Course Details

Course Number
4773 & attachment for 5773
Section Number
4773 & attachment for 5773
Fall 2010
Dillard College of Business Administration
Classroom Number
Days & Times

MWF 12 – 12:50 PM Dillard 323

Dr. Peter Fields (view Profile)


The Norton Shakespeare
Ed. Stephen Greenblatt. 2nd ed. Two Volume Paperback set. Vol. 1: Early Plays and Poems. Vol. 2: Later Plays.

Course Objectives

 English Department Goals

GOAL 1. Critical Inquiry

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.

GOAL 2.  Knowledge of Language and Literature

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.

GOAL 3.  Writing as Process

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.

GOAL 4.  Engagement

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


Objectives in Shakespeare

  • Participate in discussion by presenting an early draft (Block Quote, pars. 2-4) of a seven paragraph essay on the play being discussed in class. (Must present at least once during the semester.)
  • Write three seven paragraph essays, each one on a different play in our reading list (the second essay must be on Hamlet).
  • In the three seven paragraph essays and the Blue Book, include a critical review (pars. 5-6).
  • Paragraph five of the critical review should make a point from either the Norton preface or general introduction, reinforced by at least one short quote. Paragraph fiveshould also quote from another Shakespeare play in our reading list for purposes of comparison.
  • Paragraph six of the critical review draws on an outside source (not found in our Norton Shakespeare) in a sustained manner: i.e., making related points based on the source. At least one Short Quote (up to three or four lines) from the source should reinforce one of the points.
  • Each seven paragraph essay must support a thesis that is clearly stated at the beginning of the first paragraph of the essay.
  • A Block Quote (BQ) from Shakespeare follows the first paragraph. Paragraph two mines the BQ for ideas. Paragraph three addresses character, while paragraph four addresses irony. Par. 3 requires 4 Short Quotes (SQs); par. 4 requires 4 more SQs.
  • Write in class a six paragraph Blue Book essay on The Tempest as the final exam.
  • Students must write clearly with standard punctuation and grammar. Grammar and phrasing problems will affect the grade.

Final Exam

Tuesday, December 6th, 10:30 AM– 12:30 PM. Students may pre-enter the Block Quote in their Blue Book. They may already have an outline with bullet points on the inside Blue Book covers. The Blue Book is open-book and students may have their highlighted outside source with them during the test. The outside source must be properly acknowledged and documented in the Works Cited, which may also be pre-entered in the Blue Book. There is NO introductory paragraph, but otherwise everything is the same including proper MLA in-body citing.

Course Expectations

 Proper Format (using MLA citing standards)

The first paragraph, or introduction, begins with the clearest possible explanation (3-5 sentences) of the student’s argument (and, for that reason, the first paragraph is best composed last). The first paragraph should end with a context that explains the relevant plotline and anticipates a key idea in the Block Quote that immediately follows (the first paragraph ends on a colon, followed by the Block Quote).

 Each essay features a Block Quote (BQ), a long passage from the play cited word for word exactly the way it appears in our text (don’t turn poetry into prose). Instead of quotation marks, students set the BQ off an extra 10 spaces on the left all the way down. At the close of the BQ, students should provide parentheses with act, scene, and line numbers:

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: e.g. Prince Hamlet goes on to worry about the afterlife: “To die, to sleep. / To sleep, perchance to dream. Ay, there’s the rub” (66-67). Notice the forward slash between lines when we’re NOT using Block Quotes.

The second paragraph comes AFTER the BQ and mines the BQ for ideas. The second paragraph does NOT have any quotes, either from the Block Quote or from elsewhere in the poem or story.

The third paragraph, regarding character (the motivation of a person in the story), utilizes four Short Quotes (SQs) that were not part of the BQ. Always provide the line number(s) immediately following the quote.

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

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).

Notice that we always ANTICIPATE a quote with its significance for our discussion, especially if it’s a longer quote of a line or more. NOTE: We do NOT lead with a quote—we lead with its meaning to us. The 3rd paragraph should begin In regard to character.

The fourth paragraph, regarding irony (when the opposite of what we expect proves to be true), utilizes four more (never before used) SQs. NOTE: Think of this paragraph as an opportunity to acknowledge your hypothetical opposition. For instance, if you are arguing in the Blue Book that Prospero is the natural ruler of the island, offer concessions in paragraph four where you admit there are valid arguments in favor of Caliban. The 4th paragraph should begin In regard to irony.

The fifth paragraph begins In regard to my critical review. Here students need a point from either the general introduction or from the play’s preface. This point must be reinforced by at least one direct quote (of some length, but not a Block Quote). You also need to offer a comparison (with direct quote) from another Shakespeare play on our reading list:

 In regard to my critical review, I want to cite Stephen Greenblatt’s preface to the play where he emphasizes the “painful interiority” (104) of Prince Hamlet’s interior life. People around Hamlet—most notably Polonius—make assumption after assumption based on what they assume would be his self-interest, but they reason from mere appearances, rather than what Hamlet is, a person of complexity: “Hamlet at once invites and resists interrogation. He is, more than any theatrical character before and perhaps since, a figure constructed around an unseen or secret core” (104). Now if you were making such a point, you would want to offer YOUR interpretation as to the nature of that secret core—the real motivation of Hamlet. You must follow up on your use of Greenblatt with your own INSIGHT. Then connect with another play in our list:  King Lear—like Polonius who uses Ophelia as bait and decoy—throws away the life of his daughter, Cordelia. When he holds her dying body, he realizes there was only one thing that mattered, not his kingdom or his vanity, but his daughter. When he thinks he sees her breath, he grasps at straws, hoping she may be restored to him: “This feather stirs. She lives. If it be so, / It is a chance which does redeem all sorrow / That ever I have felt” (Lr. 5.3.239-241).

The sixth paragraph (which continues the critical review) should introduce an idea from an outside source (either, a scholarly article from the Moffett-supported database Academic Search Complete or a serious title from the Moffett book stacks). The idea is to offer a sustained discussion of a thought in your outside source. There should be at least one direct quote (no longer than 4 lines of your typing). NOTE: We never just quote—we anticipate the quote with the idea and context in our own words. The quote itself is just reinforcement (proper acknowledgement is highlighted in bold):

According to Cameron Hunt, in his article 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 <span class="scayt-misspell" data-scayt_word="" lovèd"="" data-scaytid="93">“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).

 NOTE: You may bring to bear additional material in pars. 5-6 only if it is pre-approved by the instructor (e.g., a hand-out in class). It must be properly documented in-body and in the Works Cited.

The seventh paragraph begins with the position (your thesis), offers a concession (based perhaps on a point in the irony paragraph), and then reinforces the position (refined position) with THREE sub-points: i.e., three supporting reasons in support of your thesis (three examples or explanations in your own words derived from key points in pars. 2-3). NO quoting in the seventh paragraph. Suggestion: The first sub-point reinforcing your position might kick off with nevertheless or nonetheless—because you are returning to your thesis despite (and in light of) the concession you just offered.

Grading Standards


Each essay (including the Blue Book Final) is worth the same amount (20 percent). The grades for the essays are added together and divided by five for the final semester grade.

Final Exam

12/06/2010 10:30 AM-12:30 PM

Submission Format Policy

 Proper Submission of Student Writing

  • All writing must be typed (12 point Times New Roman), double-spaced, with a header for the student’s last name (in the default .5 setting in upper right corner), page numbers inserted (upper right, .5 setting), and MLA format for citing, including the Works Cited. However, while the 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.On the first page of an essay, the student name, instructor name, course, and date should be in the upper left, double-spaced.
  • Students must submit, and retain, all their typed hole-punched assignments in the clasps (i.e., “brads”) of a folder (which has both brads and pockets) in the order that they were assigned. The photocopy or printout of the relevant outside source must be in the left pocket (highlighted for the relevant passages). The most recent assignment that needs to be graded is always the last item (hole-punched and fixed in the brads).
  • 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.
  • Work submitted apart from the guidelines of this syllabus will not be evaluated and must be resubmitted and penalized for lateness.
  • At the end of the course, Dr. Fields will ask students to send him the computer files of their four essays 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.

Late Paper Policy

 Late Penalties and Illness

An assignment is late if submitted after the class period it is due and penalized 10 points. If late by two class periods, the essay is penalized 20 points. No late work may be submitted after the last official class period, Dec. 3rd. A class period is officially over when the instructor dismisses it.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). Absence for the sake of others requires similar documentation.

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

 Attendance Policy

Roll is taken right away as soon as class begins. The instructor is not obliged to count people present who arrive late. A student with three unexcused absences receives a warning from the instructor. As of the fourth unexcused absence, the instructor reserves the right to notify the Dean of Students and to initiate removal of the student from the course.

Other Policies

 Plagiarism and Proper Documentation

Any use of a source’s words as your own is plagiarism, even if most of the essay is original. It does not matter if you provide partial documentation (for instance, mention of the source in your Works Cited). Lack of proper acknowledgement and citing of sources—whether in the body of the essay or the Works Cited—can result in a failing grade and/or the charge of plagiarism and may require being reported to the university.

Remember: any use of a source requires in-body attribution—e.g., “according to [name of author(s)] in his or her article [title of article] for the journal [name of journal]—and then a page number in parentheses when you’re finished explaining a given point. Each time you finish making a point from the source you need to provide a parenthetical page at the end of the point’s final sentence. You need in-body attribution and a parenthetical page number even if you’re not directly quoting.

Any verbatim use of a source must be distinguished clearly from the student’s own language: i.e., set off on the left by an extra 10 spaces (i.e., Block Quotes) or enclosed by quotation marks (for shorter passages), immediately followed by the parenthetical reference.

 Works Cited

You must properly cite your sources in the Works Cited according to MLA standards. Here is a sample Works Cited (using the MLA cross reference technique for anthologies):

 Works Cited

Greenblatt, Stephen. Preface to Hamlet. Greenblatt 103-115.

Hunt, Cameron. Ophelia.” ANQ 22.4 (2009): 13-16. Academic Search Complete. Web. 9 Aug. 2010.

Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Greenblatt 116-204.

---. King Lear. Greenblatt 603-757.

---. The Norton Shakespeare: Later Plays. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt. 2nd edition. New York: Norton, 2008. Print. Vol. 2 of The Norton Shakespeare.  2 vols. 2008.

Classroom Policies

  • In the Dillard classroom there should be no eating or drinking.
  • Except for emergencies, students shouldn’t text or talk on their “cells” during class. If something serious is at stake, students should take the call outside.
  • Students may go to the restroom as the need arises except when the instructor is explaining a detailed point to the whole class.
  • In this course students must allow other class members to see their works-in-progress, including on the big screen and/or in presentations. Most importantly, students should know that we write in class.
  • Students must have the instructor’s permission to leave class early.

Americans with Disabilities Act

Please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140, if you need to file paperwork and request accommodations. This course complies with all requests on behalf of students made by Disability Support Services.

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.

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

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at