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.  There will be quizzes and informal in-class writing activities, and our class discussions and lectures will contain crucial information to help you succeed.  Class participation and engagement are also an important part of your grade.

I will take attendance daily.  After two 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 both lowers your grade automatically and in almost every case results in poor performance in other areas of the class (missed quizzes, docked participation points, etc.).

Excessive tardiness will be viewed as absence.  I will commit to starting class precisely on time 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.  If you are over 15-minutes late, you will be counted absent.  In short: arrive on time, and be ready to discuss that day’s assigned reading or participate in our workshop activities.

After your eighth absence, you will be dropped from the course.

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 in 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.  Please see the “Assignments” tab for more detailed descriptions of the various assignments.

  • Presence—100 points / 10%: measured by random quizzes, low-stakes in-class writing, and blog commenting. You should plan on making at least five comments (the more the better) on the course blog). The remaining portion of the grade will involve quizzes and low-stakes in-class writing. Note that while you will not earn points each time you contribute to our conversations in class, consistently not participating will negatively impact your grade in the same way that excessive absences might. I reserve the right to lower your grade if your are not fully present and participating consistently.  If you ever have a question about how the “Presence” portion of your grade is shaping up, just ask me and I’ll let you know where you  stand.
  • The Blog—200 points / 20% (each post is worth 25 points): Over the course of the semester, each of you will compose 8 blog posts on the Blog relating to our work in this course. Posts are due by 8:00 PM the day before the class they are assigned, and should reflect upon and engage the work for the coming class (note that the class is divided into four groups, with some posting Sunday evening ahead of Monday, and some posting Tuesday evening ahead of Wednesday).There is also a bonus post options: you may post about a campus or community literary to make up for one missed post, or, if you complete all your assigned posts, the literary events post will be considered extra credit. If your post is chosen for revision to post on the English Department’s blog, you will receive additional extra credit. I expect your posts to be polished, free of errors, and properly formatted; also, they should frequently incorporate various forms of media and other imported items (images, videos, links to other sites or posts, and so on).Commenting: Blog posts should be a minimum of 250-words. During any given week when there is active blogging, you should plan on commenting by midnight on the day you are not assigned a post (comments should be roughly 100 words and substantially engage, extend, and question the original post)
  • Summing Up–200 points / 20%: Your engaged summaries will each be worth 20 % of your grade, or 100 points.
  • Quiz on Concepts and Approaches–50 points / 5%: This quiz will take place during Week 8, and we will have a review period to prepare for it.
  • Final Project–500 points / 50%: Your final project includes a number of preparatory assignments as well as a concluding presentation.
    You can find the grade breakdown for the “Final Project” below.  Please note: if an assignment has more than one draft associated with it, only final drafts will receive grades, but how earnestly you engage in the revision and drafting process will affect your grade.

Pre-Project Grades (125 points / 12.5%)

  • Text Selection and Rationale–25 points / 2.5%
  • Annotated Bibliography (8 sources)–50 points / 5%
  • Proposal–50 points /  5%

Final Project Grades: (375 Points / 37.5%)

  • Final Paper: emphasis on Title and Intro Strategies; Dueling Thesis Statements (2-5 sentences); Critical Voices in Conversation portion (4 sources); Close Reading Capstone; and the Conclusion: 325 Points / 30%
  • Final Presentation–50 points / 5%


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+, 940-969 = A, 900-939 = 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. This is particularly important to consider as you are choosing your own text for your final research project.

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.

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