Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Fall 2017
Bea Wood Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

TR 2:00-3:20 PM

Dr. Peter Fields (view Profile)


The Norton Shakespeare 3E
Vol 1: Early Plays & Poems
The Norton Shakespeare 3E
Vol. 2: Later Plays & Poems

Course Objectives

Objective 1.1:  Student engages in an increasingly sophisticated discourse and demonstrates aesthetic and critical discernment through close textual analysis.

Objective 1.2:  Student evaluates secondary sources and applies skills in information gathering and management, and document design, using traditional sources and emerging technologies.

Objective 2.1:  Student understands the usage and structure of the English language.

Objective 2.2:  Student recognizes the stylistic techniques that distinguish key literary texts relevant to subject and genre.

Objective 2.3:  Student is familiar with the legacy of important ideas and contexts associated with literary periods.

Objective 2.4:  Student is introduced to academic and professional publications in the field.

Objective 3.1:  Student reflects on his or her arguments over multiple stages of development.

Objective 3.2:  Using traditional resources and emerging technologies, the student references and formats primary and secondary sources in MLA style.

Objective 4.1:  Student is aware of a cultural context for his or her own values and those of his or her sources.


Shakespeare, William. The Norton Shakespeare: Early Plays and Poems.  Ed. Stephen Greenblatt. 3rd  ed. New York: Norton, 2016. Vol. 1 of The Norton Shakespeare. 3E.

---. The Norton Shakespeare: Later Plays. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt. 3rd ed. New York: Norton, 2016. Vol. 2 of The Norton Shakespeare. 3E.

Course Expectations

The Journal Responses (20 percent of grade):

Students will keep a typed journal (hole-punched and in the brads of a folder) comprising 20 entries. Each entry should be about one page (approx. 300 words; typed, double-spaced), not counting block quotes. Students need 10 responses to our DVD titles (in our daily schedule and on reserve at the circulation desk; or approved by Dr. Fields) and 10 responses to our plays (those indicated in our daily schedule). 

Journal Responses for our DVDs: Focus on a key scene in the film. How does this scene in the film help us understand an important idea in Shakespeare? We might then try to establish the question both movie and play are trying to answer.

Journal Responses for our DVDs: Focus on a key scene in our play or a significant passage in that scene. How does that scene (or passage) help us understand something important about Shakespeare’s play? We might then try to establish what question the play is trying to answer.

Critical Review (20 percent of grade): five to seven pages (about 1800 words), typed, double-spaced; block quotes do not count in word count; Works Cited would be an additional page.

Students will explain key ideas in THREE scholarly sources. These sources may be journal articles from our Moffett-supported databases. They can also be books from the Moffett stacks or other sources approved by the instructor.

Research Paper (40 percent of grade): five to seven pages (about 1800 words), typed, double-spaced; MLA in-body citing: please use the models in this syllabus. Students support a position that answers an implied question in the Critical Review. They may use some or all of the sources from their Critical Review and additional sources (Moffett books, databases, or instructor-approved sources). Works Cited would be an additional page. Students should cite key passages from one or more of the plays we have covered, using our required book, including commentary in that book (our book’s prefaces are also secondary sources). Students can also draw on key scenes from our movies. FOUR secondary sources are required. 

Final Blue Book (20 percent of grade): this essay is open-book and the length would be in the range of three to four pages, typed, double-spaced (up to 1000 words). Students may handwrite or type (on their laptop) their in-class FINAL BLUE BOOK. Students build on one of their journal entries. They indicate where we see a similar scene in the same play, other plays by Shakespeare (that we have covered in class), and/or DVD films from our daily schedule. NO WORKS CITED IS REQUIRED.


Final Exam

12/14/2017 1:00-3:00 PM

Submission Format Policy


Here are examples of writing about a DVD. IMPORTANT: Try to be as specific as possible. Make a point and then focus on a key scene in the movie and a related scene in the play:

In Hamlet 2, the well-meaning protagonist, Dana Marschz (Steve Coogan) seems suicidal at times especially when the callous, uncaring principal tells him the drama program has been cancelled. Dana, the ever-enduring Job-figure of our movie, wanders in shock back to the classroom—really just a raised stage and some rows of chairs in the “Snackatorium”—and launches into a long tirade. “Shut up! Shut up!” he screams at the kids, momentarily getting their undivided attention. Will someone, he asks rhetorically, please explain to him how a little boy from a dairy farm in Manitoba, who loves acting but isn’t very good at it, who can’t get a decent agent, and who decides to teach kids and pass on his love of the craft, how he is supposed to deal with “all the god-awful crap that’s handed out to him without wrapping his lips around a 45 and blowing his brains out!” The Hamlet of Q1’s “To be or Not to Be” soliloquy would answer that good people endure the “scorns and flattery of the world” (Scene 7.123) because they look forward to their recompense in the next life: “Who would this endure, / But for a hope of something after death” (130-31). But Dana’s comic soliloquy is more like our hybrid text. Here Hamlet speaks of good people who endure injustice and “that patient merit of the th’unworthy takes” (3.1.73). But these same patient souls are those most inclined to examine their conscience and worry as to how their account stands in eternity. The good man, like Dana, endures “Th’oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely” and the “spurns” (72) of the wicked, like the snide principal. The good man, more than the wicked, may long for death’s release, but he also, in equal measure, dreads “what dreams may come” (65) in the sleep of death. 

Here is an example of how you might begin the CRITICAL REVIEW:

The scholarly conversation about Shakespeare’s The Tempest seems interested in this question: how does the magical, dream-like world of Prospero help us understand the importance of forgiveness? One interesting aspect of this question is the biblical implication.  howwhat i

According to Brian Sutton, in his article “‘Virtue rather than Vengeance’: Genesis and Shakespeare’s The Tempest” for Explicator, Shakespeare seems to have in mind the story of the great dreamer, Joseph. Like Joseph, Duke Prospero is a dreamer—a visionary—undone by sibling rivalry (225-226). In Sutton’s view, what’s crucial here is that the dreamer does not take vengeance. The dreamer’s forgiveness restores everyone to God’s favor, going well beyond the conflict of one set of brothers. Sutton explains that the dreamer’s grace means the possibility of heaven’s providence for ages to come: “Last, in their entire experience with betrayal, exile, redemption, and reconciliation, Joseph and Prospero are instruments of a divine plan to save not only the current generation, but also its descendants” (227). The ultimate power lies not in capturing or holding, but in graciously setting our brothers free. In The Tempest, Prospero sets everyone free and then turns to the audience, asking that they do the same for him: “Let your indulgence set me free” (Epilogue 20).


Here is another example of CRITICAL REVIEW:


The scholarly conversation about Shakespeare’s Hamlet is interested in the subtle biblical allusions throughout the play. The question the critics are trying to answer seems to be as follows: What role do these allusions serve in regard to the murder of Hamlet’s father? One answer is that they serve as warning of coming judgment. According to Cameron Hunt, in his article “Jephthah’s Daughter’s Daughter: Ophelia” for ANQ, Hamlet taunts Polonius, calling him “old Jephthah” (Ham. 2.2.392), because like the Old Testament figure who foolishly promised God the first thing he saw when he returned home, Polonius is using the most important person in his life—his daughter—as a pawn in a dangerous game. The daughter, whom Jephthah “lovèd surpassingly well” (390), rushed out to greet the father she herself adored and respected. The Prince (implicitly) is accusing Polonius of carelessly pushing his daughter ahead of him, oblivious to the dire consequences of abusing her dutiful nature: “This allusion identifies Ophelia as a virgin, destined for sacrifice at the hands of her politically ambitious father from the play’s outset” (Hunt 14). Significantly, as Hunt points out, the story in chapter 11 of Judges indicates that Jephthah’s daughter acquiesced. She merely desired some time—two months—to lament the fact that she would never marry (14). Hunt drives home the significance of two months: when Hamlet hosts the play-within-the-play, Ophelia herself says two months have passed since the funeral of King Hamlet (14-15). Ophelia’s time is nearly up! As Hunt makes clear, the willows of Ophelia’s drowning symbolize virgins who miss out on becoming brides (16). Polonius is playing a game both father and daughter will regret when it robs Ophelia of love and children, just as Jephthah threw away the prospects of his virgin daughter who does not so much mourn her loss of life as she does her loss of love and children (15-16).

The following scholarly source (a book) could follow EITHER of the previous paragraphs:

Scholars ask what are we to make of a character in Shakespeare who alludes to Christian ideas but who turns around and counsels the protagonist to do the wrong thing? Hamlet frets and worries over whether he can trust the word of his father’s ghost who seems honest but who tells him to seek revenge on his behalf. According to Stephen Greenblatt in his book Hamlet in Purgatory, the ghost was meant to be a suspicious character in the play. In Greenblatt’s view, the longstanding consensus in Christendom was that demons were precisely the real culprits in most cases where the dead (supposedly) have reached out to those who mourned their passing: “Demons were clever, and it had long been understood that they were capable of insinuating themselves into human communities by pretending that they were souls in pain” (209). In fact, Greenblatt quotes from John Chrysostom, an early church saint and theologian, who calls the deceptions of demons a “kind of stage-play” (209). According to Chrysostom, demons frequent graveyards and try to pass themselves off as souls in torment (209). Even in the case of possession, the demon would prefer to be understood as a lost human soul; only reluctantly does a demon want to be acknowledged for it really is—a demon (209). 

MLA in-body citing of an essay from an anthology (author and title of essay are sufficient):

Scholars have noticed something about both Hamlet and The Tempest. In both stories, we notice that revenge eludes the protagonist. Why does revenge slow down the action in Shakespeare? Prince Hamlet is filled with dread, horror, and ever-compounding doubt. He flails about, unable to latch onto something true and sure. C. S. Lewis in his essay “Hamlet: The Prince or the Play” reminds us that the play is about people mired in a dream-like world where action seems urgent but no one can move with authority, confidence, or sufficient speed: “The world of Hamlet is a world where one has lost one’s way” (99). According to Lewis, Hamlet represents something most modern people have in common: they are “haunted” by uncertainty: that is, “man with his mind on the frontier of two worlds, man unable either to reject or quite to admit the supernatural, man struggling to get something done […], yet incapable of achievement because of his inability to understand either himself or his fellows or the real quality of the universe which has produced him” (102-103). 

Here is use of a preface by Stephen Greenblatt from our required books:

In his preface for The Comedy of Errors, Stephen Greenblatt notes that Shakespeare is indebted to plotlines borrowed from the Roman playwright Plautus. But the scholarly question is how does Shakespeare change or depart from the original? Shakespeare injects a biblical element: “For a start, he shifted the setting from Epidamnum to Ephesus, a city associated with sorcery, exorcism, mystery cults, and early Christianity” (747). The whole play is suffused with allusions to spiritual forces including the possibility of demonic possession. Adriana, wife to Antipholus of Ephesus, invokes the Christian idea of the marital one flesh, when she rebukes the twin she mistook for her husband. She accuses him of betraying himself when he betrays her: “Thy ‘self’ I call it, being strange to me/ That, undividable, incorporate, / Am better than thy dear self’s better part” (2.2.122-24). 

MLA in-body citing of a play:

A Block Quote is a passage of four or more lines from the play cited word for word exactly the way it appears in our text. NOTE: The word count does NOT include a block quote.


To be, or not to be; that is the question:

Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,

And, by opposing, end them. To die, to sleep—

No more, and by a sleep to say we end

The heartache and the thousand natural shocks

That flesh is heir to—‘’tis a consummation

Devoutly to be wished. […] (3.1.58-66)


NOTE: MLA stipulates that we simply use numbers: e.g., (3.1.58-66) means Act three, Scene one, lines 58 through 66.


Once we know the act and scene, we simply use the line numbers in parentheses:

Prince Hamlet worries about the afterlife. The dying is not the bad part or the release from this world, which would all be wonderful compared to life’s “thousand natural shocks” (61). The problem is what comes after death. If we do have an afterlife, Hamlet reasons that its modus operandi might be to repay us for our moral failures in life: “To die, to sleep. / To sleep, perchance to dream. Ay, there’s the rub” (66-67). This dream is worrisome because if we do live after we die, we will doubtless (in Hamlet’s view) reap after death what we have sown in life. Notice the forward slash between lines when we’re NOT using Block Quotes.

As much as possible, your thought should come first and the quote come later or towards the end of your construction:

Hamlet seems to reject Ophelia, advising her to retire into celibacy at a “nunnery” (3.1.139).

quotes should come after we have made the point in our own words:

Hamlet’s mother doesn’t see her husband’s ghost, saying to her son that his vision was merely the “coinage of your brain” (3.4.128).

Hamlet’s mother hints that she believes her son’s vision to be the consequence of an infirmed, feverish mind: “This is the very coinage of your brain. / This bodiless creation ecstasy / Is very cunning in” (3.4.128-130). 

Here is an example of citing for The Tempest:

Before he learned about the universe and how to think and express himself in language, Caliban was a happy-go-lucky creature who delighted in being loved, not unlike a pet or a small child. Under Miranda’s tutelage, the universe opened up to him and he increased in understanding. He went from a witch’s gibbering young progeny “not honor’d with / A human shape” (1.2.284) to being a remarkably articulate, if rebellious rival to Prospero. Very importantly, as Caliban grew up with Miranda, she also imparted a sense of justice to him. The ironic result was that he increasingly felt that he had been robbed. Miranda reminds Caliban that before she taught him all things, he lacked the ability to reason and “wouldst gabble like / A thing most brutish” (356-57). The difference between who he was now and who he had been included the ability to form words: “I endow’d thy purposes,” she said, “With words that made them known” (357-58). But Caliban ironically resents the knowledge that gave him reason and language: “The red-plague rid you,” he says, “For learning me your language!” (363-64).The situation got completely out of hand when Caliban presumed he could press Miranda into copulating with him to fill “This isle with Calibans” (351). 


“You do look my son, in a mov’d sort, / As if you were dismay’d; be cheerful, sir,” (4.1.146-47) said Prospero to Ferdinand in order to reassure him that nothing horrible was going to happen when the vision of Juno, Iris, and Ceres suddenly vanishes. 

LEAD WITH YOUR THOUGHT and follow with a quote:

When Prospero realizes Caliban and his co-conspirators are close at hand, he angrily interrupts the magical wedding pageant of Juno, Ceres, and Iris. When Prospero notices that Ferdinand is frightened by the anger of a man who apparently controls the elements, he has mercy on him and speaks tenderly as a father might to his son but with a very respectful tone: “You do look, my son, in a mov’d sort, / As if you were dismay’d; be cheerful, sir” (4.1.146-47).

Notice the forward slash between lines. For poetry, verbatim passages shorter than four lines are NOT set off in a block quote—we use quotation marks instead.

Works Cited

Hyphens (---) indicate the same author as the entry directly above it.

To create the hanging indent, students should highlight the entry, click on “paragraph,” and then under “Special,” click on “hanging” and “double-spaced.”

Cross reference: for an anthology, the MLA cross reference method prescribes the entry itself under the editor’s name (see Tiffany, Grace below). Then each entry from the anthology (including the play itself) is indicated separately (e.g., James, Anna).


(Sample) Works Cited (MLA cross reference model)

Greenblatt, Stephen, editor. The Norton Shakespeare: Early Plays and Poems. 3rd ed. New York: Norton, 2017. Vol. 1 of The Norton Shakespeare.

---. The Norton Shakesepeare: Later Plays and Poems. 3rd ed. New York: Norton, 2017. Vol. 2 of The Norton Shakespeare.

---. Preface to The Comedy of Errors. Greenblatt, vol. 1, pp. 745-51.

Fleming, Andrew, dir. Hamlet 2. Screenplay by Pam Brady and Andrew Fleming. Music by Ralph Sall. Perf. Steve Coogan, Catherine Keener, David Arquette, Elizabeth Shue, Rand Posin, Phoebe Strole, Melonie Diaz, Shea Pepe, Joseph Julian Soria, Michael Esparza, and Marco Rodriguez. Focus Features & Universal, 2008. DVD.

Hunt, Cameron. “Jephthah’s Daughter’s Daughter: Ophelia.” ANQ vol. 22, no. 4, Fall 2009, pp. 13-16. Taylor & Francis Online.

Lewis, C. S. “Hamlet: The Prince or the Poem?” Selected Literary Essays. Ed. Walter Hooper. Cambridge, England: Cambridge UP, 1969. pp. 88-105. Print.

Shakespeare, William. The Comedy of Errors. Greenblatt, vol. 1, pp. 754-97.

---. Hamlet. Greenblatt, vol. 2, pp. 116-204.

Sutton, Brian. “‘Virtue Rather than Vengeance’: Genesis and Shakespeare’s The Tempest.” The Explicator, vol. 166, no. 4, Summer 2008: pp. 224-29. Academic Search Complete. EBSCOhost,


Here are some other examples of citing DVDs on reserve at Moffett Library for Dr. Fields ENGL 4773:

Fickman, Andy, dir. She’s the Man. Screenplay: Ewan Leslie and Karen McCullah Lutz, and Kirsten Smith. Produced by Lauren Shuler Donner and Ewan Leslie. Music: Nathan Wang. Music Supervisor: Jennifer Hawks. Production Design: David J. Bomba. Costume Design: Katia Stand. Perf. Amanda Bynes, Channing Tatum, Laura Ramsey, Vinnie Jones, Robert Hoffman, Brandon Jay McLaren, James Kirk, Julie Hagerty, and Emily Perkins. Dreamworks, 2006. DVD.

McAnuff, Des, dir. The Stratford Shakespeare Festival: The Tempest. Directed for television by Shelagh O’Brien. Prod. Design by Robert Brill. Costume Design by Paul Tazewell. Perf. Christopher Plummer, Trish Lindström, Dion Johnstone, Gareth Potter, Julyana Soelistyo, John Vickery, Timothy D. Stickney, James Blondick, Bruce Dow, Geraint Wyn Davies. Melbar Entertainment, Bravo! and eOne Films, 2011. DVD.

Taymor, Julie, dir. The Tempest. Screenplay by Julie Taymor. Produced by Julie Taymor, Robert Chartoff, and Lynn Hendee. Production Design by Mark Friedberg. Caliban’s make-up by Matthew W. Hungle and Richard Redlefsen. Harpy Prosthetics by Mike Marino and Dave Presto. Visual Effects by KyleCooper. Music by Elliot Godenthal. Costume Design (“zippers”) by Sandy Powell. Perf. Helen Mirren, Felicity Jones, Reeve Carney, Djimon Hounsou, Russell Brand, Alfred Molina, David Strathairn, Tom Conti, Alan Cumming, Chris Cooper, and Ben Whishaw. Touchstone/Miramax, 2010. DVD.

Xiaogang, Feng, dir. Legend of the Black Scorpion. Choreography & Production Design: Tim Yip. Action Director: Yuen Wo-ping. Screenplay by Sheng Heyu and Qiu Gangjian. Music: Tan Dun. Perf. Ziyi Zhang, Daniel Wu, Zhou Xun, Ge You, XuXiyan. Media Asia Films & Dragon Dynasty, 2008. DVD. 

PROPER FORMAT (Submit work typed, double-spaced, hole-punched, and fixed in the brads of a folder):

  • All typed documents must be 12 point Times New Roman double-spaced.
  • For header and page number in the .5 default position: click on “insert,” then “page number,” “top of page,” and “plain number 3.” The cursor will show to the immediate left of the page number. Simply type your last name, and it will magically appear. Space once between name and number.
  • Top, right, and bottom margins should be set at one inch; the left margin should be an inch and a quarter to accommodate the folder. NOT A HEADER: On the first page of an essay, the student name, instructor name, course, and date should be in the upper left, double-spaced. These items do not appear on subsequent pages.
  • Students must submit their work in person (from their hands into the instructor’s hands). Submission for a due-date is never by e-mail attachment or under the office door, or left on a desk, or by surrogate (classmate or relative). Late work also must be submitted in person.
  • JOURNAL RESPONSE, CRITICAL REVIEW, and RESEARCH PAPER should be submitted hole-punched and fixed in the brads of a normal folder with pockets (for database printouts of sources—the entire articles; photocopies of key pages for books including title page).
  • For the research paper due date, complete print-outs of online database sources like Academic Search Complete (with key passages highlighted) should be provided in the pockets of the folder. If students are using books from the Moffett stacks, photocopies of title pages and high-lighted pages (esp. those that are quoted) are in the pockets too.
  • Work submitted apart from these guidelines will not be evaluated and must be resubmitted (correctly) and penalized for lateness.
  • By enrolling in this class, the student expressly grants MSU a “limited right” in all intellectual property created by the student for the purpose of this course.  The “limited right” shall include but shall not be limited to the right to reproduce the student’s work product in order to verify originality and authenticity, and for educational purposes.
  • Dr. Fields reserves the right to ask students to send him a computer file of their research project and/other work by e-mail attachment for archival purposes.
  • Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

Late Work

An assignment is late if submitted after the class period it is due. If late by one period or more, the assignment will be penalized 10 points. All work must be submitted in person (not by e-mail or surrogate), unless prior arrangements are made. All late work must be submitted IN PERSON.

If students are too ill to submit their work personally, they should submit it when they return to class. They may avoid penalty for late submission by obtaining documentation from a relevant professional in a timely fashion (e.g., a doctor or the Dean of Students’ office). Students may also bring the due document to class and then be excused due to illness—no penalty.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Students are allowed THREE unexcused absences. As of the fourth absence, students must have documentation and the instructor will warn the student by email about the risk of a WF. After TWO warnings, the student will be withdrawn with a WF. Students who want to avoid this eventuality should work out a plan with the instructor.  Always email the instructor about absence and keep him in the loop.

Other Policies

 cademic Dishonesty & Writing Too Close to Source

ENGLISH DEPARTMENT POLICY: Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")–whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary.

 Plagiarism and Proper Documentation

Any use of a non-documented source as if it were a student’s original work is considered plagiarism and academic dishonesty. Plagiarism can be of ideas; it can be of exact phrasing. In either or both cases, if the student has failed to acknowledge the source in the body of the essay and to document it in the Works Cited, the grade will be a “0” (no points) for the assignment even if the rest of the assignment is original and use of other sources properly documented. Upon being informed of the plagiarism, the student is no longer welcome in the class. The student may withdraw from the course with a penalty-free “W” if available; if not, the student must cease attending and the grade will be whatever points the student has accumulated minus the plagiarized document and any other tests or assignment as yet not completed (which are forfeit).  If the student continues to attend, the instructor will contact the Dean of Students or Student Conduct office and withdraw the student with a WF.

 Phrasing that is too close to the student’s own documented sources.

Students who reproduce the phrasing of their documented source(s) as if it were their own phrasing will be penalized for language that is too close to source. Students can use terminology they find in their documented sources, but four words in a row are too much without quoting. Verbatim use of a documented source must be confined to QUOTES set off with quotation marks or ten extra spaces on the left if the verbatim passage works out to be five or more lines of student typing or handwriting. All such quoting requires parenthetical page numbers if provided in the source. Even if page numbers are not provided, the language must be clearly attributed to the author and set off by quotation marks or an extra ten inches on the left.

Other Policies

NO USE OF PERSONAL ELECTRONICS (phones, ear-buds, etc) is permitted in class unless the instructor has given specific permission. Students need the relevant book open on their desk to follow along.


Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

>Calendar Attachment

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

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