English 205: Exercises (25%)

The course includes five (5) tutorial exercises to apply and practice the critical reading and writing skills you learn about in particular weeks. You will complete these exercises in five different tutorials, as noted in the course schedule (E1, E2, E3, E4, E5). In lectures, I will discuss each of these skills in detail. Your TA and I will teach you how to complete each exercise successfully. Only E4 and E5 are open-book. You must complete and submit each exercise in the time allowed. If you miss any exercise, for any reason, there is no make-up exercise.

Exercise 1 (4%, Week 3) will give you a short passage from As You Like It to paraphrase in modern English (i.e. in your own words). For instance, you might rewrite the line (from Hamlet) “Neither a borrower nor a lender be” as “You should neither borrow nor lend,” or “Do not borrow, and do not lend.” We will grade you on how thorough, accurate, and clear your paraphrase is. For full marks, you will render the whole passage and its ideas in comprehensible, grammatically correct modern English. You will have 20 minutes to complete this exercise.

Exercise 2 (8%, Week 4) will ask for a close reading of a passage from one of Shakespeare’s plays, focusing on its structural, linguistic, semantic, and cultural aspects. These are outlined in a series of questions that you answer on the exercise sheet. The sheet is available here, in advance. Before the exercise you will receive a list of ten passages from the plays we are reading; one of them will be required for the exercise. To prepare, read each passage at least two or three times before analyzing it, and paraphrase its meaning in your mind. Use the Oxford English Dictionary to look up any words whose meaning is unclear. Then read it again, and identify each aspect in the list of questions. You will have 45 minutes to complete this exercise.

Exercise 3 (3%, Week 6) will give you a longer passage from Hamlet and ask you to write three sentences quoting from it. For full marks, each sentence will correctly use one of the three ways of punctuating quotations that we discuss in class and tutorial: (1) a colon, (2) a comma, and (3) no punctuation between your words and Shakespeare’s (except quotation marks). You will show that you understand these three different ways of quoting texts, and the transitions between your words and Shakespeare’s will be grammatically correct (i.e. if you removed the quotation marks). You will have 20 minutes to complete this exercise.

Exercise 4 (5%, Week 7) will ask you to make an argument for or against a statement about Hamlet. In the tutorial, you will form groups of two and discuss which position you will take (for or against the statement), and what evidence you will quote to support it. (This is an open-book exercise.) You will then each write a paragraph, making the argument in your own words and supporting it with at least two quotations from the play. You will have 30 minutes to complete this exercise: 10 minutes for paired discussion and 20 minutes for writing.

Exercise 5 (5%, Week 12) will ask you to write a paragraph that fits into a larger argument on Cymbeline. You will be given the outline of an essay, describing the paragraphs before and after the one you will write. You will write a paragraph that begins with a transition from the paragraph before, has a coherent internal structure, and develops logically to an end that transitions to the paragraph that follows. You will quote at least once from the text, using one or more of the suggested quotations on the provided question sheet, and/or your own (well-annotated!) copy. You will have 30 minutes to complete this exercise.

For each exercise you will get a grade out of 10 marks (in the Grade Centre in Bb), but no written feedback.

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