English 224 - SHAKESPEARE
Summer Quarter 2011
Instructor: Steve Yarborough
E-mail: email@example.com (emergencies)
Phone: (425) 564-3095*
* I am not teaching on campus this quarter but we can make an appointment if that becomes necessary. The VISTA/Blackboard and bellevuecollege.edu email addresses work the best.
This course is an introduction to Shakespeare as a dramatist. Its aim is to help you read and appreciate Shakespeare's plays. We'll begin in the first week by discussing Elizabethan England and the basics of Elizabethan drama. Then we'll do close readings of the plays, which represent the major genres in which Shakespeare wrote (comedy, tragedy, history, romance) and which cover the course of his career.
We'll use Vista's threaded discussion to talk about the plays. Discussions will be prompted by your own discussion papers, as well as my observations and questions as we read the plays. One of the themes I see running through all these plays is power: an examination of the limits and duties of those in authority, legitimate kinds of authority, and the consequences of illegitimate uses of power. You'll discover and discuss other important themes in the course of your reading.
No textbooks have been ordered for this course because all of Shakespeare's plays are easily available on the Internet for free. In the Web Links tool on the left-hand tool bar, I've posted a link to a website with full on-line texts of all the plays. If you prefer to read a physical copy, the plays are widely available in inexpensive paperback editions. I recommend the Signet or Penguin editions. You'll find them at Barnes and Noble or the University Bookstore, or you can order them from Amazon.
Plays to be discussed
· Henry IV, Pt. 1
· Merchant of Venice
· The Tempest
This English 224/225 course is taught completely online; you are not required to attend classroom sessions on campus. However, this is not a correspondence course, completed on your own timetable in isolation. There are specific deadlines, and you will be communicating with your instructor and classmates regularly.
At the end of this course, students will be able to:
· Read and understand the language of Shakespeare comfortably
· Demonstrate knowledge of Elizabethan culture and history
· Recognize the differences between early and late plays in order to become aware of Shakespeare's development as an artist.
· Follow a systematic process of analyzing plays and sonnets
· Make reasonable inferences on the basis of detail from the reading and lectures
· Demonstrate insight into the nature of comedy and tragedy
· Identify controlling ideas and themes characteristic of Shakespeare's plays
· Write papers and exam essays that express and support an interpretive or analytical main point
· Work effectively in a group
· Assess your own skills
If you signed up for this course thinking that it would have less work than a course in the classroom, you were mistaken. Any online course has more writing work than a class on campus as all of our communication must be written. Please be advised that the workload may be very difficult for you if work and/or family demands do not allow you a minimum of two to three uninterrupted hours every week day to work on the assignments for this class. I have tried to focus and space assignments to facilitate as many learning styles as possible, but extra time may be needed.
File: English 224 225 Syllabus Assignments
Discussion Papers (3 at 100 points each) 300
Weekly Discussions (7 at 50 points per week) 350
Exams (midterm 100; final 150) 250
To figure out your grade at any time, simply divide the total points you have earned by the total points you have submitted to that point. I use standard percentages:
94-100% = A, 90-93% = A-, 87-89% = B+, 84-86% = B, 80-83% = B-, and so on. . .
You must complete all assignments to receive a passing grade in this course. The instructor reserves the right to adjust assignments or points as needed throughout the quarter. Students will be notified when this happens.
There will be a tremendous amount of reading in this course; we are reading 5 complete plays in only 7 weeks. There is no point value for reading (I can’t exactly look over your shoulder while you do it) but all other assignments are based upon the reading. DO THE READING.
A discussion paper is a short paper that addresses a question of interpretation about some aspect of our reading. It may explore possible avenues of approach to the question or propose and support one or more answers. It is not a a research paper or even a polished essay, but it must be literate and spelled correctly.
The purpose of this paper is to provoke a useful discussion. You'll post each paper in the on-line discussion, and the entire class will discuss it. Writing and reading discussion papers is a good way to gain perspective on new material and explore diverse points of view.
If English is not your native language, don't worry if your grammar isn't perfect. I won't grade anyone down for grammar mistakes unless they interfere with readers' understanding of the ideas in the paper.
Due dates are not negotiable. A discussion paper is of little value if the class doesn't have enough time to respond to it. If you post a paper late, but within the discussion period, I'll take off points according to how late it is. A paper that is not posted within the discussion period will receive a zero.
Each week, you'll respond to the ideas in the posted discussion papers. The discussion will focus on understanding the reading and exploring ideas, not on critiquing the papers. Expect to spend a considerable amount of time reading and commenting on the discussion. The purpose of the discussion is to explore the meaning of the play both within its original culture and within our own, and to relate the play to the terminology, assumptions, and critical concepts of dramatic studies.
The on-line discussion does not take place in a chat room. You will not have to be on-line at a specific hour in order to participate. However, you must post your responses early enough in the response period for others to comment on them and for you to answer back.
The due dates for discussion comments are not negotiable. If you don't post your comments by midnight of the day the discussion closes, they will not count for points. But do go on talking about a topic if you're finding it interesting.
On a separate page (Discussion Papers and Discussion), you'll find more detailed advice about writing and discussing your papers.
The exams are cumulative. The Final Exam will require you to relate current reading to material covered in the first part of the course.
File: English 224 225 Syllabus Student Responsibilities
Because of the special method of course delivery, several requirements must be considered.
1. First, and probably most important, the student enrolled in this course MUST have a computer and some attendant software and services, including a word processor (Office 95/Word 7.0 or better minimum), an Internet Service Provider, and a browser (Netscape Communicator or Internet Explorer). Perhaps more importantly the student must be familiar with the use of the above-mentioned items. Whatever web browser you use, be sure to upgrade to the newest version. If you are not using Microsoft Word to write your papers, then make sure that your software allows saving documents in Word format (.doc) as this is the only form I can access. If you are using the newest version of Microsoft Word be sure to save you files as .doc rather than the default .docx. Be aware that I do not teach computer skills; I teach English. I will help if I can, but I am no expert in computer systems.
2. Always keep me informed if you have problems with the technology, and I will try to find help for you. However, I expect that you bring some expertise with you to help in solving any problems that arise. Ultimately, your computer and Internet services are your responsibility. If you are signed up for the OAS section and you have computer problems, you may use the computer labs on the Bellevue College campus if you have an emergency. Additionally, please read and print the following linked page to help you if we run into technology problems with VISTA: Server Problems.
3. You might occasionally be required to access audio or video files. These files will be in a format accessible to most computers with typical software and will be usable even if you have a slow internet connection. However, you may find it easier to access these files from a faster system. Of course, if you are near campus, you can always use the computer lab in the N building—it even comes equipped with staff to help you out. An alternative would be your local library. Almost every public library has computers with fast internet connection for your use. Some will even loan out a laptop for you to use while in the library. Remember these options any time you experience hardware, software, or server problems.
File: English 224 225 Syllabus Instructor Expectations
As you know, every teacher has expectations. These are mine.
1. I expect that you signed up for this course because you want to learn. In this case, I hope you want to learn about the the dramatic works of Shakespeare. Therefore, I expect that you will complete the work I have created to teach you these skills.
2. I expect that you have come to this class with a working usage of modern English grammar and a writing level equal to BC’s English 101. I encourage you to utilize the Writing Lab's virtual tutor or go to the Writing Lab on campus for help with grammar or other writing problems. Major grammatical or other writing errors will diminish you grade on essays and exams.
3. I expect that you will participate in all class activities. You must complete every assignment in a timely manner to pass this course.
4. I expect that you will take care to back up your papers and journal assignments on more than one disk and/or store them on your hard drive AND a disk or other portable media. It is your responsibility to keep track of this material. If some computer catastrophe should occur, you will still be responsible for producing the work by the due date in order to get a grade. Be careful--save and back your work up regularly!
5. I expect that you will show respect to everyone by responding to e-mail and discussion postings in a way that is not judgmental, degrading, or derogatory. Even though we may disagree with the interpretations of others, please use some self-restraint and compassion in dealing with these issues. Logical and questioning responses are encouraged. Choose your words and the tone of your message with utmost care. I also expect tolerance for others' abilities and learning styles. Please notify me immediately if you feel another student has not extended these courtesies to you.
I expect that you will try, to the
best of your ability, to master the skills taught in this class. According to
the English department at BC, by the end of the quarter, you should be able to:
· Pose and investigate interpretive questions about the reading
· Write short, interpretive papers and exam essays
· Recognize and describe major subgenres
· Recognize and describe the major literary genres and rhetorical strategies of fiction
7. I expect each assignment will be submitted to the appropriate locations and in the manner specified by the date shown on the specific assignment page and the class calendar. Assignments submitted after that date will lose 10% 24 hour period that they are late. I will not accept assignments more than three days late. Do not wait until the last minute to submit your work to avoid losing points for late work.
I expect honesty. I expect that you
will neither do work for others nor use work done by others. Cheating and/or
plagiarizing will not be tolerated. Plagiarizing is cheating, as is copying
answers on a test, borrowing passages from other papers, swapping papers,
buying papers, using ideas from other sources without proper documentation,
writing papers for others, or having them written for you. BC utilizes a
plagiarism detection software, and I use it for random spot checks. Plus, if I
even remotely suspect your paper is plagiarized, I will submit it to this site.
If you cheat or plagiarize, the following actions will be taken:
· You will receive a grade of "0" on the work (no exceptions).
· A report of the incident will be filed in the Dean of Students' Office. This report may become part of your permanent record or the Dean may choose to pursue further disciplinary action.
· Evidence of plagiarism may also result in a failing grade for the entire course.
9. Personal conferences can be held in my office if you can come to the campus at a convenient time; otherwise, an e-mail conference can be held. You will NOT be able to just “catch me” in my office so please contact me first to set up an appointment BEFORE coming to the campus.