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Class Policies: EN-IS240 FA11

Page history last edited by Tonya Howe 12 years, 10 months ago

What are the principles or 'rules' that should govern our classroom interactions? Read the policies I've already got, and then add your comments to this google doc.


Results of crowdsourcing in red.


Study habits

You  will be doing quite a bit of reading, and that reading will likely feel relatively unfamiliar to you, whether for cultural or linguistic reasons. It is your responsibility to engage the course material in an honest and responsible manner, with special attention to your needs as a reader, a writer, and a scholar. If you are unsure about your reading habits or your study habits, please come and see me immediately! You may also contact the Learning Resource Center in the Library for help with your essays or study habits more broadly. If this is your first college experience, you might find this handy reference page helpful!


Class Breaks

In lieu of a 20-minute break halfway through our 3 hour class, I will conclude class at 8:45pm if we have no breaks. (However, please keep in mind that I am, myself, human, and may need a break, too!) This means that we all have to commit to moving the class along, participating actively, and so on.


Reading means more than letting your eyes linger over the words on the page

You should look up words you don't know, take notes, underline things, ask questions, and engage your reading assignments actively, critically, and closely. Your participation in the class is largely contingent upon your ability to discuss the readings effectively. I may ask to look at your notes from time to time as part of the class participation grade.


Using Wikipedia and the Web 

If you don't feel you have a basic grasp of readings, their fundamental sense, I encourage you to browse the web (or skim the resources in the Literature Resource Center, an online collection of full-text general library sources). However, anything that you find on the web in this way will constitute "general knowledge" for our purposes; it is a starting point, rather than an end point. Further, if you found it on the web, I'll be able to find it on the web, so keep that in mind if you have a hankering to plagiarise or use the web as an absolute authority! It's good to use the web to get your bearings, but remember that we're in a college-level course and I'm expecting you to move beyond the trite and the commonplace. Though that's not to say everything on the web is trite and commonplace--just that you need to learn how to recognize what is and what isn't!


We may be using technologies with which you are initially unfamiliar, so you should be prepared to spend time outside of class working with these tools. Your participation grade in part captures your ability to make progress with these unfamiliar technologies--what we're learning here, in other words, is proactive learning and adaptability, which you'll need, again, in the so-called "real world." Staff in the E-Learning Services Center (basement of the Library) are available to help you, as is IT (x6990), myself, and the wide world of the web. You've no idea how many video tutorials people have created to help you with facebook, wikis, MLA formatting, Microsoft Word, writing annotated bibliographies, conducting research... You can start with my information on technology.


Do not text in this classroom. I encourage you to bring your laptop for notetaking, but do not use it for other purposes.


All assignments

All assignments--including reading--must be completed by the dates indicated. If you know you will not be able, for some significant reason, to complete the work by those dates, you must see me immediately to negotiate an extension, if an extension is possible.


Late work

All late work will be penalized one letter grade per business day late, but it is better to turn something in than nothing--and after three days, I will not accept your work. A 55 always averages better than a 0! Finally, note that the late work policy only applies to formal essay assignments; in-class activities and participation assignments cannot be turned in late.  


MLA style

All formal writing for this class (anything that you do at home) should be formatted in MLA style from the first letter to the last. This is not because I'm obsessed with arbitrary details, but rather because I want to encourage you to turn in work that conforms to a set of arbitrary parameters. In the so-called "real world," your future employer will expect something of the sort, and I do, too. I will deduct a letter grade for any assignment not turned in in an appropriate format, from top to toe (plagiarism is a different story). If you have questions, look the answers up in a reliable source.



 You may substantially revise any major assignment, excluding the final paper and exams, for reconsideration of your grade; however, these revisions must be substantial--meaning they must go beyond editing for grammar or word choice and completely re-see your work. Any revisions turned in must be submitted in the week following my return of the original essay. I will average the two grades. I reserve the right to not raise your grade if the revisions are not meaningful.


Paper, or electronic copy?

Unless otherwise noted, all formal work for this class must be turned in as hard copies, in MLA format. If you do need to turn something in late, you should give it to me personally or have the good folks in Arts & Sciences place it in my mailbox. Please don't send your essays to me willy-nilly, and don't slip things under my door! I cannot keep track of everything, and I'm asking you to turn your work in to me on paper.


Grading Standards

 I use the full range of grades in this class, including grading participation. A major part of my responsibility to you is providing an honest evaluation of your work (note: your work, not you!) For a sense of how I grade your formal essays for this class, check out my page on grading standards. Hint: Reading through all of the grade descriptions can help you as you draft and revise! Graduate seminars typically use a grading scale of A through C for final grades, but I will use the full range.


The 24-hour rule

This policy states that you cannot ask me about your grade on a returned assignment until 24 hours have passed. You must read my comments, make an appointment to meet with me, and come prepared with thoughtful responses to my comments.


The 48-hour rule

As part of my responsibility to you, I promise to have made all updates to our online schedule 48 hours before class--this means by 6:00 on Sunday evening (though I'll try to abide by the original 72-hour rule!).



I expect everyone to participate to some extent. Not participating will damage your final grade, and participating effectively can definitely raise your final grade. Remember that I use the full range of grades. Participation is defined as a sincere effort to be involved in class discussion/activities and to progress toward accomplishment of the course objectives.  Polite, respectful classroom behavior is expected, and disruptive students will be asked to leave the classroom.  Please note the class start time.  As a matter of courtesy to both the instructor and to fellow students you are asked to arrive promptly, and not to make a habit of entering the classroom after class is under way. Graduate courses are seminar-style, which invests even more power in the classroom as a space of discussion and debate.


Regular attendance

is strongly suggested! However, I will not count attendance against you. Do note, however, that I give the full range of participation grades, as well as my policy on late work. If you are not here, then you cannot participate. More than four absences will seriously damage your grade. Skip at your own risk! In graduate classes, you should not miss more than one meeting.

In the event of an absence

it is your responsibility to speak with a peer to get notes, homework assignments, and so on. Part of what we're doing here is modeling personal responsibility. Because our schedule sometimes changes, I cannot give you daily assignments weeks in advance.


Intellectual honesty

is the bedrock of communal learning; plagiarism will not be tolerated. “Plagiarism” derives from the Latin “plagiarius,” meaning “kidnapper.” To plagiarize, as to kidnap, is a kind of stealing, and it is both a fundamental transgression of the Honor System and an offense to our intellectual community. We will be doing research in this class, and students are responsible for understanding the rules of appropriate citation and turning in their own intellectual work.  If you have any questions about this matter, including uncertainties about what constitutes plagiarism, please consult a writing handbook or ask me. 


Undergraduate Classes: Honor Pledge

I believe very strongly that Marymount’s commitment to ethical awareness should extend into the classroom—this includes your relationships with each other, with me, mine with you, and your relationship to your work. Part of the point distribution for each written assignment includes 5 points for writing and signing an honor pledge on your work: "I pledge I have neither given nor received unauthorized help on this project. All work is my own." If I suspect plagiarism, intentional or otherwise, I will call you in for a chat and refer misuse of sources to the Academic Integrity panel. To put this in perspective, two findings of intellectual dishonesty result in automatic dismissal or suspension from the University.What we're doing here is modeling ethical responsibility, so remember what the great Stan Lee wrote about power and responsibility! 


Email Communication

 Please be sure, on all your electronic correspondence with me, to write with care and thought—after all, this is a form of writing, and this is an English class! Also, if you do not include your name and indicate which course you are taking, I will not know who is writing me. What we're modeling here is not only courtesy and civic behavior, but also personal responsibility. I'll send emails through Bb, so you should either forward your MU email to your other email account, or check your MU email regularly!


If you have any questions or concerns at all

it is imperative that you come and see me about them! Otherwise, I will not know, and will therefore have no opportunity to address them.



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