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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Humanities Department
Course Prefix and Number: ENGL 351
Course Title: Readings in Shakespeare
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Study of William Shakespeare's writing, emphasizing his plays in all genres. Prerequistes: ENGL 112 and a previous 200-level or higher English literature course. Offered Spring.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): ENGL 112 and a previous 200-level or higher English course.
Course Rotation for Day Program:

Offered Spring.

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Several suitable collections of the complete works are available, including:

The Riverside Shakespeare
By Shakespeare, William (Ed. G. Blakemore Evans, et al. ) (Houghton Mifflin)
The Norton Shakespeare
By Shakespeare, William (Ed. Stephen Greenblatt, et al.) (W.W. Norton)
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
By Shakespeare, William (Ed. David Bevington) (Addison-Wesley)
At leaset 8 plays should be the focus of the course and may be supplemented by poems, such as the Sonnets.

Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Analyze Shakespeare's poetry and plays in three dramatic genres (comedy, tragedy, history).
  2. Describe the recurrent concerns appearing in Shakespeare's work.
  3. Identify the historical and cultural contexts of Shakespeare's life and writing.
  4. Describe ways in which critics have received and interpreted Shakespeare's work.
  5. Write argumentatively about Shakespeare's work.
  6. Demonstrate revision of argumentative writing about Shapeare's work.
Major Topics/Skills to be Covered:
  • Background to the study of Shakespeare
  • At least eight plays, which must include at least one each of the history plays, comedies, tragedies, and romances
  • Poems such as the Sonnets may be assigned
  • Class discussion of the selected works
  • Terminology essesntial to the study of Shakespeare
  • In class exams, including a final
  • Because this course represents an upper-level English elective, it bears a distinctive responsibility for teaching advanced knowledge within the discipline. Students must read and write intensively, and they must engage in serious literary study that includes the use of peer-reviewed scholarship. This course must require advanced students to complete both in class and out of class projects (such as midterms, finals, group reports, quizzes, research papers). The course reading load should be at least 1000 pages, and may comprise less than this minimum only if the instructor is accounting for a significant amount of assigned poetry.
  • Department policy requires that assignments include at least one common reading of a secondary, peer-reviewed article or chapter.
  • Department policy requires a minimum of 4000 words (approximately 16 pages) of graded student writing, including an argumentative research essay that incorporates secondary criticism.
  • Students must write a series of two literarly analysis essays that require students to analyze one or more primary texts. More than two essays may be assigned.
  • In class exams, including a final exam that asks questions about the hhistorical, cultural, and the authorial contexts of Shakespeare's work, and which asks students to analyze that work using disciplinary terminologies, some of which relate to literary genres. Work from all students in the course should be assessed.
  • Instructors may be asked to collect information from the assignments specified in the Major Topice/Skills section. This information will be provided to the English program for evaluation.

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 25

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Peter Monacell Date: April 15, 2015
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course learning outcomes and cover the subjects listed in the Major Topics/Skills to be Covered section. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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