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A simple polarimeter based on a quarter-wave plate and a polarizer is presented. All Stokes' vector components are calculated by rotating the quarter-wave plate and processing the resultant intensity variation. The effect of misalignment in the linear polarizer azimuth and the deviation from the pi/2 retardance of the quarter-wave plate is analytically and experimentally investigated. The technique has been verified with two algorithms for Stokes' vector calculation.