Last Updated: Fall 2016
(Please Note: I’m still in the process of compiling these, so they need to go through a quick edit. In general, they should be accurate, but may in their wording refer to specific courses)
If you have taken a course from me before, these will mostly be familiar to you. But you should take a couple of minutes to read through the following policies. If you have any questions, let me know.
Technology and Privacy: All course materials will be posted to a course website or linked. When my courses use a blog or Tumblr, and I ask you to participate on it, you may wish to shield your identity by only using your first name, or even a pseudonym. Either is okay, as long as I know who are and can give you credit for your work (obviously). If you have any concerns about the role of technology in my course, you should contact me. You should also plan to take advantage of email, chat, and/or face-to-face appointments for questions that come up along the way. Course assignments may be submitted in any relevant medium—for example, I accept essays posted to the site, emailed to me, or printed out and submitted in person.
Professionalism: It goes without saying that in the classroom, we should all adhere to basic standards of politeness and professionalism. This extends to the work you do online. Even if you’re working at home in pajamas, you’re still at work when you’re dealing with this class. Remain professional at all times. Disagreements may pop up as we talk through our topics, but they should be handled respectfully, as should peer reviews. Respect works both ways; I do my best to be courteous and fair in all situations and at all costs. If you ever feel that you’ve been treated otherwise, please come and talk to me about it.
Participation and Attendance: Participation does not simply mean being present and available; it means responding promptly, thoughtfully, and constructively to one another’s writing and generally being a resource for the rest of us. You are expected to participate in all assignments, peer reviews, presentations, and face-to-face meetings with me and your classmates. Responses to drafts, readings, presentations, etc. are time-sensitive and cannot be made up.
You should be accustomed to reading for courses in the Writing Major, and balancing the work among your courses. When I ask you to read an essay or a chapter, I expect first that you will have read it before the class meeting where it is listed on our syllabus. Secondly, you should not simply be reading for information. The reading we do will help to structure and inform our class discussions, and I hope you will think carefully about it, disagree where relevant, be able to cite it in support of your own claims, and engage it in conversation.
This is an upper-division course that I assume most of you are taking as a requirement for your major. You should plan to attend every session, and you are expected to do so. At the same time, you may encounter unavoidable schedule conflicts, due to illness, outside obligations, etc. If you will not be in class, please notify me in advance, and turn in any work due prior to your absence. If you miss more than two full weeks of the course, without making some sort of arrangement with me, your grade for the course will suffer. I am willing to negotiate with you, but if you miss significant class time, I reserve the right to ask additional work of you if you still wish to pass the course.
Late Work: Depending upon the scope of the assignment, you may lose a letter grade or more if you submit it after the posted deadline, unless you have made a prior arrangement. I am typically willing to grant extensions, but I strongly prefer to do so in advance, not after you’ve missed a deadline.
Grade Disputes: If you have a question about your grade, please take 24 hours before you discuss it with me. Take some time to think about the situation and carefully formulate your argument. When we talk, you should have a specific rationale for why you deserve a higher grade. Then schedule a time to talk with me and we’ll discuss it.
Educational Use of Student Work: This course is a space where we work iteratively and responsively, and it will be important for us to see each other’s work as the semester progresses. Your registration and continued enrollment constitute your permission for this. I fully expect that you will do amazing work in here, and that future students will also benefit from being able to see it. I will always ask your permission before showing your work to anyone who is not in this class.
The Writing Center: Experienced consultants at the Writing Center (101 HB Crouse Hall, on the Quad) are available to work one-on-one with you at any stage of your writing process and with any kind of writing you’re creating. Whether you need help understanding an assignment, brainstorming ideas, revising subsequent drafts, or developing editing strategies, face-to-face and online chat appointments are available for 25- or 50-minute sessions throughout the semester. Appointments can be reserved up to six days in advance online. In addition, drop-in appointments are welcome Monday through Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and brief concerns, questions, or drafts (max of 5 pages) can be emailed to consultants via their eWC service. For more information on hours, location and services, please visit http://wc.syr.edu.
Academic Honesty: The academic community requires ethical behavior from all of its participants. For writers, this means that the work we claim as ours must truly be ours. At the same time, we are not always expected to come up with new ideas; we often build our thinking on the ideas of others. We are expected, however, to credit others with their contributions and to clearly indicate the boundaries of our own thinking. In cases where academic dishonesty is detected (the fraudulent submission of another’s work, in whole or part, as your own), you may be subject to a failing grade for the project or the course, and in the worst case, to academic probation or expulsion. For a more detailed description of the guidelines for adhering to academic honesty in the College of Arts and Sciences, go to: http://academicintegrity.syr.edu
Special Needs and Accommodations: I’m happy to discuss necessary accommodations. The information you share will remain confidential. You should also contact the Office of Disability Service (ODS) for an appointment to discuss your needs and the process for requesting accommodations. (http://disabilityservices.syr.edu, located in Room 309 of 804 University Avenue, or call (315) 443-4498.) Syracuse University and I are committed to your success and to supporting Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This means that in general no individual who is otherwise qualified shall be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity, solely by reason of having a disability.
Religious Observances: SU’s religious observances policy, found at http://supolicies.syr.edu/emp_ben/religious_observance.htm, recognizes the diversity of faiths represented among the campus community and protects the rights of students, faculty, and staff to observe religious holy days according to their tradition. Under the policy, students are provided an opportunity to make up any examination, study, or work requirements that may be missed due to a religious observance provided they notify their instructors before the end of the second week of classes. For fall and spring semesters, an online notification process is available through MySlice/Student Services/Enrollment/My Religious Observances from the first day of class until the end of the second week of class.
Title IX Provisions: Title IX makes it clear that violence and harassment based on sex and gender are civil rights offenses subject to the same kinds of accountability and the same kinds of support applied to offenses against other protected categories such as race, national origin, etc. If you or someone you know has been harassed or assaulted, you can find the appropriate resources at the Counseling Center: http://counselingcenter.syr.edu/.