NOTE: All of the guidelines and grading schemes outlined on the
syllabus may be subject to change in order to better suit the talents
and needs of the class.
This course uses plus-and-minus grading based on a 100-point
scale. In the event that the total points possible is not 100, a percentage
scale will be used to determine your grade out of 100%. Excellence--in
either performance or effort--is expected. Mediocrity is not rewarded.
Textbooks and Readings:
There are no textbooks for this course. Weekly readings are available
via the Blackboard (Learnonline)
site for this class.
a) Students are expected to master the material and to attend all
b) Students are expected to participate in in-class activities
c) Assignments should be attended to at the proper times.
d) The classroom is not a cafeteria: please arrive at the beginning
and do not leave until the end. There is no coming and going during
the class itself.
Attendance is evaluated on the number of unexcused absences. Excused
absences involve doctor’s note or other documentation of your
need to miss class. You are allowed one unexcused absence. After
that, you will lose points for each unexcused absence up to a total
of ten possible points. Perfect attendance will earn two bonus points.
One unexcused absence will earn one bonus point, two excused absences
is “break even.” More than two absences will lose points
as follows: 1:1, 2:2, 3:3, 4:4. These additions or subtractions will
be calculated into your grade at the end of the semester. IT IS UP
TO YOU to notify me, and to sign the sign-in sheet.
Late assignment policy:
I very much do NOT like to receive late assignments. Papers due Monday
will be accepted no later than Wednesday, losing 10% of the total possible
grade for each day late. If you realize that your paper will be late,
you should notify me. If you turn in your paper late, you must get it time/date stamped by the department secretary.
Academic dishonesty is not accepted in this course. Cheating on a
test or handing in plagiarized materials will result in an automatic
failing grade for the course.
Students with Disabilities:
This course is in compliance with Towson University policies for
students with disabilities. Students with disabilities are encouraged
to register with Disability Support Services. Students who suspect
that they have a disability but do not have documentation are encouraged
to contact DSS for advice on how to obtain appropriate evaluation.
A memo from DSS authorizing your accommodation is needed before any
accommodation can be made.
IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM:
Come see me. If you are having serious trouble either in the class,
or coming to class, or getting the work done, don’t let it slide
without letting me know. We’ll try to salvage what we can for
Beginning the week of February 4, each week a new thread will be
posted with a question to which all students must respond (you can
also, in your response, address the responses of others). All Responses
must be entered on the Discussion Board by 5 p.m. on Monday of
each week that response papers are due (beginning the week of Feb. 4). Failure to do so will result
in a zero for that assignment. No credit will be given for late responses.
All responses will be reviewed by the Professor.
If your Response is too short, vague, or otherwise unacceptable,
I will send you an e-mail designating your grade and explaining how
to improve your next essay. If you don’t receive an e-mail from
me, you may assume that you have received a grade of 90% for the assignment.
I will also provide feedback to exceptional Responses as often as
possible, designating your grade if you earn more than 90 %.
Grading your Responses:
95: An essay receiving this grade provides a thorough and carefully
considered answer to the response question. The essay is well-organized,
utilizes good grammar, and demonstrates a clear understanding of the
text. The essay should express the engagement of your own ideas with
the text, offering distinctive, significant, or original insight.
Specific details from the text support the argument.
90: An essay receiving this grade provides a carefully considered
answer to the response question. The essay is well-organized, utilizes
good grammar, and demonstrates a clear understanding of the text.
Specific details from the text support the argument.
85: An essay receiving this grade demonstrates having read the text,
but fails to engage with it closely. The essay answers the question
somewhat, but doesn’t demonstrate careful or thorough consideration
of the text or the question. The argument suffers from several grammar
or spelling mistakes.
80: An essay receiving this grade demonstrates some familiarity
with the text, but doesn’t show a clear understanding of its
purpose, theme, or style. The essay pays little or no attention to
specific details. It offers little or no engagement of the student’s
own thoughts. It demonstrates some awareness of the question, but
the argument is undermined by frequent grammar mistakes.
75: An essay receiving this grade contains little reference to the
text or the response question. There are grammar and spelling problems
70: An essay receiving this grade offers no reference to the text
or question. It contains serious and very frequent grammar and spelling
problems, demonstrating little to no effort.
There will be a total of ten response papers, as other weeks we
will have other assignments due. Your marks will be totaled, then
divided to get a score out of 50 points.