Requirements and Grading

The requirements for this class fall into three categories: Attendance, Preparation and Participation, and Written Work.

o       Listserv Posts -- Throughout the semester, I will announce a topic or question in certain weeks to be discussed on the class discussion board prior to the next class meeting. You will then be responsible for posting responses of no more than 300 words to the class discussion board by 5PM the evening before the next class meeting. These are not meant to be formal or finished essays, of course, but they should be coherent and grammatical; please proofread and edit them before posting to the group.

o       Peer Evaluations -- At times you will be asked to evaluate and comment on another student's work. Your comments should be carefully written in the form of a one- or two-paragraph essay that captures the main strengths and weaknesses of the paper. I will look briefly at these evaluations, but I will not be grading them.

o       In-Class Performance -- Since playwrights write their material for performance by live actors, understanding how one would perform a play is crucial to interpretation and criticism.   Throughout the course of the semester, you will each participate in a group that will act out a brief scene (10-15 minutes) from one of the plays we will read.   You need not have any prior acting or performance experience to succeed in this requirement.

o       Essays -- The formal essays for this class will be analytic and argumentative essays. You must revise each essay once or more (with continued guidance and feedback from me) before submitting them (along with the original) in your final portfolio. Your final grade for an essay will be the average of your grades on the original version and the revised version(s).

o       Reading/Writing Journal -- In this class, you will keep a writing journal as a means to record and explore your ideas about the plays we read.   I will look at these periodically and without warning, so it would be unwise (and pointless) to neglect your journal entries.

o       Portfolio -- At the end of the semester you will submit 15-20 pages of writing that you think best represents the work youÕve done over the course of the semester. You can improve your final grade by working hard on your portfolio, revising your papers to make them as fine as possible by the end of the term.  Keep in mind, however that your portfolio is only a portion of your total grade, it should not be seen as an invitation to do shoddy work throughout the term and then work frantically in the final days or weeks.

o       Short Assignments -- I will give you periodic short (one page) writing assignments that call on you to practice a skill we have discussed in class.   I will grade these with a check, check minus, check plus system. 

Grading Your final grade will be based on the following percentages:


25% for preparation and participation, including listserv posts, peer review assignments, and in-class performance.


75% for written work, distributed as follows:

  •     Essay 1                                          15%
  •        Essay 2                                          20%
  •        Essay 3                                          25%
  •        Writing Journal and Portfolio          30%
  •        Short Assignments                         10%


***Please note that if you do not complete or otherwise receive a failing grade on any one of these assignments, you will receive a failing grade for the course.