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How to succeed in this seminar:

  • Bookmark this online syllabus and check it often for updates (marked in red).
  • Keep a calendar—paper or digital—to manage your time and meet deadlines.
  • Attend each class on time, bring relevant readings and notes, and participate regularly in discussions. The goal is to improve education for all, not you alone. At the end of the semester, your peers will evaluate your overall contribution to learning by the seminar.
  • Take the initiative by asking questions. If you don’t understand something, other students probably are puzzled, too. Go ahead and ask.
  • In this class, students are required to bring a laptop for in-class writing and online research, but use it wisely. Focus on learning and avoid distractions.
  • Talk about what you are learning outside of class, both with your peers and the professor. Email me any quick questions, or book an appointment for longer discussions.
  • Everyone—including your instructor—learns to improve our writing by sharing drafts, receiving reader feedback, and revising our prose. Make the most of peer editing opportunities and the Writing Center.
  • If you’re concerned about a grade on an assignment, schedule an appointment to talk with me. Afterwards, if you wish to challenge a grade, write out a persuasive argument with supporting evidence.
  • If an illness or emergency interferes with attending class, email me immediately and make arrangements to catch up on missing work.

How your work will be evaluated: (updated Oct 7th)
Exercises may earn 2 points each, and essay drafts and peer reviews may earn 4 points each, if completed satisfactorily and on time. Unsatisfactory or late work will result in a deduction of points.

Final essays may earn 10 points each, based on the assignment writing guidelines and response to the peer review. Late final essays will receive a 1-point penalty for every 12 hours overdue, with exceptions granted only for verified medical or family emergencies.

  • Individual/Team Quick Exercises: 11 worth 2 points each = 22
  • Essay Drafts and Peer Reviews: 7 worth 4 points each = 28
  • Longer final essays: 4 worth 10 points each = 40
  • Participation (by mentor & seminar) = 10

Total = 100 potential points (with additional 1-point bonus opportunities TBA, such as the most thoughtful peer reviewer for each essay).

In this course, unsatisfactory work (below 70%) falls in the D or F range, adequate work (70-79%) in the C range, good work (80-89%) in the B range, and outstanding work (90 to 100%) in the A range. Each range is divided into equal thirds for minus (-), regular, and plus (+) letter grades. For example, 80 to 83.33% = B-, 83.34 to 86.67 = B, and 86.68 to 89.99 = B+. Students may access their individual scores on the password-protected Moodle site.

Students are expected to engage in academic honesty in all forms of work for this course. Discussion inside and outside of class, as well as peer review of draft essays, is highly encouraged, but all assignments are expected to be completed independently, except for those clearly labeled as work for partners or groups. If these guidelines are unclear, it is your responsibility to ask for clarification.

Please notify the instructor during the first week of the course if you require any special accommodations (such as religious observances, learning disabilities, etc.).

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