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Course : Introduction to Reading and Writing about Literature

Course Number
Section Number
101 & 102
Fall 2019
Bea Wood Hall, 210
Days & Times
Final Exam Day/Time
Monday, December 09, 2019 12:00 am

Course goals

Read various literary texts united by a common theme or topic.

Apply knowledge of literary analysis to interpret literary texts.

Engage in a writing process that includes invention, drafting, and revision.

Write various genres of academic essays.

Find, evaluate, and synthesize credible sources in support of a research paper.

Use sources ethically and in contextually appropriate ways and follow a designated style guide [MLA].

Demonstrate proficient use of Standard Written English. 

Required Books: 

The Arden Shakespeare: The Tempest. Revised Edition: Bloomsbury. Paperback. ISBN 978-1-4081-3347-7. 

The Little Seagull Handbook with Exercises. W.W. Norton and Company. Third Edition. ISBN 978-0-393-60264-7.

Daily Schedule & Due Dates

NOTE: Students may seek input on a working draft by email: copy and paste directly into the email message. However, the professor may not have enough time if the student sends it too close to the due date. 

August 26 28 30

Monday Dr. Fields reviews syllabus.

Des McAnuff, director. The Tempest. Christopher Plummer as Prospero.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Act 1 scene 1: Gonzalo takes comfort in the boatswain’s arrogance based on a proverb: A man born to hang will not drown.

Act 1 scene 2: Miranda’s heart breaks for the sinking ship. Caliban curses Miranda for teaching him words. He accuses Prospero of stealing the island from him. Miranda defends Prince Ferdinand from her father’s unexpected wrath.

Act 2 scene 1: Gonzalo sees the island as new hope for human bliss. Antonio tempts Sebastian to murder his brother, King Alonso.

September 2 4 6

Monday Labor Day Holiday – Campus Closed

Wednesday-Friday, McAnuff film continued.

Act 2 scene 2: Caliban chooses the drunken Stephano to be his new god.

Act 3 scene 1: Ferdinand expresses his love for Miranda who seems to resist him.

Act 3 scene 2: Caliban enlists his new god, the drunken Stephano, to kill Prospero. Caliban describes the magic and wonder of the island, including its invisible voices. 

September 9 11 13

Monday, Wednesday, Friday:

Act 3 scene 3: Ariel masquerades as a hideous harpy and accuses King Alonso, Antonio, and Sebastian of terrible crimes.

Act 4 scene 1: Prospero restores Prince Ferdinand to favor and treats him and Miranda to an aerial wedding pageant of Ceres, Juno, and Iris, which Prospero interrupts to deal with Caliban’s conspiracy.

Act 5 scene 1 and epilogue: Prospero renounces his powers and sets Ariel free. Prospero forgives his enemies.

September 16 18 20

Monday Sept 16 MOVIE RESPONSE 1

Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Julie Taymor, director. The Tempest. Helen Mirren as Prospera.

September 23, 25, 27

Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Taymor movie continues 

September 30, Oct 2 4

Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Taymor movie continues

Dr. Fields is out of town at the Rocky Mountain MLA convention Wed-Fri, Oct 9-11. 

Oct 7 9 11                        


Databases in 2nd floor Moffett Computer Lab all week

Mandatory Attendance ALL week: We meet with the librarian in the 2nd floor computer lab of Moffett Library. Attendance is mandatory Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  

October 14 16 18 – Databases in 2nd floor Moffett lab all week.

Mandatory Attendance ALL week: We meet with the librarian in the 2nd floor computer lab of Moffett Library. Attendance is mandatory Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  

October 21 23 25

Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Fred Wilcox, director. Forbidden Planet. Walter Pidgeon as Dr. Morbius

October 28 30 Nov 1

NOTE: Monday October 28 is last day for penalty-free “W.”

Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Forbidden Planet continues.

November 4 6 8

Monday Nov 4 Movie Response 3 Due

Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Paul Mazursky, director. Tempest. Raul Julia as Kalibanos

November 11 13 15

Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Mazursky’s movie continues

November 18 20 22

Monday Nov 18 Scholarly Response due

Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Mazursky’s movie continues.

November 25              [Thanksgiving Holiday Nov 27-29]

Monday      Instructions for the Final Essay

Dec 2 4 6

Monday Dec 2 Movie Response 4 Due

Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Instructions for the Final Essay


Final essay for 9:00 AM class is due 8:00 AM, Monday, December 9, in our regular classroom.

Final essay for 11:00 AM class is due 10:30 AM, Monday, December 9, in our regular classroom.

Movie responses: 40 percent of semester grade (10 percent each) - SEE MODEL UNDER SUBMISSION FORMAT

Each movie response is one paragraph of about 300 words. You start with an overall idea that is your answer to our perennial question: What is Shakespeare teaching us about modern people? 

For the first and second movie responses, you quote three times from our play (with parenthetical act, scene, and line); for the third and fourth movie responses, you quote three times to the best of your recollection from the dialogue. 

Here is your sequence leading up to each quote: Describe the situation with specific details (avoid summary as much as possible). Be dynamically visual and auditory (what we see and hear). Then provide an insight or thought based on the quote, but the thought comes first. The quote is last. 

The insight or thought is the supporting point and ends on a colon just before the relevant quote. Think of it as a moral or lesson for all of us and express it as universally as possible. SEE MODEL UNDER SUBMISSION FORMAT

Scholarly Response: 30 percent of the grade: SEE MODEL UNDER SUBMISSION FORMAT 

You need to find three articles in scholarly journals. By using key search words, you can find the articles on our Moffett-supported databases.

You are quoting ONCE from each article. Do not start with the quote. For each quote, start with the author, title of the article, and the name of the journal and the main idea in your words. This idea is also a supporting point. The quote follows the supporting point. You do this process three times in the same paragraph.

The paragraph needs an overall idea. This overall idea is an answer to our usual question: What is Shakespeare saying about modern people?

Without quoting from the play, describe something from one of our movies. You can paraphrase the movie’s dialogue.

To find scholarly articles, start with Academic Search Complete on the Moffett Library databases. Then click on the choose option just above the search box and add other databases. SEE MODEL UNDER SUBMISSION FORMAT

Final Essay: 30 percent of the semester grade:

Write a five-paragraph essay about The Tempest, informed by your responses (including for the movies). You already have the basis for the second, third, and fourth paragraphs—they are revisions of two movie responses and your scholarly response with three quotes from three sources.

FIRST PARAGRAPH: The first paragraph is an introductory paragraph. It answers our usual prompt question: What is Shakespeare teaching us about modern people? Introduce the character or characters who illustrate the overall idea of your essay. What scenes in the play drive home your thought? What scenes from two of our movies help you make your point?

SECOND PARAGRAPH (revision of movie response): Revise one of your movie responses. If you need to make your description more specific and visual or clarify your supporting points, here is your opportunity not only to improve your movie response but also to tailor it more closely to your five-paragraph’s argument. Make sure your overall idea supports what you are doing in your first paragraph. 

THIRD PARAGRAPH (revision of another movie response): Revise another movie response. As with paragraph two, if you need to make your description in this response more specific and visual or clarify your supporting points, here is your opportunity not only to improve your movie response but also to tailor it more closely to what you are trying to say throughout the five-paragraph essay.  

FOURTH PARAGRAPH: Revise your scholarly response

FIFTH PARAGRAPH: Here revisit your overall idea from the introduction. Tease out something you mentioned in paragraph three or four—something you described from a movie. Go into depth in light of something your scholarly source said or implied in paragraph five.

See attached grading rubrics.


Four undocumented absences means 10 percent off the overall semester grade. The professor will accept documentation in the form of cellphone pictures (by email attachment) of clinic sign-in sheets, court dates, prescription labels, repair receipts, and work schedules; he will accept emails from family members, lawyers, and supervisors. Many times students are helping family members or friends in crisis. The key is keeping Dr. Fields in the loop, communicating and working with him by email, and, most importantly, coming to an agreement on how to document the absences.

Submission of work and late work:

Students must submit their work on due dates in person: not by surrogate, not under an office door, not left on a desk, and not by email attachment. If lateness is undocumented, the late penalty is 10 points out of 100. The Final Essay is penalized 10 points if submitted after the official time slot for that final exam.

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.

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.

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.

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.

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MSUTexas 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.

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 2) earned 60 hours. Students may meet this requirement in one of three ways: by passing the Writing Proficiency Exam, passing two Writing Intensive Courses (only one can be in the core), or passing English 2113. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

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