From the category archives:

Syllabi info

Suggestions for Syllabus: Grade Challenges

by Dr Davis on August 3, 2009

For grade challenges, I have included a statement in my syllabus explaining that a grade represents achievement, not effort, and does not signify anything about the student’s potential or skills in any other area; my typical grade distribution for the course; and a statement about the difference in meaning and procedure for requesting an explanation of a grade (asking how to improve) and requesting consideration for a grade change (must be done in writing with evidence). Those things combined with a rubric for the main assignments have dramatically decreased the complaints I deal with. I don’t like to get into an unpleasant interaction with a student, so I’m big on prevention. That might not work with your students, of course.

from Kedves


Writing in the Social Sciences: Sample Syllabi

by Dr Davis on October 1, 2008

This syllabus from Penn State has as a scheduled beginning exercise watching Fight Club. They also read parts of Fast Food Nation. This is definitely a writing class first, with social sciences second. There is quite a bit of rhetorical theory, including Toulmin and claims (Aristotle).

A unit on writing and inquiry in the social sciences

Unit II – Writing and Inquiry in the Social Sciences
Objectives of Unit II: To familiarize students with the issues debated in the social sciences, and writing skills used in the social sciences. To increase student confidence in reading and writing in the social sciences. The successful completion of an experiment in the social sciences.

Class …
“Issues in Social Science – Social Science in Perspective”
Introduction to the Social Sciences Unit
Reflection and in-class writing on science unit. Introduction to the social sciences.
Relating social science to lived experience. Topics in Social Science.
Read: “Behavioral Studies in Obedience” “On ‘Obedience to Authority’” “Interpersonal Dynamics in a Simulated Prison” Optional: “Some Conditions of Obedience and Disobedience …” Write: Personal Reaction Essays. 1-2 page on each experiments.

Experimentation in the Social Sciences
Class discussion of the articles on the Stanford Prison Experiment and the Milligram experiment. Discussion of the way knowledge is achieved through experimentation in the social sciences. Discussion of the purpose of such knowledge. Opinion vs. Evidence. Discussion of potential experimental topics for the Social Science Paper.
Read: “On the Ethics of Intervention …” Survey Building Complete: Ethics Survey/ Certification:
Write: Proposal for experimental topic.

Class …
Refining and Conducting a Social Science Experiment / Experimental ethics.
Share experimental ideas. Discussion of ethics in the social sciences. Group the students into optional experimental teams. Workshop on writing effective survey questions.
Conduct: Experimental Survey

Class …
Interpreting and Presenting Data
Discussion of collected data from surveys. How to interpret information. How to craft raw data into a polished report. Group work on organizing and presenting results effectively. Discussion of experimental form.
Read: “Field Study and Reports” Write: Individual Rough draft of Social Science Experiment.

Class …
Social Science Report Workshop
Peer review and workshop of Social Science Experiment. Class discussion of common difficulties or problems. Volunteers to share portions of Social Science Experiment.
Write: Final Draft of the Social Science Experiment.

This course requires as a text
Behrens, Laurence and Rosen, Leonard J. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum. 8th ed.
New York: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc., 2002

The social sciences unit:

Unit 1: Social Sciences
Monday 9/30: Introduction and diagnostic

Wednesday 10/2: The basics of writing a college paper
Distribution of the assignment for paper 1
Reading: “Group Minds” (WRAC pp.306-8) and “The Organization Kid”
(WRAC pp.365-74)

Monday 10/7: Summary
Reading: “Opinions and Social Pressure” (WRAC pp.309-15)

Wednesday 10/9: Paraphrase and quotation
Reading: “The Perils of Obedience” (WRAC pp.317-28)

Monday 10/14: Critique
Reading: “Review of Stanley Milgram’s Experiments on Obedience” and
“Obedience” (WRAC pp.329-45)

Wednesday 10/16: Peer review of rough drafts


Good resources

by Dr Davis on September 26, 2008

Good resources for teachers are available on the net

on preparing or revising a course

If the course is new to you and has never been offered before, review textbooks on the topic of the course. Reviewing textbooks will give you a sense of the main themes and issues that your course might address, which is especially useful if you are preparing a course outside your areas of specialization. (Source: Brown, 1978)

Identify the constraints in teaching the course. As you begin to design the course, ask yourself, How many hours are available for instruction? How many students will be enrolled? Are the students primarily majors or nonmajors? At what level? What material can I safely assume that students will know? What courses have they already completed? What courses might they be taking while enrolled in mine? Will readers or graduate student instructors be available? What sorts of technological resources will be in the classroom? (Sources: Brown, 1978; Ory, 1990)

on Principles of Adult Learning

Adults have accumulated a foundation of life experiences and knowledge that may include work-related activities, family responsibilities, and previous education. They need to connect learning to this knowledge/experience base. To help them do so, they should draw out participants’ experience and knowledge which is relevant to the topic. They must relate theories and concepts to the participants and recognize the value of experience in learning.

Adults are relevancy-oriented. They must see a reason for learning something. Learning has to be applicable to their work or other responsibilities to be of value to them. Therefore, instructors must identify objectives for adult participants before the course begins. This means, also, that theories and concepts must be related to a setting familiar to participants. This need can be fulfilled by letting participants choose projects that reflect their own interests.


Syllabus Plagiarism

by Dr Davis on August 8, 2008

is the topic of an article in The Chronicle of Higher Ed.

She had a syllabus almost entirely plagiarized and found out about it when a student came to ask to borrow a book.

The American Association of University Professors has an informational outline on intellectual-property issues that says the “prevailing academic practice” is for faculty members to own the copyrights of scholarly works and teaching materials that are “created independently and at the faculty member’s own initiative.” However, some faculty work is considered “work for hire” — documents made by faculty members for the university to fulfill their contractual obligations, and owned by the university.
But maybe not. As Gary Rhoades writes in “Whose Property Is It? Negotiating with the University,” “increasingly, faculty members’ intellectual products, including those generated from their basic research and teaching activities, are being considered as commodities.” Much of that push comes from courses delivered online, where the syllabus and other course materials are purchased and both faculty members and universities have the potential to make money.

I have used statements from other teachers which I got online and attributed them.

I have used entire templates given to me by my colleges and have not attributed those.

SLAC specifies that the syllabus I am handing out, no matter how much my own, is created and annually reviewed by the “English department.”

I have asked before to borrow someone’s work or to attribute it to them. Some say yes; some don’t answer. Does that mean I can’t borrow their work?

What if I used someone’s syllabus to get started? The finished syllabus is totally mine, my words, my choices of work, my direction, but I used theirs to get started. Do I have to attribute that?

A paragraph on the history of plagiarism was interesting from another perspective:

In Stolen Words, Thomas Mallon writes that plagiarism as a concept emerged in the 17th century when, for the first time, people could make a living as writers. Before then, words could not be owned; no one would have claimed to own a sentence any more than they might claim to own the sky. For most of our literary history, Mallon writes, imitation was the preferred mode of composing. Originality emerged along with the notion of writing as an occupation and with, not surprisingly, the invention of the printing press. The history of plagiarism reinforces the fact that writing has to be seen as valuable to begin with before it will be deemed worth protecting.

My family has asked me where the impetus behind plagiarism came from. This is what she and Thomas Mallon had to say.


Learning to Teach: A discussion of a syllabus

by Dr Davis on July 19, 2008

I found some useful ideas in Dr. Lauren Scharff’s Spring 2008 Psychology Teaching Seminar.

She recommends that right away you come up with your teaching philosophy.

A teaching philosophy is a personal statement of what you perceive teaching to be. It details the philosophical/research basis for all teaching-related activities. The first thing you will do this semester, is write a teaching philosophy. Please do NOT discuss this among yourselves. This is something that should be very personal and individualized.

What does this mean?

My personal philosophy of teaching presently begins with this:

Learning is one of the greatest joys in my life and I want to pass that love of learning on to my students. As their teacher, it is my responsibility to not only understand and explain the work they are required to do, but also to present it in such a way that they clearly see its relation to the rest of the class, their college coursework, and their lives outside of college.

That is the fundamental guide for my teaching. I love to learn and I want to infect others with my illness. ;)

One of my favorite online education bloggers, Robert Talbert (a math guy, but I don’t hold it against him), has written/grown his philosophy of education online.

Real learning of a subject does not begin until the student has taken enough interest in the subject to form an honest, significant question which renders the subject worthy of attention. Sometimes these questions are practical, sometimes purely aesthetic or asked out of mere curiosity. But learning does not begin unless, and until, those questions are formed in the minds of the student.

How does this translate into teaching? My classes ground themselves in reasonable, interesting questions for which we need the mathematics under study to answer. For example, on the first day of a calculus class, I give an example of two related quantities, such as the price of oil and the price of a gallon of gas. Then I ask: How can we make this relationship precise? How fast is the price of gas changing? By how much can I expect the price of gas to change over a given period? These are questions of interest to the everyday consumer, but they are also questions which motivate the main ideas of calculus (the function, derivative, and integral), and students see why we need these topics.

I think it is true that you need to know what you think teaching is before you can teach. Hopefully, even if it is only a beginning, you have thoughts that can be written down as your Teaching Philosophy.

Dr. Scharff also said:

A syllabus is a reflection of you, both as a person and as a teacher; your personality and style will be clearly demonstrated in this document.

If it is, then recently my personality has become cover-your-butt ugly and very legalistic. We have, in the past ten years or so, come to look at the syllabus as a learning contract. Because of that descriptor, syllabi have come to be stuffed with things that OUGHT to be able to go unsaid and we leave out the fascinating/charming because it doesn’t fit the legal document.

I found a Business Writing syllabus I wrote two decades ago. It has clip art that is relevant to what the class was doing. It was a lively piece of work that set the class up as an entrepeneur-growth house.

I am going back to a syllabus that more accurately reflects my “personality and style.” Do you think the school has antique parchment in hot pink for photocopies?

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Tip 1: Keep Notes on Your Syllabus

by Dr Davis on July 7, 2008

Keep one copy of your syllabus for your use. Write notes on it as you go along. Write down what worked or didn’t. Write how long X took, if it turned out to be longer or shorter than you expected. If you think of a way to present something that you hadn’t thought of before, write that down. If a website comes up that is useful, or a student asks a good question, write those down.

Do this throughout the semester.

At the end of the semester, copy the notes into a version of the syllabus for next year or next semester.

Summer of 2006 I began my course with the research paper, thinking it would be best to get it done and let the rest of the summer session be easier. Instead it was frustrating to the students because there was so much they didn’t know about what I expected out of their writing and how I graded. So I wrote that down and the next summer we started class with a narrative paper.

Homework: Write a narration of an important event in your life, the turning point of your life, or the most exciting/unusual experience you’ve ever had. This should be one and a half to two and a half pages long, no longer please. (For help in writing this, read McCuen-Metherell and Winkler 195-99. For an example, read McCuen-Metherell and Winkler 199-204.)
The purpose of this paper is to help me to get to know you better and to help you transition from high school, which is usually focused on narrative papers like this one, into college level writing.

Another example:
Students kept asking how I determined their grade. I have a formula for that, so I told them. Then they wanted to know how much each error counted. Those differ. Eventually I started keeping a record (in fiction writing called a bible) of what errors were worth what points and, conversely, which things I gave extra points on. When I had graded about three sets of papers, I was able to take this and compile a grading rubric. It is way too detailed for most people’s interest, but it does make absolutely clear what I look for in terms of grammar and content.

A final example:
After reviewing the “model teacher” syllabus from one of my colleges, I added journaling to my course. I did not think through this idea as well as I should have and my students ended up writing an additional twenty not-quite-full-length essays. I noted which journals got the most thoughtful answers and which I thought were extraneous and I dropped the journal requirements significantly. (I also dropped the lowest journal grade and added three points to everyone’s final average, because they really did a lot more work than anyone else.)

Additional advantage:
If you keep the written on syllabi in one place, you will have a record of your evolving teaching style and you can write this up for your teaching portfolio. This can be a strong section and shows that you have a long term investment in upgrading your teaching quality.

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7 Places to get Graphics to Improve Your Syllabus

by Dr Davis on July 6, 2008

here and here

and here and here, which is mostly fountain pens (and appear to cost)

Here’s a good set of black and white clip art. But you have to be a member.

Free 10 downloadable… Where I found the FOLK bookmark is here.

Free black and white clip art including homework, paper, and chat bubble.


3 ways to improve syllabi

by Dr Davis on July 5, 2008

1. Remember to use graphics within the syllabus.

2. Review online syllabi for ideas.

3. Review business writing ideas.


How to Improve Syllabi: Things to Include

by Dr Davis on July 5, 2008

I agree with this.

What such syllabi often omit is any mention of learning. They list the assigned readings but not reasons why the subject is worth studying or important or interesting or deep, or the learning strategies that will be used in the course. The typical syllabus gives little indication that the students and teacher are embarking on an exciting learning adventure together, and its tone is more akin to something that might be handed to a prisoner on the first day of incarceration.

But I am repelled by this.

I abandoned the controlling syllabus. I now go to the first class with only a tentative timeline of readings and writing assignments. A few weeks into the semester, when students have a better sense of what kind of person I am and what the course is about, we discuss what might be the best way of assigning meaningful grades. We collectively decide what goes into a good paper or talk, what good participation means, and together create rubrics to assess them. While I make the judgments about performance, I give the students maximum flexibility and choice in what we do and how we do it—within the broad constraint that the course has to have integrity and coherence and that the grades have to be good measures of the level of student performance in the course.

from Death to the Syllabus!

Then there is this:

Include supplementary material to help students succeed in the course. For example consider providing one or more of the following:

Helpful hints on how to study, take notes or do well in class
Glossary of technical terms used in the course
References on specific topics for more in-depth exploration
Bibliography of supplemental readings at a higher or lower level of difficulty, in case students find the required text too simple or too challenging
Copies of past exams so students can see at the beginning of the term what they will be expected to know at the end
Information on the availability of videotapes of lectures
A list of campus resources for tutoring and academic support, including computer labs
Calendar of campus lectures, plays, events, exhibits, or other activities of relevance to your course
Online Resources that may be helpful to students
Provide space for names, telephone numbers, and email addresses, of two or three classmates. Encourage students to identify people in class they can contact if they miss a session or want to study together. (Source: “What Did You Put in Your Syllabus?” 1985)

which comes from Tools for Teaching from Berkeley

Then there is this:

Other Information That Can Be Included

lab use or safety procedures
additional support services
writing centers
tutoring centers
computer centers
library hours
strategies for success in your class
how to take good notes
sample test questions
detailed assignment expectations
guidelines for papers or reports

which comes from the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching


Sample syllabus: developmental writing

by Dr Davis on June 30, 2008

Course Syllabus

ENGL 1303: Basic Grammar and Composition

Fall 2008

Department of Languages

Course Description

A prerequisite course for enrollment in ENGL 1313 (see next section for criteria). ENGL 1303 is an introduction to the principles of composition accomplished through the study of grammar, standard English usage, and rhetorical techniques and strategies. This course emphasizes basic grammar and composition and focuses on sentence structure and on organizing and developing the short essay. ENGL 1303 does not meet the Smith College requirements for either the BA or the BS degree but does carry elective credit.



ENGL 1303 is a prerequisite for ENGL 1313 if the student does not meet at least one of the four eligibility requirements.

  • A score of at least 500 on the Writing section of the SAT.
  • A score of at least 22 on the ACT English test.
  • A combined score of at least 8 (4 or more from each of the two graders) on the SAT essay.
  • A satisfactory score on the in-class diagnostic essay in ENGL 1313


COURSE OBJECTIVES (Overview/ purpose of the course)

ENGL 1303 introduces students to the basic principles of composition and usage. Students analyze essays that illustrate these principles and write essays that demonstrate their understanding of these models. This course combines instruction on six types of essays, grammar exercises and tests, and readings. Its aim is to prepare the student for ENGL 1313.

Upon completion of this course:

  • Students should be able to write a competent essay for 1313.
  • Students demonstrate proficiency in reading through discussing and writings about the assigned textbook readings.
  • Students demonstrate critical thinking and analytical ability through the discussion of reading and writing assignments.
  • Students demonstrate proficiency in written communication through writing a number of coherent paragraphs and essays.
  • Students demonstrate proficiency in oral communication through class discussion.
  • Students are able to use technology to access information for the preparation and completion of assignments.


Name:  Office Location:  Office Hours: 


Learning Resources

Course Text(s): Langan, John. College Writing Skills with Readings. 7th Ed. New York: McGraw Hill

Supplementary Text(s): College-level dictionary and thesaurus

Other Required Materials: Paper, pen, folder with brads


The undergraduate curriculum is characterized by a strong emphasis on the arts and sciences. The University seeks to provide physical resources and a campus environment that acknowledge the uniqueness of the individual and encourage the development of the whole person.


The COAH mission is to develop intellectual, moral, and aesthetic growth in its students. In accordance with College and Department goals, this course fosters intellectual ability and judgment through the study of language and rhetoric and through writing and other means of assessment.


One of the purposes of the department is to provide instruction in writing and rhetorical skills. In this course, students demonstrate effective communication through the development of writing and rhetorical skills.




August 26:

Introduction to teacher, course, and classmates.

Review of syllabus.


Bring a signed copy of the Student Contract portion of the syllabus back to the next class.



August 28:

Essay writing, pp. 4-50

Ch. 23, pp. 450-454

Ch. 24, pp. 455-468

Hwk: Review test 3, page 468

Students not on roll by Friday, 8/29 cannot attend class.



September 2:

Essay writing, pp. 51-78

Ch. 25, pp. 469-481

Hwk: Choose a physical object that is important to you. Do some significant form of prewriting.



September 4:

Description pp. 178-201 Description: art pictures

Introduction to riddles Group work: Exeter riddles


1. Write a riddle about your physical object. It should be half a page.

You want the reader to be able to figure it out by the end, but not to give it away too early nor be too ambiguous.

2. A passing certificate for the Academic Integrity tutorial from Blackboard brought in will add points to your homework grade. It is due October 2.



September 9:

Essay writing, pp. 80-104

Ch. 34, pp. 533-535 (Manuscripts)

Ch. 26, pp. 482-490

Hwk: Out-of-class essay. Bring two copies of this to class.


September 11:

Peer review of out-of-class essay.


Ch. 27, pp. 492-497

Hwk: Revise out-of-class essay



September 16: HURRICANE IKE



September 18: HURRICANE IKE


September 23:

Out-of-class essay due.

Johnson, pp. 683-693 “The Professor is a Dropout” about Guadalupe Quintanilla

Narration, pp. 202-221

Hwk: Dr. Mom’

s Guide to College at

Read three sections and take notes.



September 25:


Ch. 28, pp. 498-502

Hwk: Narration paragraphs



September 30:

Out-of-class essay returned.

Review descriptive essay.

Narration paragraph practice

Ch. 29 pages 503-8

Hwk: Prewriting exercises for narrative essay

Rewrite your descriptive essay. Fix the errors. Turn both copies in.


October 2:

Academic Integrity certificate due.

In-class narrative essay

Hwk: As assigned.



October 7:


Comparison or contrast, pp. 287-294

Hwk: As assigned.




October 9:

Discuss the rhetorical triangle with visuals. (Writer, subject, reader)

Comparison or contrast, pp. 294-306

Ch. 31 pages 516ff

Hwk: As assigned.



October 14:

Class is only 50 minutes today due to Spirit Week.

11:00-12:15 TR class period will meet from 10:00-10:50

Comparison or contrast activity

Discuss narrative essay.

Hwk: Prewriting for comparison or contrast.



October 16:

Peer review of out-of-class essay.

Hwk: Out-of –

class essay revision.




October 21

Compare/contrast essay due.

Introduce the definition/exemplification essay. (5 paragraphs: definition, illustration #1, illustration #2, illustration #3, conclusion)

Prewriting in class.

Definition, pp. 311-31

Hwk: As assigned.



October 23:

Definition, pp. 316-323

Reading professional essay and answer questions.

Grammar, ch. 32

Hwk: Choose an abstract noun. Get online definitions and quotes.

Write your definition for this topic. Write your definition paragraph.



October 28:

Exemplification, pp. 222-242

Hwk: Write an example paragraph. Email it to Dr. Davis.

dr davis @ teaching college english . com (take out spaces)


October 30:

Dr. Davis will be out of town.

Sherry, pp. 761-766

Answer the “Reading Comprehension”


questions, numbers 1-10.

Answer the “Structure and Technique”


questions 1-4.



November 4:

In class exemplification paragraphs.

Ch. 36, pp. 544-547

Hwk: Write a complete outline for your definition/exemplification essay.


November 6:

In class definition/exemplification essay.

Hwk: Go to “Opposing Viewpoints”

database. Read two articles, one on each side, of the assigned argument topic. You will be assigned which ones you need to read. Please read those specific ones. Take notes or highlight the articles.


How do you find them?

Moody Library website

left hand side bar “Electronic Research Tools”

left hand side bar “All Indexes and Databases J-Z”

scroll down to Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center

on the right hand side are a list of topics

Click on Global Warming

find the articles that match your numbers




November 11:

Argument, pp. 349-368

Hwk:Write a paragraph each on an argument that is strong from the two sides.




November 13:

Class debates.

Out-of-class essay assigned.

Hwk:Write out-of-class argument essay.




November 18:

Peer review of out-of-class essay.

Ch. 37, pp. 550-556

Hwk: Revise out-of-class essay.




November 20:

Out-of-class essay due.

Russell, pp. 640-645

Ch. 38, pp. 557-564

Hwk: As assigned.

November 25:

Banas, pp. 700-705

Ch. 39, pp. 588-596

Hwk: As assigned.




December 2:

Argument essay returned.

Grammar test.

Hwk:As assigned.



December 4:

Discussion of final

Classification paper.

Read for an explanation.

Use the Scientific American handout as your animals to classify.

Hwk: Prepare for the final.



Final exams: December 9-12 Hwk: Have a great break and a wonderful life.


The content of this outline and the attached schedule are subject to change at the discretion of the professor.


Strategies may include any or all of the following: analyses of texts; organization of material; focus and development of ideas; editing and revising material.

Professors may use any or all of the following methods: lectures; class discussions; small group activities; journals; computer-assisted instruction research; conferences; quizzes; tests; revision exercises; Learning Center tutorials.

There may be some controversial material covered within the class. There will be some when we study argument. The teacher and the students will be respectful of differing opinions. Respect and tolerance will be required. Agreement will not.



Course requirements

Essays must be in five paragraphs and about 500-750 words. Out of class essays must be typed, double-spaced, and follow MLA format.

The grammar test grade is the average of the instructor’s choice of review tests and editing tests from the grammar section (Chapters 23-41) of the book. There will be no make-up exams for grammar or editing tests.


Grading standards

3 out-of-class essays (descriptive, compare/contrast, argument) 10% each 30%

2 in-class essays (narrative, definition/exemplification) 15% each 30%

Grammar tests 10%

Homework, attendance, and participation 15%

Final exam (in-class classification essay) 15%



In order to receive a passing grade for an essay written in English 1303, students must be able to write essays which conform to the following standards:

A. Content and Organization

a. A well-organized and adequately developed essay should contain at least five paragraphs, including an introduction, at least three developmental paragraphs, and a conclusion.

b. In the first paragraph, the essay should contain a clearly stated thesis that responds to the assigned topic.

c. Each developing paragraph should contain a topic sentence that supports the thesis.

d. Each developing paragraph should effectively support and develop the controlling idea of the paragraph.

Grammar and Mechanics

The essay will be largely free of such technical errors as

  • The incorrect use of the apostrophe or of the possessive
  • The omission of necessary commas or the insertion of unnecessary commas
  • The consistent misspelling of common words
  • The use of the second person
  • Inadequate pronoun reference
  • The consistent use of non-standard word for or order
  • The repeated use of any construction that would lead to misreading

An essay containing more than twelve (12) errors as outlined above will not receive a passing grade.


The essay will largely be free of such major errors as

  • The fragment
  • The comma splice
  • The fused (run-on) sentence
  • Subject-verb disagreement
  • Pronoun-antecedent disagreement

An essay containing any six (6) errors as outlined above will automatically fail. An essay that contains six technical errors and three major errors, or a like combination, will automatically fail.

NOTE: The grading standards not specifically mentioned in this syllabus will adhere to the general policy on grade as stated in the University Catalog.


Grading expectations:

Graded essays will be returned no later than two weeks after they are due.

The essays and any handouts related to them must be kept by the student and collected in a folder. This folder will be required to be complete and must be turned in before finals in order to pass the class.


Student appraisal: Faculty will administer the University’


s Student Evaluation Form.


Academic honesty

Any proof of plagiarism will result in investigation. Any proof of plagiarism will result in a failing grade for the course and possible disciplinary action by the university. Plagiarism will be discussed in detail in class.

A tutorial has been created that explains behaviors you may engage in but do not recognize as unethical. Its purpose is to inform and educate you to identify these practices and, therefore, avoid them. You will find the tutorial in a Blackboard class named Academic Integrity, and you are encouraged to complete the tutorial before priority registration for the next semester. You will earn one CLW point upon its completion.


Grievance procedures

Students should discuss all grievances related to the course with the instructor of the course. If students are not satisfied with the resolution, they may take their grievances first to the department chair, then to the College Dean, and finally to the College Grievance Committee.


Absence and tardy policies

Attendance: You should arrive in the class on time and be prepared.

If it is necessary to be absent due to school activities, please inform me before the event so that missed class work may be assigned and turned in before you leave. Any work must be completed and turned in before it is due.

Each absence will effect your grade, since points are given for being in class.

Three tardies will count as an absence. Tardies will also effect your grade.

If you miss ten 10 class periods or have 30 tardies or a combination which is equivalent, you will receive an F for your grade. Please withdraw from the course officially if you meet this absence limit.


Late work

Late work will not be accepted.


Missed tests

Make-up exams, second sitting for in-class essays, or extensions for papers will only be given for students with legitimate excuses (i.e. serious illness, death of close family member). These excuses must be verified by appropriate documentation; otherwise the grades for those exams will be zero.


Learning disabilities; describe documentation required

If you have a learning disability and need special accommodations, consult first with Lisa McNerney at 281-649-3240. She will provide information and schedule an appointment with Dr. Verna Peterson, who will write the appropriate accommodations. The Letter of Accommodations will then be sent to the professors of record for that specific quarter. The student will also be given a copy of the Accommodations Letters. This process must be repeated each quarter.


Children in classroom

Children do not belong in a college classroom. If there is an emergency and you need to bring your child with you, you may do so if your child is not ill and does not disturb the class. If your child disturbs the class, you will need to leave so that the rest of the class can learn. Your child may not attend the class on a regular basis.


All major papers for this course will be submitted to the plagiarism prevention software, on or before a paper’


s due date. No paper will be graded without meeting this requirement beforehand. A separate handout will be provided to give detailed instructions on this process which needs to include the class identification number and class password.

In accordance with FERPA, and to best protect the students’ privacy, no personal identification (e.g., name, social security number, H number) should be uploaded with the text of student papers. However, Turnitin will ask for the student’s name and e-mail address when setting up a personal account. This identifying information will be used by the professor to evaluate the student’


s paper and cannot be viewed by other faculty or students. To further increase confidentiality, the student may choose to use a pseudonym (false name) when setting up his or her personal Turnitin account.

If a pseudonym is used for Turnitin, the student must provide this identifier next to his/her typed name on the paper copy which is submitted to the professor. Five (5) points will be deducted if the professor is unable to easily match the paper copy to the Turnitin submission of the student’


s paper.


Classroom Behavior Expectations

Students are full partners in fostering a classroom environment which is conducive to learning. In order to assure that all students have the opportunity to gain from the time spent in class, students are expected to demonstrate civil behavior in the classroom. Unless otherwise approved by the instructor, students are prohibited from engaging in any form of behavior that detracts from the learning experience of fellow students. Inappropriate behavior in the classroom may result in a request for the offending student to leave the classroom.

Classroom behaviors that disturb the teaching-learning experiences include the following behaviors: activated cellular phone or other device, demands for special treatment, frequent episodes of leaving and then returning to the class, excessive tardiness, leaving class early, making offensive remarks or disrespectful comments or gestures to the teacher or other students, missing deadlines, prolonged chattering, reading newspapers during class, sleeping, arriving late to class, dominating discussions, shuffling backpacks or notebooks, disruption of group work, and overt inattentiveness.”



Early Alert

As an instructor, I am committed to your success, not only in this class, but in all aspects of HBU life . To ensure that every student takes full advantage of the educational and learning opportunities, HBU has implemented an Academic Early Alert Referral System (EARS). If I think you would benefit from some of these special programs or services available to you, I will make the appropriate referral. You, in turn, will be expected to take advantage of the help offered to you.

Email Policy

All university and class email communication will be sent to your HBU email account. You are responsible for checking this frequently. If you choose, you may reroute your HBU email to another email address. Your emails should be in a professional format with correct spelling, capitalization, and grammar.


English Faculty





This course is one which makes sure that you are prepared for your college level courses. College requires a lot of writing and this course will help you improve your writing fluency.

I am not expecting that you are an expert writer, but that you are willing to learn. Consider yourself an apprentice in this writing class.

My philosophy of education:

I believe that practice makes, if not perfect, at least more competent; therefore I give lots of writing assignments. The positive aspect of this is two-fold: the students are learning by doing and if the students mess up a single assignment, they will not have substantially lowered their grade.

In addition, for the first major paper, I offer the opportunity to rewrite. This is a way for the student to learn what is wrong with their particular paper and, hopefully, how to correct it so that they will not repeat their mistakes with the next paper.

Because I know that the writing is practice, and that some students have never written essays of any type before, I offer a way to improve the students’


averages through additional writing. This will vary from semester to semester, but includes, at least, an opportunity to write one letter or additional paper for extra credit.

I also believe that work should be spaced throughout the semester so that the papers are due, and at least one graded and returned, before the drop date. When other classes have their crunch time at the end of the semester, we are taking it easy.

I do not think that a holiday is an opportunity to assign extra work, so the break assignment is no longer than a usual assignment.

Citations available for pictures.

Dr. Davis 8/23/08

Chapter 32 pages523ff

Ch. 33. pages 526ff