) writing:  Each student will be assigned to a Polylearn Discussion Group of 6-8 students.  In the assigned Discussion Group, each student will post:

    Failure to submit any ungraded assignment counts like an "Unexcused Absence" and will impact the 35% of your course grade based on Participation, Intellectual Engagement and Collaboration

    Both ungraded and graded writing assignments will require close reading of the assigned plays.

    Assignment details:

    MINI-ESSAY RATIONALE AND POINTERS: These short, ungraded assignments are designed to make you attentive to Shakespeare's text and prepare you to do well on "higher-stakes" writing assignments. that together count for 40% of your course grade.  MEs should be narrowly focused on topics that can be covered within the two-page target length.  The two-page target length will also oblige you to get to the point (lead with your conclusion; articulate your claims fully and explicitly; avoid broad statements and generalities; no "hook!"); to cut out unnecessary wordiness ("dead wood"); and to express your ideas clearly and concisely. 

    MEs may be a response to a study question, an analysis of a specific scene or image, or an argument about a character's motivation or purpose.  Regardless of the topic you choose, mini-essays MUST include analysis and interpretation of carefully chosen citations from the text of the play.   An effective ME uses close reading of carefully chosen textual evidence to support an interpretive claim about the text.  You will need a narrow focus so that you can really "unpack" the language and/or images in the scenes and passages you discuss without exceeding the two-page target length.  Careful analysis of a single character, a specific relationship, a key image or symbol, or an important scene or speech is often enough to fill two pages.

    MEs should present a logically organized argument to demonstrate the validity of an explicitly stated interpretive claim; don't simply describe elements in the play or summarize the action.  You have freedom to explore an aspect of an assigned play that interests you, but you must keep your focus on the play itself, not background information or the way in which the play speaks to you on a personal level.  You may find it helpful to begin by brainstorming in response to a question on an online Study Guide; to explore how a key image or theme is presented in a limited number of passages within the play; or to analyze Shakespeare's use of imagery or of a literary device such as foil characters.   Whatever topic you choose, your ME must be grounded in close readinginterpretive analysis of specific speeches and scenes in the paly.  You will discover that close attention to specific imagery, word choice, etc. in a a few key speeches or a significant scene may be enough to fill your two-page target length! 

    For fuller details, see the Mini-Essay Assignment Guidelines and the Essay Evaluation Checklist. NOTE: You should familiarize yourself with this checklist before you start to write, and take care to avoid the issues and errors that are included on the Checklist and in the Grading Codes!

    -- Each student will be assigned to a Polylearn Discussion Group of 6-8 students.  You must post five UNGRADED two-page Mini-essays [= "ME"], one on each assigned play, to your Polylearn Discussion Group by no later than midnight on the dates indicated on the Calendar of Assignments.  

    Each ME will consist of a textually-based argument that uses close reading of carefully chosen textual evidence to support an interpretive argument about the play.  MEs should have a narrow focus so that you can really "unpack" the language in the passages you discuss without exceeding the two-page target length.  Use the ME TEMPLATE on Polylearn to format your ME and ensure that it does not exceed the target length.

    MEs should present a logically organized argument to demonstrate the validity of an interpretive claim; don't simply describe characters or relationships or summarize the action.  Mini-Essays must be grounded in close readinginterpretive analysis of specific speeches and scenes. Focus should not be overly broad:  analysis of a single character or relationship, symbol, or theme may be enough to fill your 2 pages.  HINT: It is often fruitful to analyze how a key theme is presented in a limited number of scenes and speeches; in many instances, close attention to specific imagery, word choice, etc. in a single meaty speech or scene may be enough to fill your 2 pages.  It can be helpful to to use a study question or a class discussion that you found particularly interesting as a starting point for an ME.   For fuller details, see the Mini-Essay Assignment Guidelines.

    -- scribe at workIMPORTANT: in order to receive credit for your Mini-Essays, you must post at least two short (but thoughtful) Classmate Responses [= "CR"] to the MEs posted by two other members of your Polylearn Discussion Group (with whom you may agree or disagree, as long as you do so respectfully and back up your response with your own textual support from the play).  CRs must including at least one ADDITIONAL quotation from the play (that was not cited in the ME to which you are responding) in support of your observations.  Classmate responses are due no later than midnight on the the dates indicated on the Calendar of Assignments (generally, 2 days after Mini-Essays are due). 

    Your ten classmate responses will not be graded as Written Work, but they are required to get credit for your Graded, Revised Mini-Essay and they factor into the Participation, Intellectual Engagement, and Collaboration component of your final course grade:  each missing Classmate Response counts as an Unexcused Absence.  Additionally, your peer-editing of the first draft of the essay revised and submitted for credit by another member of your Discussion Group is REQUIRED; failure to peer-edit the ME of ONE member of your Discussion Group WILL COUNT AS AN UNEXCUSED ABSENCE

    There are two Peer-Editing assignments (which each student must complete for ONE other member of her/his Discussion Group). The first is "dry-run" peer edit of ME 1 which ALL students will complete and turn in to Dr. Schwartz.  The second, "official" Peer Edit will be completed for a classmate as part of her/his revision process.  Both Peer Edits require the Peer Editor to fill out a hard copy print-out of the Essay Evaluation Checklist available as a printer-friendly .PDF on Polylearn (a print-out of the Essay Evaluation Checklist webpage will not be accepted); to write corrections and editing suggestions on the first draft of the ME under revision using the Error Codes at the bottom of the Essay Evaluation Checklist; CIRCLING on that checklist ALL error codes used in peer-editing the first draft ME; and writing an end comment that points to strengths and/or weaknesses of the ME and provides at least one suggestion for what new material to include while expanding the ME to a 3-4 page essay.

    On the front of the hard-copy check-list, the Peer Editor's name must be clearly indicated ("Feedback by NAME") along with the name of the person whose ME is being responded to ("Feedback to NAME"); also indicate your Discussion Group number and your class section (ENGL 339-01 or 339-02).  If the names are not included, the Peer Editor will not receive credit for this required assignment.

    Higher Stakes Writing: Your MEs are intended to prepare you two do well on three graded writing assignments:  the essays on the Midterm and Final Exams (together worth 25% of your course grade) and  a 3-4 page graded essay that is a revised and expanded to a three-four page graded essay which must be turned in in hard copy, along with a hard-copy print-out of the original , TWO-PAGE ME that has been peer-edited by another member of your Discussion Group.  This carefully edited revision/expansion essay is worth  15% of your course grade.  To allow time for careful revision and editing, the revised/expanded ME submitted for grading must be submitted at least one week after Classmate responses have been posted. The header for the revision should begin "ENGL 339 Paper: Title." 

    -- EXAMS: Both exams will cover readings, lectures, and required videos; they will include passages to identify (from all plays read in that half of the quarter) and objective questions on background materials and lectures (including online readings and e-reserves). The Final Exam (only) will include an obligatory memory passage: 20 or more (consecutive!) lines from one play read in class.  The Final will be cumulative, but with emphasis on work since the Midterm. You will need a large-format Exam Book (for the essay) and a 100-question Scantron (50 questions per side) for both exams.

    There will be two chances to earn GWR certification: for the essay question on the midterm and final exams. Please note that because this is a writing-intensive course, at least 50% of the course grade must be based on writing assignments. For this reason, each exam essay counts as 50% of the exam.
    triple portrait of


    Woman Reader (engraving) 20%: Intellectual Engagement and Collaboration (more concrete than the general term "participation"), based on class attendance (20 class meetings); 2 (ungraded) peer-edits of a classmate's ME (all students will submit a peer-edit for ME 1; each student will submit a peer-edit of ONE other ME that a classmate is revising as his or her final, graded paper); and the following ungraded submissions to the assigned Discussion Group forum: 5 (ungraded) MEs, 10 (ungraded) Classmate Responses, and 3 (ungraded) video worksheets.  NOTE: Failure to present the required (but ungraded) Student Performance will result in a "0" counting as 1/2 of your Participation grade, i.e. 10% of your final course grade=0.

    15%: quizzes
    (lowest score dropped).  If quiz average is more than 6 pts., a bonus of .05 to .3 will be added to the normally top score of 4.0.  (4.0=A, 3.7=A-, 3.3=B+, etc., as in computing GPA)

    Graded Revision and Expansion of ONE 2-page ME into a 3-4 page essay. Your carefully edited, revised and expanded paper may NOT be identical to your initial ME posting ; you must cover significant new ground in the additional page of the essay.  To receive credit for the graded, revised ME, you must turn it in along with hard copy of the original 2-page ME posting, which must be peer-edited by one other Discussion Group member.  Peer-editing requires: 1) written corrections and notations on the hard copy ME, using the grading codes on the Essay Evaluation Checklist posted on PolyLearn; 2) filling out a hard copy of the Essay Evaluation Checklist (.PDF file available on PolyLearn); 3) circling the grading codes you have used in your peer edit on the list at the bottom of the Essay Evaluation Checklist; and 4) writing a final comment on the back of the checklist that addresses strengths of the ME and offers at least one suggestion for revision/improvement.  Be sure that the name of both the essay writer and the Peer Editor is found on BOTH the hard copy of the first draft ME AND the Essay Evaluation Checklist filled out by the Peer Editor.

    20%: Midterm (10% for objective exam, 10% for Essay; first chance for GWR certification)

    30%: Final = (15% for objective exam, 15% for Essay; second chance for GWR certification).
    NOTE: Final course grades in this class are not based on a specific number of course "points" and cannot be computed directly from the percentage scores earned on quizzes and exams.  Scores earned in each graded component of the class are converted to a 4.0-scale (like GPA: 4.3=A+, 4.0=A, 3.7=A-, 3.3=B+, etc.) and weighted as outlined above in calculation of the final course grade.


    Sure you can -- if you will take the time to read the plays carefully and thoughtfully.  And -- this being Shakespeare -- if you DO put in the time, you WILL enjoy them!  The Bard will amply reward your efforts (they don't call 'em "Great Books" for nothing!)  And remember . . . I LOVE teaching this stuff, and I'm told that my enthusiasm makes classes more fun!

    However. . . DON'T assume that the class will "take care of itself."  If you have a heavy course- and/or work-load, please be sure to budget time for this class . . . or save it for another quarter.


    Rest assured, we'll take a break each day.  Feel free to bring along a caffeinated (or non-caffeinated) drink--whatever it takes to keep you alert through two hours.  If there is sufficient interest, rotating cookie duty will be arranged!



    Concerning Academic Integrity: 

    includes (but is not limited to) sharing or discussion of quiz passages or exam questions with students who have not yet taken a quiz or exam; making copies of materials that are not allowed to circulate (e.g. graded or ungraded exams); or any other use of course materials from a previous quarter that gives you an advantage over other students without your Instructor's knowledge and explicit permission.  Incidents of Cheating will be reported to the Office of Academic Affairs and may result in a Failing Grade.

    Plagiarism is a serious offense.  I expect that you understand what constitutes plagiarism and how to correctly use and cite information in your papers.  In its most basic definition, plagiarism means 1) passing off someone else's work as your own or 2) taking ideas and/or words from others without properly citing them. 

    In this class, you may refer to ideas or concepts defined in lectures and on my web pages without citing the lectures and web pages explicitly, since I consider that information and these concepts to be "yours" to use freely (provided that you do not copy language directly from my pages).
    The writing assignments in this class should cite ONLY the Shakespeare's texts, not secondary sources or critics. Both ungraded MEs and the graded ME revision/expansion paper should cite only the play itself and offer arguments grounded in close reading of the text.  It is unlikely that students who adhere to these guidelines might inadvertently commit plagiarism in this class. 

    I strongly recommend that you do NOT consult other online resources for "help" as you grapple with these texts, since in my experience, students using these sites have been most prone to inadvertent (and occasionally deliberate) plagiarism.  If you DO consult such materials, you MUST list these resources in a "Works Consulted" section of your ME or graded Paper.  Please note that a Work Consulted listing, along with the normal Work Cited listing, will cut significantly into the already limited room you have to make your argument (no more than 2 pp. for an ME or 3 pp. for the revised/expanded graded paper).  It is to your advantage to complete the assignments as they are intended; the online resources you may find will not typically help you complete these assignments successfully, and the consequences of even inadvertent plagiarism are high.

    That said, if you are unsure of how to avoid plagiarism in your papers, you should talk to me before you turn in the paper.  Turning in a writing assignment completed in whole or in part by another individual, or adapted from another individual's work, is plagiarismIf you are caught plagiarizing in this course, you will fail the course and you may be expelled from the university.  Finally, you may not turn in a paper you completed for another class for credit in this class; similarly, you cannot turn in work completed in this class for credit in any other class without obtaining express permission from that professor. 

    For your convenience, I am including below the language from Cal Poly's Academic Integrity policy (CAP 681; see <http://www.osrr.calpoly.edu/plagiarism/> ):

    "Cal Poly will not tolerate academic cheating or plagiarism in any formAcademic dishonesty is addressed both as an academic issue and as a disciplinary incident under the CSU Standards for Student Conduct.  [. . .] Plagiarism is defined as the act of using intentionally or unintentionally the ideas or work of another person or persons as if they were one’s own without giving proper credit to the source. Such an act is not plagiarism if it is ascertained that the ideas were arrived through independent reasoning or logic, or where the thought or idea is common knowledge. Acknowledgement of an original author or source must be made through appropriate references, i.e., quotation marks, footnotes, or commentary.  Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to, the following: the submission of a work, either in part or in whole, completed by another; failure to give credit for ideas, statements, facts or conclusions which rightfully belong to another; failure to use quotation marks [. . .] when quoting directly from another, whether it be a paragraph, a sentence, or even a part thereof; close and lengthy paraphrasing of another’s writing without credit or originality; and use of another’s [paper], project or [. . . ] part thereof without giving credit. Submitting the same project to multiple instructors as a unique creation may also be considered plagiarism. A project produced for another class must be cited just as when citing any other source. Prior to resubmitting work from a previous course, a student must receive explicit written permission from the instructor of the current course. A project produced for another class must also be cited just as when citing any other source."

    Additionally, you should be aware that sharing information about reading quizzes and/or exams with students who have not yet completed the quiz or exam is a violation of Cal Poly's rules concerning Academic IntegrityIf you are caught sharing information about quiz or exam questions, you will fail the course and you may be expelled from the university.

    Contents of this and all linked pages Copyright Debora B. Schwartz, 1996-2020.
                Shakespeare portrait