Participation (20% of course grade)
Your success in class is directly related to your participation in it, which depends upon your being present. Nothing can replace your experience in the classroom, collectively generating with the rest of the class an understanding of the course material. I realize, however, that there may come a time when you need to miss a class. If you miss no more than two classes and are an active participant, your participation grade will not suffer. After that point, however, you cannot be participating at an effective level. So be warned: if you miss more than two classes, I will be concerned for your grade and your general well-being and will email you. If you do miss class, you are still responsible for that day’s work, including turning in (on time) any work due, understanding assignments, and getting the gist of class discussion.
To be considered “present,” do all of the following:
Arrive on time, with the day’s work prepared in advance, be it writing or reading or a mix of the two. Preparation of all reading assignments includes annotating the text as you read, and returning to the text, after finishing, to consider further ideas that were raised for you (including questions about unclear areas) as you read.
Bring all texts that will be discussed.
Turn off your cell phone, iPod, and so on.
Give me and your classmates your full attention.
Do not text, chat, or surf the internet.
Remain in the room until the class ends.
Conduct yourself in a manner respectful to all present.
Because I take roll at the very beginning of class, tardiness gets recorded as absence.
The participation grade includes two required out-of-class meetings with me (weeks 3 and 6).
REGULAR WRITING (20% of course grade)= 15 Weekly Blog Posts (17%) + 1 Review of the Week (3%)
Your weekly writing will take the form of once-a-week blog posts and one Review of the Week that you will create and publish on the blog over the course of the semester.
Weekly Blog Posts
due by 8pm Thursday
200 words per post (= 2/3 page double-spaced)
graded 0 (missing), 1 (just adequate), or 2 (fulfills expectations)
Comments on others’ posts or comments earn you extra points
These weekly blog posts may respond to questions I post in the “Previewing” section of each week’s “Reviewing and Previewing” post, or they may present your thoughts on anything related to the reading or discussion for that week, connecting (as the semester progresses) to ideas and concepts addressed in previous weeks. Your posts may be formal analyses or they might be more personal and reflective. Your main aim will be to present an observation or provocation that might encourage others in the class to enter a conversation with you. These and all posts on the blog will need to be in academic English (rather than textspeak).
You will, of course, be expected to comment on others’ posts. Each substantial, worthwhile comment will earn you an extra point on that week’s blog post grade.
Review of the Week
done just once
due by 6pm Friday
three parts: Overview, Worthwhile Quotes, Key Terms
In addition to these weekly posts, you will at one point in the semester produce a “Weekly Review”: you will collaboratively generate with one other student a reflection on the week’s readings, writings, and discussions. This Weekly Review will include three sections: Overview, Worthwhile Quotes, and Key Terms. I will produce the Review of the Week for Week 1, as a model, and then the following weeks will be assigned.
You will EMAIL me your Review of the Week by Friday at 6 p.m. Then I will post this Review, accompanied by my Preview of the coming week, on the course blog by Saturday at midnight. Where necessary, I will edit these Weekly Reviews before posting.
Formal Writing (60% of course grade–see breakdown below)
The formal writing assignments will offer you opportunities to practice generating and revising the kinds of texts required in upper-level English courses. They will culminate in a multi-part project that I call “The Final Project” or, less formally, “The Big Project.”
Your first two formal essays (20% of course grade) will be:
Essay 1: a summary, the focus of which is introducing others’ ideas fairly and sufficiently, but concisely, to your reader, an act dependent upon careful and insightful analysis of the text(s) being summarized
Essay 2: a response, where you will present your assessment and development of another’s written views or interpretation, a task which depends upon an effective summary of another’s argument.
Revision is a vital part of the writing process, and that importance is reflected in the grading of Essays 1 and 2: the grade for each assignment will be determined by averaging the grade earned for the first submission with the grade earned for the revision. Formal writing will be graded for grammar, style, and structure as well as for analytical content. I’m always happy to discuss your writing and ideas, so please make use of my office hours and, of course, the Writing Lab.
Most of the course is committed to the extended Final Project (40% of course grade), which consists of:
sample body paragraph
This project is an ongoing research project on a literary text of your choosing, which will be the subject of a hypothetical research paper. The course will focus intensely on the steps involved in preparing to generate the paper, rather than on writing the final paper. In other words, you will produce a number of the elements of an analytical research project, but not the full final draft of the essay.
A key part of the Final Project is the act of research:
locating, selecting, analyzing, summarizing, and responding to literary critical articles and books
This will include a formal proposal about your research topic and your anticipated approach to it, describing the paper you would anticipate writing as the culmination of the research process. You will also write a description of an assignment to which you might respond with the proposed paper. Then, during the final exam period, you will present your ideas to the class as a participant in a mini-conference. (Do note: You will receive an additional, much more detailed assignment sheet for the final project.)
Since the deadlines for formal written work are so clearly spelled out in the syllabus, late papers will not be accepted except in very extraordinary circumstances. These papers will be due at 9 a.m., in OAKS, on the indicated date. (I will demonstrate the procedure for electronic submissions in class.)
10% of course grade: Essay 1
10% of course grade: Essay 2
5% of course grade: preliminary bibliography
5% of course grade: sample annotation
5% of course grade: sample body paragraph
15% of course grade: annotated bibliography
5% of course grade: text selection explanation and project proposal
5% of course grade: presentation
A 94-100 (4.0)
A- 90-93 (3.7)
B+ 87-89 (3.3)
B 84-86 (3.0)
B- 80-83 (2.7)
C+ 77-79 (2.3)
C 74-76 (2.0)
C- 70-73 (1.7)
D+ 67-69 (1.3)
D 64-66 (1.0)
D- 60-63 (0.7)
F 0-59 (0.0)
Academic accommodation for a documented disability can be arranged through the Center for Disability Services: 953-1431, Lightsey Center, Suite 104, http://disabilityservices.cofc.edu. If you are approved for accommodations, you should let me know as soon as possible so we can organize appropriate arrangements.
A bit on academic integrity: All students, needless to say, must follow the College of Charleston’s academic integrity policy, which forbids cheating, attempted cheating, and plagiarism. Any case of suspected cheating or plagiarism (on any written response for the course) will be sent to the College’s Honor Board, and any student found guilty will receive a grade of XF, indicating failure of the course due to academic dishonesty.
“Recycled” papers written for other courses are not acceptable in this class.
See, for reference, the College of Charleston Honor Code and Academic Integrity, from the Student Handbook:
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.