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The Writing Section of Connections.

Policies

Attendance and Punctuality

Class attendance is absolutely required. Because I understand that accidents and illnesses happen, I will allow you two non-emergency absences if--and only if--you complete all required readings and assignments by the class meeting following your absence. Each day you miss over two will constitute an unauthorized absence automatically unless you make specific arrangements with me in advance.

Every unauthorized absence will affect your grade. Three absences will lower your grade by 1/3, four by 2/3, five by a full grade. More than five absences will constitute failing the course. If you have extreme emergencies--such as a death in your immediate family, or an extended illness requiring hospitalization--contact me to make arrangements for your absence.

Late Papers and Assignments

I will subtract 2/3 of a letter grade for each day, including weekend days, that papers are late. So if your paper ends up at "B" quality, but you hand it in a day late, you will receive a C+ for that paper. The only exception to this policy is the extension policy below. If an assignment that the class depends on for its daily functioning (such as a response) is late, it has missed its chance to be useful and will count as a failed assignment.

Extensions

You may have one extension of an assignment deadline, provided that a) the class is not depending on the assignment as the basis of a class session, b) you request the extension 24 hours before the assignment is due, and c) the extension lasts for no more than 48 hours.

Participation in Class Discussions

Participation in class discussions is a very important part of this class, and I make every effort to structure the course in ways that encourage you to participate. The response assignments will ensure that you contribute at times to discussion during class sessions, but I hope that everyone will participate more than that, in the classroom itself and/or on the discussion board.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is taking a passage or passages from another person's discourse, either word for word or in general, and incorporating them as your own into written work you offer for credit. That does not mean that you are not allowed to use other people's ideas; in fact, good writing often uses the ideas and words of other writers extensively. This practice becomes a problem when you don't acknowledge your sources. To avoid plagiarizing, use the following techniques:

  1. Direct Quotation: If you use the exact words or a writer you consulted, you must put their words in quotation marks and tell your reader where the quotation came from. For this class, use MLA style as your citation format. If you have any questions about MLA style, let me know as soon as they arise.

  2. Indirect Quotation: When you summarize or paraphrase another writer, use phrases such as "According to . . . " or "As . . . argues" to tell your reader what you are doing.

  3. General Acknowledgment of Indebtedness: When your thinking has been influenced by a source in a broad way, but you do not have a specific place to acknowledge that influence, you need to let your reader know that with wording such as "Much of the following discussion is based on material found in . . . ." (For example, I used this technique to acknowledge a debt on an in-class undergrad exam, when I had no access to specific wording or page numbers.) In most cases, however, one of the first two techniques works better than this one to let your reader know exactly what influence the cited writer has had on your writing.

  4. List of Works Cited: This will allow you to list the specific sources you have used. We will discuss the format of the list later. Basically, plagiarism is the academic version of forgetting to thank someone who has been nice to you. The consequences, however, are more serious than those of most lapses in politeness. Consult the Student Handbook for the official College policy. If you have questions about the meaning of this statement, see me immediately.

Students with Disabilities

I will make every effort to accommodate students with disabilities in my classes. Such students should follow the procedures outlined by the Academic Advising Office.