Writing Question

During this course you have learned how to research the theater that is available to watch in your area. Another aspect of theater appreciation, one that you will explore in this assignment, is READING plays. The act of READING a play is different than WATCHING a play. In fact, the act of reading a play is even different than reading a novel. Your Play Reading Assignment is to read a play of your choosing and write about your experience reading the play.

Please include the following in your paper:
-What is the title of the play that you read?
-Who wrote the play?
-Write about how you decided on this play?
-Where did you find a copy of this play to read?
-What surprises, if any, did you experience while reading the play?
-Did you enjoy reading the play? Why?
-Did you experience any difficulties or frustrations as you read the play (difficult to understand, boring, etc.)?
-How was reading this play different than reading a novel?
-How was the experience of reading this play different from the experience of watching the plays that you have watched this semester?

This paper is to be no more than THREE pages, double spaced, and written in twelve-point font. They must be submitted (see instructions below) by Sunday, March 27 at 11:59PM. Remember to always check your syllabus for due dates.

Finding a play to read:
It is up to you to decide on the play that you will read. It is also up to you to find a copy of the play that you decide to read. Some of you will decide on your plays based on what plays are readily accessible to you, and that is completely fine. Here are a few suggestions:

Your local public library can be a great source of play scripts. Visit your library, and ask them if they will point you in the direction of where they keep their plays.

For those of you who are near the Douglas Library they have a decent play section.

Most brick and mortar bookstores like Barnes and Noble and Borders will have a small play script section made up of mostly popular plays. This is a good option for those of you who may feel that you are ready to start building your personal play script library.

And finally, for those of you who can’t – or don’t want to – spend any more money and who don’t want to make a trip to the library, there’s always the world wide web. This is an online course after all. You can find tons of plays online. Every single Shakespeare play is available online. It’s harder to find contemporary plays online, but older plays – particularly the classics – you can usually find somewhere. If you’re interested in finding a play online then you may want to start by deciding on a play to read and then searching to see if you can find an online copy.

Another thing you may want to try – though this is not a requirement – is to find a copy of one of the plays that you have watched or will watch this semester. It’s often a very interesting experience to read a play that you’ve already seen or to see a play that you’ve already read.

Some things to keep in mind when writing your paper
I want to give you instructions on what is expected in terms of structure, so that you can receive the highest marks possible. Students who follow these instructions often see an improvement in their writing assignment grades, not only in this class but others. Good academic writing is important in any course. Believe me, professors are happy when they see such effort put forth.

Papers for this course have an inherently Subjective grading component; meaning that a portion of the final grade cannot help but be based on my opinion of your work. Therefore, I try to make structure and grammar weigh significantly, so that the grade has a strong Objective base. Strong structure and grammar will earn between a B and a B+ (80-89) depending upon how well the sentences build in each paragraph, etc. Any writing that earns an A (90 or higher) is of strong academic quality and additional points are based on how well the writing flows, builds, and drives.

It is not my philosophy when grading papers that you start with a 100 for the assignment and lose points from there. Rather, you start with a blank expectation and earn the grade by accomplishing the above and below mentioned standards in your writing. Therefore, my best advice is to write academically-

  • Use strong structure (the body of the paper should have a clear beginning, middle, and end. So should each paragraph).
  • Be succinct. The assignment is three pages for a reason; to limit the space in which you have to express yourself. Therefore, if you are attempting strong analysis it becomes very important to pick your words well and build to a point. Each sentence should build and drive the thought of the overall analysis, because there is no space to waste.
  • Spell check and be strict about grammar.
  • Finally — and this should go without saying– don’t waste precious space writing about the cost of the tickets, commute to see the show, the lobby of the theatre, what you ate for dinner, etc. Stick to critique and analysis of the show and how it effected you.
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