1. GENERAL HEADING: Exploring the Text

2. TITLE OF EXERCISE: "The Research Team"

3. GOALS: To introduce students to the types of research tools which are available for the study of Shakespeare, and to acquaint them with how to use those tools.

4. NUMBER OF STUDENTS: Preferably more than ten.

5. EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES: A number of relevant reference books and several editions of Shakespeare (e.g., depending upon the play, a concordance, Partridge's Shakespeare's Bawdy, Onion's Shakespeare Glossary, the old Variorum, the Folio, and a number of modern editions).

6. CLASS TIME NEEDED: Ten to fifteen minutes, depending upon the length and complexity of the scene.


Roles are assigned, and students read through a scene (e.g., Macbeth 1.2).

One student is stationed at each version of the text and each reference book; one student is assigned to identify all images; All the other students act as detectives, seeking the facts revealed in the scene (e.g., bad weather, intent to reunite, an upcoming battle, etc.).

The scene is read, the researchers shouting, "Stop!" whenever their text varies from the one being read, or whenever a footnote appears in any of the texts, or whenever an image is identified.

A scribe writes down all of the words phrases or references which require further research.

8. POINTS FOR OBSERVATION, DISCUSSION: Students are often unaware of the resources that are available, or don't know how to use them, or think such research would be boring. This activity should address all of those problems. (Some of the references listed above do not lend themselves to rapid search or application as this exercise calls for [e.g., a concordance or Shakespeare's Bawdy]) .

9. SOURCE/REFERENCE: Audrey Stanley, Co-Director of the Institute, UC-Santa Cruz


11. VARIATIONS: This exercise is similar to "Detective Story."