Theatrical Design, Technology, or Craft

Assignment: Introduction to Technical Theatre Research Paper
For your final paper (final exam), you will write a research paper that poses a thesis and uses high quality sources as evidence to support that idea. The paper should have an introduction, body, conclusion, and list of Works Cited. The paper is to be written on a topic of theatrical design, technology, or craft. You are encouraged to select a topic that meshes with your own interests, and please talk to the instructor if you need help finding a topic or turning a topic into a thesis.

· The paper should be 6-8 double-spaced pages long, typed, plus a separate page(s) for the Works Cited. Please use standard 12 pt. font and one-inch margins. Do not add extra spaces between your paragraphs. You do not need to make a cover sheet. Please use page numbers. Follow the latest edition of MLA for all formatting.
· You should have a minimum of five sources, including at least three scholarly books and/or peer-reviewed journal articles. If you use your textbook it must be in addition to the five minimum sources. At least some of your sources should be from the last 10-15 years.
· You may not use very general sources such as encyclopedias, wikipedia, or for your research. All your sources, including any web sites you may use, should be high-quality primary or secondary sources.
· Be sure to include evidence and examples to support your statements.
· You should proof-read your paper carefully.

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The paper will be graded according to the following (130 points possible):

· Content – This includes an appropriate topic; a clearly stated and well-developed thesis; topical accuracy; and effective, clear thinking. “A” papers will also include a clear discussion of the context or theoretical perspective of the subject. (40 pts.)
· Evidence and Engagement with Sources – This includes using sources to support your content, commenting on and contextualizing quotations, and effectively incorporating cited information throughout your document. All or most of the sources should be peer-review journal articles or scholarly books. “A” papers will use a wide variety of appropriate sources, analyze the various perspectives of the authors of the sources, and be aware of the context of the sources. (30 pts.)
· Organization – This includes an effective introduction and conclusion, focused paragraphs, coherent sequences, and good transitions. An organized paper should not ramble aimlessly. (25 pts.)
· Clarity and Mechanics – This includes appropriate word choice; varied vocabulary and sentence types; standard grammar; and proper spelling and punctuation. Do not use colloquial language in an academic paper. (25 pts.)
· Format/Documentation – This includes following the MLA format, clear and complete parenthetical citations, and a complete and properly formatted list of Works Cited. (20 pts.)

Papers less than 5 full pages, late papers, and papers that do not follow other requirements will have points deducted.

Papers that do not use parenthetical citations to credit all sources and/or lack a list of Works Cited will not receive a passing grade.

Reminder—academic dishonesty will not be tolerated and may result in a F! Ask the instructor for help if you need it. You are permitted (and encouraged) to use the Writing Center.


What should my paper be about?

· Almost any technical theatre subject from 1800 CE to the present is acceptable, although you need to get your topic approved and you must have enough sources to support your work.
· A discussion of an element of theatre design or technology and its relationship to other historical/cultural trends is also acceptable.
· You may also select a theatre designer or artist who has had a particularly strong effect (either historical or modern) on technical theatre and explain how their ideas have influenced subsequent theatre.
· You may not write a biographical paper.
· Students are encouraged to find a topic that meshes with their own interests in theatre or, for non-majors, to connect technical theatre to their majors or interests.
· Remember, you need to identify a thesis (argument) for your paper.
o For example, a thesis could be, “Adolphe Appia’s theories about the relationship between lighting design and performance space influenced later designers and directors.” This hypothetical paper would discuss Appia’s work and how later designers and directors made use of his ideas and innovations. You would need to research both Appia and later designers/directors in order to find evidence to support the thesis.

When should I cite sources? How do I incorporate quotations? How do I avoid unintentional plagiarism?

· Always use parenthetical citations to credit your sources. Anytime you use someone else’s words or ideas you must provide a citation. This is true even when you paraphrase the information. Not doing so is considered plagiarism. The citation will correspond with a bibliographic entry in your Works Cited.
· Use both parenthetical citations and quotation marks anytime you use:
1. Five words or more in a row from a source.
2. Someone else’s distinctive phrase (of any length).
· Quotes longer than four typed lines of text should be used very sparingly (no more than one or two in a paper of this length) and formatted as block quotes. Be sure that anytime you use a quotation you contextualize or comment upon the quote. Most of the paper should be your own writing, in your own voice.
· The entries in the Works Cited must be the books, journal articles, or other sources that you yourself have read/consulted for this paper. Using another source’s citations to falsify a bibliography is academic dishonesty.

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