Drama as Literature (EL 250)

29 August 2005

Welcome to ''Drama as Literature''

Welcome to EL 250, "Major Writers and Genres -- Drama as Literature"

The course website is located at http://blogs.setonhill.edu/DennisJerz/EL250. I will update the site periodically, so the printout I gave you is only for your convenience today. The page you will want to consult most frequently is the outline (which lists all assigned readings and the due dates for major assignments).

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[Dramatic conflict is] the spectacle of the will striving toward a goal, and conscious of the means which it employs. -- Ferdinand Brunetiere

Conflict is the heart of drama.

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RRRR (Read, React, Respond, Reflect)

For EL250, a four-step process that helps you prepare for a productive class discussion using the SHU weblog system.

Read the assigned text, react by posting an agenda item (see glossary) to your weblog, respond to 2-4 items posted by your peers, and reflect on the experience in a 200-word informal essay (see "reflection paper" in the glossary).

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Reflection Paper

For EL250, a reflection paper (see example) is an informal written statement that demonstrates that you are coming to class prepared to do your part to advance the discussion of a reading. (It's the fourth "R" in the "RRRR" sequence.)

You may post it on your weblog, if you wish.

Your 200-word reflection should include a direct quotation from and several specific references to the assignged text. It should also refer to a specific statement made by at least one of your peers (emphasizing how that peer's opinion differs from or modifies your own).

Bring a printout to class. (I might not always collect it, but I'd like you to be able to consult it if called upon.)


  1. Include at least one direct quotation from the assigned reading.
  2. Engage critically and intellectually with that quotation.
  3. Refer by name to at least one peer whose online reaction differs from or modifies yours (a simple "I agree with Sally" isn't what I'm looking for).
  4. Length: about 200 words (not counting quotations).

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Reflection Paper - Sample

This sample reflection paper contains a direct quotation from the text, refers to peer agenda items, and and makes a non-obvious observation about the text. It's a little more developed than a typical "Reflection" needs to be (see "RRRR" in the glossary.)

The final statement ties several of these observations together and takes a stand.

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250 Homework Reminder

On Monday morning, right after class, I e-mailed this out to all students via J-Web:

I always enjoy the first meeting of a class. Iím looking forward to plenty of stimulating discussions with bright students.

In order to get you started, I'm sending out this message to remind you what to do for class on Wednesday.

Read through the syllabus and other materials I handed you today.

The course website is here:


Click on the following link to go directly to the page for 29 August.


Click on each of the main links and read each entry -- "Welcome to 'Drama as Literature', 'Conflict', 'RRRR' and 'Reflection Paper'.

Now click on the following link to go to the page for August 31. (Or you can just click on the date in the calendar.)


First read the handout on "Close Reading." If you'd like more clarification on the subject, you may click on the resources listed under "See also."

Back on the August 31 page, you'll find links to pages I created for your two assigned readings.

At least 24 hours before the next class (that is, by 9am tomorrow), post a brief "reaction" to each of the assigned readings. (This is part of the "Read, React, Respond, Reflect" sequence I'm asking you to follow for each assigned reading.)

Post your reaction to "Heart in the Ground" on this page...


Post your reaction to "Trifles" on this page. I had wanted you to read the version in the Gwynn anthology, but Iíve posted a link to an online copy. (The work is no longer protected by copyright, so itís a legal copy, in case anyone was wondering.)


In the future, I'll ask you to ďRespondĒ to the comments that your peers have posted, but for now you can just skip ahead to the fourth R, "Reflect." Here's a link to the "Reflect" handout, to refresh your memory.


Before long, I'll give every student his or her own weblog at "blogs.setonhill.edu/YourName". If you already have a blog somewhere and you'd like me to visit it, I'd be happy to stop by, but for administrative reasons I'm going to ask you to blog all your homework at the SHU site. (The instructions will come soon... don't worry about it.)

Many students have kept their weblogs after class is over, and quite a few were blogging over the summer. If you'd like to see what other bloggers are up to, visit http://blogs.setonhill.edu/nmj

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