Course Requirements [subject to change]
Attending class regularly shows respect not only for your professor, but for your peers and for the very mission of the course. Perhaps more importantly, if you do not attend class regularly, you will not do well. I will give regular quizzes and writing activities in class, and our class discussions and lectures will contain crucial information to help you succeed on the the midterm and final exams. Class participation and engagement are also an important part of your grade.
I will take attendance daily. After four absences–whether unexcused or excused–I will lower your grade by a single increment–from a B to a B-, for example–for each additional absence. Beware the slippery slope: excessive absence not only lowers your grade automatically, but also, in almost every case, results in poor performance in other areas of the class (missed quizzes, poor test performance, etc.).
Excessive tardiness will be viewed as an absence. I will commit to starting class on time–particularly important for a 50-minute class session–and I expect you to do the same. If you walk in during the middle of a quiz, I reserve the right to withhold credit for that day’s portion of participation, quizzes, and in-class writing. And any pattern of tardiness will translate quickly into an absence. In short: arrive on time, and be ready to discuss that day’s assigned reading.
Technology in the Classroom: No texting! Please silence phones. Laptops are welcome, but if I catch you using social media or engaging in online activities unrelated to class, I will consider you absent on that day. If you do bring a laptop, please sit towards the front of the class.
Assignments and Grades_______________________________________
Your grade in this course will reflect your performance in five broad categories as described below. You can earn a maximum of 1000 points in this course. You can read more about the major assignments under the “Assignments” tab.
- Presence—150 points / 15%: measured, in roughly equal parts, by random quizzes and low-stakes in-class writing, and blog comments of around 150-200 words. 4 Blog Comments will be required across the semester at 10 points each. I do not have a set amount of your grade set aside for “class participation” because it is such an elemental part of the course: it is expected. I will invite quieter students to participate at times. If you are simply a quieter person, though, one way to signal your interest in class discussion would be to compose a few extra blog posts or comment on your peers’ posts more regularly.
- The Great American Blog—200 / 20%: Over the course of the semester, each of you will compose 8, blog posts of 300-400 words each relating to our work in this course. I will grade these posts in two groupings: at the mid-term point and at the end of the semester. I expect your posts to be polished, free of errors, properly formatted, and they should, at times, incorporate various forms of media and external reference (images, video embeds, links to other sites or posts, and so on). Never blogged before using the WordPress platform? No problem, just check out these instructions. As you review the instructions, please pay close attention to the use of categories; if your post is not properly categorized, it will not receive full credit.
- Final Paper–350 points / 35%: Each student will compose a roughly 10-page researched critical paper on a novel of their choice. Students must closely engage at least four sources, and each paper will go through a drafting process that will include small-group conferences. The Annotated Bibliography and Presentation described below are worth 50 out of this assignment’s possible 350 points.
- Annotated Bibliography and Presentation: On the final day of each assigned novel, a group of students will turn in an annotated bibliography and offer a presentation that provides an overview of their key sources, a rough outline for their argument, and an in-depth view of one key source in particular.
- Final Exam–300 points / 30%: The final exam will be comprehensive and it will involve a combination of author IDs, short-answer questions, and two longer essay questions: one that will ask you to engage 2-3 or the 8 assigned novels in a comparative manner, and one that will relate to the final novel (on which no one is writing a paper).
Figuring your Grade: I will add up all the points you’ve earned in the course and give grades based on the following table:
- A-Range: 970-1000 = A+, 930-969 = A, 900-929 = A-
- B-Range: 870-899 = B+, 830-869 = B, 800-829 = B-
- C-Range: 770-799 = C+, 730-769 = C, 700-729 = C-
- D-Range: 670-699 = D+, 630-669 = D, 600-629 = D-
- <600 = F
COURCE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES:___________________________
Dual Submission Policy: The same paper may not be submitted for a grade in more than one class.
Plagiarism and the Honor Code: What follows is quoted verbatim and reflects official CofC policy:
Lying, cheating, attempted cheating, and plagiarism are violations of our Honor Code that, when identified, are investigated. Each incident will be examined to determine the degree of deception involved.
Incidents where the instructor determines the student’s actions are related more to a misunderstanding will handled by the instructor. A written intervention designed to help prevent the student from repeating the error will be given to the student. The intervention, submitted by form and signed both by the instructor and the student, will be forwarded to the Dean of Students and placed in the student’s file.
Cases of suspected academic dishonesty will be reported directly by the instructor and/or others having knowledge of the incident to the Dean of Students. A student found responsible by the Honor Board for academic dishonesty will receive a XF in the course, indicating failure of the course due to academic dishonesty. This grade will appear on the student’s transcript for two years after which the student may petition for the X to be expunged. The student may also be placed on disciplinary probation, suspended (temporary removal) or expelled (permanent removal) from the College by the Honor Board.
Students should be aware that unauthorized collaboration–working together without permission– is a form of cheating. Unless the instructor specifies that students can work together on an assignment, quiz and/or test, no collaboration during the completion of the assignment is permitted. Other forms of cheating include possessing or using an unauthorized study aid (which could include accessing information via a cell phone or computer), copying from others’ exams, fabricating data, and giving unauthorized assistance.
Research conducted and/or papers written for other classes cannot be used in whole or in part for any assignment in this class without obtaining prior permission from the instructor.
Students can find the complete Honor Code and all related processes in the Student Handbook.