Rama 115 Construct a Dialogue on Hamlet & Dalys, Under the Glass Light

DRAM 115/003 Fall 2012

Course Paper Prompt and Guidelines


Course Papers Must Take the Following Form:
Construct a Dialogue in which two playwrights we have read this semester are discussing one anotheras dramaturgy and theatre practice.(Hamlet & Dalys, Under the Glass
Light) This dialogue is a structured and meaningful exchange of ideas, including both analysis and debate. Your choices can cross both time and space (so Shakespeare may encounter Strindberg, for example), and the playwrights must refer to their own writing when arguing a point. Stay only with the play read in class by each dramatist as your example of their work. And again, give the conversation significance: take care not to derail into disorganized free association, a dismissive insult match, or exchanges of trivia.
Why a Dialogue? We are employing the format of a dialogue to further invest in the experience of drama as opposed to other forms of literature. Donat be intimidated by the nature of the prompt. The content is still the familiar territory of a compare/contrast assignment. The only change is that instead of the objective third-person voice of a conventional paper, you are adopting the first person voice as each of your playwrights.

How Do I Proceed? Any two playwrights from the course may debate one another. Once youave decided on which playwrights to use, the best procedure for structuring the dialogue is to employ those six basic elements from Aristotle. Compose a grounding introduction where each playwright sets out some context for their work and theatre practice and then spend about a page debating each element, with some broader conclusions at the end. Depending on your choice of authors, there may be points of agreement on certain elements (how plot is constructed, how character conceived and represented, use of language, expectations concerning stagecraft, etc.) but the points of disagreement will prove most valuable for analysis and expansion. Again, your playwrights must use only our particular plays from the syllabus as their ammunition, not other works from either dramatist, as their example for defining and defending their approach to drama and theatre.
How is a Dialogue Assessed? Papers are expected to demonstrate a degree of fluency with the class material through an organized and systematic debate, employing analytic thought, course points of focus, concepts and vocabulary, and some degree of original ideas.
Common Issues
Avoid the trap of spending too much time establishing the setting and providing a?local colora or comic relief through expository chit-chat. Get to a point of focus in discussing drama and theatre as quickly as possible and stick to meaningful topics.
Important: Do not include personal biography of the playwrights in the conversation. Stating empty historical facts and statistics serves no active purpose whatsoever and wastes valuable space. Assume your debaters know one anotheras life stories already.
Important: Do not include plot summaries of plays. Employ the convention that each has read and/or seen the otheras play in question so that your use of that drama through supporting examples is specific to the topics of debate.
Important: Do not attempt to imitate a playwriting style or historical period (so Shakespeare doesnat speak in blank verse or use a?theea? and a?thoua?; Moliere doesnat speak in rhyme). Such experiments make the dialogue too difficult to read for content. Have both speakers communicate in standard contemporary English (meaning, Shakespeare, for example, doesnat speak in Elizabethan vernacular but neither should he sound like heas on Jersey Shore).
Important: Be sure to incorporate your outside research into the body of the dialogue. Speakers can literally quote your source works in raising, highlighting or challenging a topic at hand. Alternatively, they may paraphrase those sources but either way, credit your references.
Do not allow speakers to simply trade points of view. This is a debate. Consider this face off a championship match, not routine practice. There is a huge investment in each sideas proving their philosophies, dramaturgy and practice are superior.
Do not allow speakers to filibuster. An exchange of monologues is not a dialogue. Keep the conversation engaged and active. Use the image of a tennis gamea keep the ball in play.
There is leverage for personal creativity here, but like any effective paper, a dialogue requires structure, shaping and substance.
Course Papers are assessed by Teaching Assistants so compose your dialogue for a knowledgeable general reader, but do not presume an unrealistic intimacy with your particular topic. This means you will adequately define terminology as you use it, organize your debate logically, examine positions with sufficient depth, and follow-through in clearly establishing, exploring and supporting each side in your dialogue.
Remember to consider the plays as theatre, not simply as literature on the page.
Additionally, your own thought is important--do not simply summarize lectures, outside sources, or condense introductions or materials from the textbook or supplementary research. Donat regurgitate facts or anotheras opinions: what you choose to include must be included to support your analysis.
You must include a minimum of two outside sources (not counting any component of our textbook) with full citations into the body of your paper. Critical sources are meant to add depth and credibility to your discussion, to provide and expand upon historical/social/political/ aesthetic context, to exemplify opposing views that you wish to refute, and/or to support your own perceptions and conclusions. These sources should not dominate the paper but instead validate your ideas.

E-research tools are an option for this assignment, but be aware that lazy searches which simply include any random database match often contribute toward overly generic papers overall. Further, dictionary and encyclopedia entries do not qualify as valid research materials, and study crib tools (Wikipedia, Sparknotes, Masterplots, Grade Saver, etc.) are likewise off limits, as are websites for any other academic institution, and general production reviews. Avoid resources more than a few decades old: just as you wouldnat quote a science or history textbook from 100 years ago, donat make the same error in addressing literature. Thought changes with the times. Additionally, any anthology of critical material may only count once regardless of how many essays, articles or reviews you make use of within that volume. Do not cite class/lecture notes as a reference. These are considered general knowledge.
Course papers will be graded on style as well as content. The final paper should be thoughtful, intelligent, clear and well supported. Cite quotations accurately. Revise and rewrite.
Cover Sheet: Include a cover sheet with the paper title, your name, the course and semester, and your signed UNC pledge (The word a?Pledgea? and your signature are sufficient.)
Formatting: Your paper must be formatted like a play text. Single-space stage directions and speeches and double-space between both stage directions and speakers. Italicize any stage directions as well. (See the formatting sample below.) Utilize standard margins and a traditional 12-point Times New Roman font. Extended research quotations (defined as more than four lines) should be indented as per MLA style sheets. Do not double-column the pages of your dialogue: that formatting device is only used to conserve space in our textbook.

Citations/Bibliography: Use MLA style for your citations and bibliography. The MLA Handbook is available in the library as well as on the MLA website. Parenthetical citations are fine for the abbreviated acknowledgement of sources in the body of your text.

Tips: Be sure you understand the difference between summary, paraphrasing and dire