Description: Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour. Enforced requisite: satisfaction of Entry-Level Writing requirement. Not open for credit to English majors or students with credit for course 150A or 150B. Survey of Shakespeare's plays, including comedies, tragedies, and histories, selected to represent Shakespeare's breadth, artistic progress, and total dramatic achievement. P/NP or letter grading.

Units: 5.0
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Overall Rating 3.0
Easiness 2.0/ 5
Clarity 3.0/ 5
Workload 2.0/ 5
Helpfulness 3.0/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Summer 2019 - I took ENGL 90 in the summer with Professor Allen & TA Mark Gallagher. As an online course, we had to watch 2-3 video lectures each week about a late-Shakespearean play, plus 1-2 film adaptations of each play. We covered King Lear, Measure for Measure, Antony and Cleopatra, Othello, and The Tempest. There were written one-page essays during Weeks 2-5 on the play being studied. We also had to post on the discussion boards about the play studied each week, and attend weekly discussion section via Zoom which lasted for about an hour each. There is a cumulative final in the end, which can be taken in person or online via ProctorU. Grades are calculated as follows: 30% - Participation in Live Sections and Written Responses on Discussion Board 10% - Essay 1 (one page) on King Lear 10% - Essay 2 (one page) on Measure for Measure 10% - Essay 3 (one page) on Antony and Cleopatra 10% - Essay 4 (one page) on The Tempest 30% - Final Exam (cumulative) Participation via discussion board posts and speaking during live sections are graded based on completion. The TA will go over what each student posted on the discussion board and ask for the student to add to his/her paragraphs. The one-page analysis essays were easy to do, but the TA heavily emphasized following through with deep analysis over surface statements. I got an average of 88.5% on all four essays. The final exam was difficult. It had 35 short sentence responses, 2 short paragraph summaries, and 2 long essay questions synthesizing the written play and the film adaptations. The short sentence responses ask for very minor details that I overlooked while studying the plays. The summaries were easy to do. The long essay questions were a little bit more challenging since you had to remember the film adaptations as well. I ended up with a 72% on the final, but I had chosen to take this class P/NP, and got a P on my transcript. Overall, this class has a heavy but doable workload, as long as you are not taking any other classes during the summer session. The written assignments were easy to do and the course is very well-organized. The final might be challenging if you did not study enough or did not watch all of the lecture videos/film adaptations. Mark was a very intelligent TA who pushed us to analyse the text deeper, and the live sections were always engaging.
Overall Rating 4.7
Easiness 3.5/ 5
Clarity 4.5/ 5
Workload 3.2/ 5
Helpfulness 4.5/ 5
Most Helpful Review
OVERALL: Professor Dickey’s Introduction to Poetry (ENGL 91A) was an enjoyable, rewarding class. The course overviewed various forms, functions, and techniques of English poetry. Course readings range from poems many centuries old to contemporary poetry. The class is not hard, but it takes some work. STRUCTURE: The lectures were roughly structured as follows. Professor Dickey provided a list with assigned readings for each class, organized by themes (e.g., sonnets, elegies, or love poetry). The reading was not long—maybe ten to fifteen poems per class—and the time it takes to complete them depends on how much one would like to analyze the poems. In class, Professor Dickey would typically begin with a introduction to the day’s theme and then go on to create a class discussion in analyzing one or a few poems. His introductions were insightful, organized, and well thought out. The discussions were a pretty interesting experience. The room is filled with about one-hundred fifty smart people and anyone can raise a hand and contribute an understanding to the poem under discussion, which was deconstructed line by line. In my experience, sometimes this was fun and sometimes it was dragged out. GRADES: Midterm, essay, discussion, and final. - Discussion work is not stressful. My TA, Miss Tally Ravid, was an incredible person and teacher. Her sections were enjoyable. Both the TA’s for this class were great people. - The midterm was pretty similar to what was in the test bank—includes some vocabulary, scansion for two poems, and a free response essay. Makes up a nice chunk of your grade, so do or die. It’s not hard if you put in an adequate amount of work. - The essay was pretty open to however you approached it. Professor Dickey gave a couple of topics and you can choose to write about any poem in the Norton Anthology of Poetry (the class text). If you are a good writer and put in the time, you will do well. -The final was similar to the midterm, but with two free-response questions. -There were two ungraded assignments: a poetry reading in front of the class by heart and a poem that you write yourself. Could be horrible or wonderful. It’s truly ungraded. ADVICE: - Go to the test bank and get the old tests. - The class textbook is available as a torrent if you’re into thievery. - Do the readings to make the most of the class. Try to engage with them when you have free time. The texts are popular and you’ll encounter them later in life. If you want to really walk out of this class gaining a lot, you will have to be proactive. - Know how to write before you take this class. - Use Quizlet to learn the poem identifications he puts on the exams. Just search for his class and there are a bunch of sets already made. - Consider taking this class during your freshman year, especially if you are a premed student. Getting the A is not difficult, and the style of the class is conducive to making new friends. I took it as a freshman in fall of 2013 and it definitely helped me transition into college. The instructors were really nice, too, and will give you good feedback if you pursue it.
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