• What kinds of writing assignments can I expect in upper-division THEA classes?

    Formal writing assignments in upper-division courses in THEA may include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Research papers into topics of theatre history, theatrical biographies, and/or production histories
    • Plays, scenes, monologues, and other creative playwriting exercises
    • Analyses of scripts, often with application of analytical ideas to production contexts
    • Directorial or design concept statements
    • Character analyses and biographies
    • Reflection/reaction papers
    • Journals
    • Reviews of play scripts and/or performances
    • Annotated bibliographies
  • How will my assignments be graded?

    Your professors may weigh certain criteria differently depending on the nature of the assignment. For formal, research oriented projects, however, the following criteria may be taken into account:

    • Specificity and originality of thesis statement.
    • Organization of essay.
    • Support of thesis statement with appropriate evidence.
    • Use of correct grammar and accurate and varied vocabulary.
    • Use of varied sentence structures.
    • Correctness, accuracy, and depth of content.
    • Use of appropriate citation style when necessary.
    • Appropriate citation of sources
    • Connection of research to performance project

    For formal creative writing projects, the following criteria may be taken into account:

    • Conforming to format guidelines specific to project (play scripts, screenplays, etc…)
    • Clarity of expression
    • Originality and thoughtfulness of concept, play themes, etc…
    • Appropriate use of character language, action, and development
    • Audience consideration (whether educational or commercial)
    • Development of writing in successive drafts in response to instructor and peer feedback
  • What citation style will I be expected to use?

    For assignments requiring consultation and incorporation of secondary sources, you are expected to use MLA citation style, unless otherwise indicated by your professor.

    Full description of the MLA style may be found in The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, edited by Joseph Gibaldi. (A copy is available for consultation in the library reference section, call number LB2369 .G532003.)

    An abbreviated explanation of the style is also available online at https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/.

  • Good THEA Writing Practices.
    • Always acknowledge your sources, even in creative work. When in doubt, cite!
    • Clearly state your thesis or concept.
    • Clearly link your research projects/analyses to play or performance texts - the more examples and connections, the stronger your argument.
    • Proofread your papers carefully!
    • Follow all format guidelines in respect to length, title pages, format on page, and works cited. Many theatres will reject scripts if not properly formatted.
  • THEA Writing Practices to avoid.
    • PLAGIARISM. Plagiarism includes:
      • Failure to cite another source for an idea.
      • Copying verbatim text from another source
      • Paraphrasing text from another source
      • Making up sources
      • Double-dipping - turning in work from one course in another
      • Failure to cite which edition/version of a play text you are citing
    • Instructors have the right to provide a failing grade in the class for any student found guilty of plagiarism. They may also choose to forward the matter to the University disciplinary review board.
    • Don't submit first drafts of papers or creative project; plan time to refine and revise your ideas.
    • Don't just summarize a plot in an analysis or concept paper; assume that your instructor is familiar with the play unless otherwise instructed.
    • Don't assume that your thesis or conclusion is clear; make sure you clearly define your argument, your evidence, and your conclusions.
    • Avoid citing Wikipedia! You may use it to find sources, but may not use it as a source.


Portions of this document were adapted from the Marquette University WAC Foreign Languages webpage.