Method I: Overview, Rationale, Methodology

The first method is to write an introduction that provides answers to three important questions.

  • What will I learn in the chapter (overview)?
  • Why is it important (rationale)?
  • How will it be taught or presented (methodology)?

An introduction of this type will do three things:

  • It will provide a very concise overview of the content to be covered.
  • It will explain why this is important for readers to learn.
  • If applicable, it will also explain how the content will be taught.

If an author wants to keep things short and sweet, it’s only necessary to write a sentence or two in response to each question. If an author prefers to be more expansive, a paragraph or so per question is fine.

Ideally, the introduction should not be longer than one page. Its purpose serves the same function as an introduction between people. It gives basic information that makes it possible for communication to go forward.

It’s important to note that the overview in an introduction differs from learning objectives and outcomes in one important way. It is more general and conceptual. Objectives and outcomes get down to specifics.

Sample Introduction for Method I

From the amphitheaters of ancient Rome to the recent production of Hamilton, live theatre has employed masks and costumes to help bring characters to life. Chapter Two discusses the importance of masks and costumes in delineating and expressing characters and their development. This aspect of stagecraft, whether it refers to the most simple face masks representing various emotions, or the most elaborate and historically accurate costumes for a period piece such as a Restoration comedy, plays an important role in drawing the audience in, making the story more believable, and adding to the dramatic impact of the production. Through examination of the earliest-known clay masks, detailed renderings of costumes throughout history, and images of recent productions of contemporary plays, students will see how masks and costumes function as an integral part of the theatrical experience.

Linked Objectives (What will the students learn?)

In this chapter students will:

  • learn about the early use of face masks to represent character and emotion, and how such masks were constructed;
  • become familiar with how Passion Plays, Renaissance Theatre, Restoration Comedy, and Italian Commedia dell ‘arte focused on specific aspects of the clothing of their times to enhance characters and characterization; and
  • study specific clothing choices in contemporary theatre and how costume designers make these choices.

Linked Outcomes (What will the students be able to do?)

After reading the chapter, students will be able to:

  • recognize costumes from specific theatrical periods, styles, and genres;
  • analyze which aspects of a particular costume are most effective in delineating the character of the wearer and why; and
  • produce simple designs for costumes from specific period, styles, and genres.