Participation:  Participation is more than showing up. It’s being prepared for class and ready to work.  And then actually doing the assigned work.  So come to class prepared to discuss various aspects of reading and writing in the natural sciences. I will keep track of your participation and likely “cold call” on you silent, moody, or “multitasking” types.  Please resist the urge to facebook or twitter or tumblr or text your friends or do whatever it is you do when you’re bored with what you’re *supposed* to be doing. I reserve the right to count you absent if you are not actively participating in class work. You must also fully comply with any instructions I give – which at times will mean putting your laptops away and using paper and pencil to Failing to do so will result in you being counted absent and you may also be asked to leave. Repeat offenses will be reported to the Dean of Students as an Honor Code Violation.

*A NOTE ON REGISTERING FOR CLASSES* – If your enrollment appointment time happens to fall during this class, do not ask me if it’s okay if you enroll during class. It is not okay, nor will it ensure that you do or don’t get a seat in x, y, or z course. Seats are added to sections on a daily basis with NO CONNECTION OR CONSIDERATION for your appointment time, which is arbitrary. You can enroll in your courses when class has been dismissed.

Attendance: The Department of English and Comparative Literature’s policy states that students must attend at least 75% of their classes to receive credit for the course.  Consequently, accumulating more than 7 absences is grounds for failing this course (i.e., upon the 8th absence, you will FAIL the course). If you arrive unprepared, it is the same as not coming to class and I will count you absent. Arriving late is DIS-RUPT-IVE, but I understand that sometimes, it just happens. But if it becomes a problem, I’ll start counting you absent.

Missing Class:  Missing class does not preclude you from being responsible for completing any and all work for that day in class.  If you miss class 1) check with a group mate to see what you missed 2) contact me to see what arrangements can be made up (not all assignments can be made up—in some cases missing class will mean missing points for quizzes, daily work, etc.) unless you have a valid excuse.  In most cases, I will work with you to make up missed work.  If you are missing class for a religious holiday or for a sanctioned University event, contact me IN ADVANCE and I will work with you to ensure you have equal opportunity to receive full credit for missed in-class work.

Due Dates: All assignments are due at specified times.  I reserve the right to give any late work a FAILING GRADE.  That said, I will almost always work with you if you need to arrange an alternate due date so long as you contact me in advance and I can be forgiving in the event of an epic fail, but you will need to ask me for absolution, and it *may* be yours.

Grading:  Your final grade will be based on the following breakdown:

  • Short Essays: 20%
  • Group Podcasts: 15%
  • Midterm & Final: 20%
  • Long Essay: 25%
  • Class Participation: 20%

I will calculate your final grade according to the following scale:

94-100% A 77.5-79.9% C+
90-93.9% A- 74-77.4% C
87.5-89.9% B+ 70-73.9% C-
84-87.4% B 60-69.9% D
80-83.9% B- 50-59.9% F

Computers: This is the new age and computers are just part of it. Students should allow time and seek assistance for any technical issues that arise when completing computer-based activities (information and technical assistance are available at http://help.unc.edu or by phone at 962-HELP). Students should also be aware that electronic class activities can be public in nature. The work that you conduct resides on the University computer network, but is public in nature and may be viewed by an unknown audience. Please be mindful of this consequence as you prepare your responses to assignments. Please also be mindful of using your computer for “multitasking” – doing other homework, online shopping, tweeting, facebooking, or otherwise being distracted with non-class materials. There are consequences for such behavior and it may lead to you failing the course.

Sakai: Sakai is a web-based instructional environment that will be our digital home for this semester. I will use sakai for its gradebook. To sign into sakai, go to: https://www.unc.edu/sakai/
Your username and password for Sakai are your university ONYEN and password

Assignment Submission: All of your assignments will be submitted online rather than in paper. For these assignments you will be posting your projects to this website (apercu.web.unc.edu)

I will be giving permission to everyone in class to post to the course website.  At that point in time, you’ll need to create a profile and familiarize yourself with the features of WordPress so that you can submit posts in a timely manner.

PlagiarismThe Instrument of Student Judicial Governance defines plagiarism as “the intentional representation of another’s words, thoughts, or ideas as one’s own” (4). I support the University policy on plagiarism. Because we will be working in groups, spending a lot of time drafting and revising papers, it is practically impossible for you to plagiarize and get away with it, so please don’t try it.  I will not hesitate to report plagiarism to the Honor Court; if you are found guilty, you will face one semester suspension and will fail the course. See me if you have questions or doubts about what constitutes plagiarism.  Remember that all drafts and non-graded work are also subject to this policy (in addition to all graded materials).

Academic Etiquette: In addition to participating in all class activities (which include class discussions, group activities, impromptu presentations, drafting, responding, and researching), I expect all students to refrain from non-productive activities during class time, such as IM-ing or emailing, carrying on extraneous conversations, or doing work for other classes.  Further, students will show respect for the course, the instructor, themselves, their classmates, and opinions that may differ from their own in deference to the educational atmosphere. If you fail to maintain appropriate etiquette relations with your classmates or me as your instructor, I will ask you to leave the class, you will be counted absent for that day, and you will not be able to make up any work you missed for that day.  If your behavior is in violation of the school Honor Code, I will contact the Dean of Students regarding the incident and you may be subject to further reprimand.

Honor Code: The students of The University of North Carolina have a long, proud tradition of honorable conduct, and I expect all students in this class to continue that tradition. Cheating, plagiarism, or other acts of academic misconduct will result in prosecution from the UNC Student Court, who may censure, suspend, or expel a guilty student. Additionally, I will exact my own punishments on cheaters – plagiarized assignments will fail. Assignments completed with unauthorized assistance (or other types of cheating) will fail, so beyond the honor code (and threat of suspension or expulsion), you will also receive a failing grade for the assignment (first offense). If you are caught cheating a second time, you will fail the course and you will also be subject to censure of the Honor Court. See the UNC Honor Code for more information: http://honor.unc.edu/

Email:  You must use and check your UNC email. Check your email early and often. It may have important announcements concerning assignments or class location changes. Failing to check your email is not an excuse for missing class announcements or assignments. If you think you are not getting emails, contact ITS immediately to fix the problem. I try to check my email regularly and generally respond within less than 24 hours in most cases but I am not perfect. If I fail to respond within that time, feel free to send me a gentle reminder or talk to me before or after class or in office hours.

Accessibility Services: Any student who identifies as differently abled, who feels he or she cannot participate to the fullest expression of his or her abilities due to a learning issue should contact me as soon as possible so that we can discuss class requirements and recommendations necessary to ensure full participation. While having a disability will not excuse you from any work in this course, I will find ways to work with you to best meet your needs and I may suggest making an appointment with Accessibility Resource and Services: https://accessibility.unc.edu/

The Writing Center: The UNC Writing Center offers free tutoring services for students. You may visit the writing center to ask for help with a specific paper, whether you are concerned with developing ideas and content, organizing your assignment, or working on style issues. For more information visit http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/

Pronouns: Please tell me your preferred mode of address and gender pronoun (either in person or via email). For instance, my pronouns are she/her and I liked to be called by my first name (Sarah) or last name (Boyd) with the title Doctor or Professor. Please refrain from calling me Mrs. Boyd, Miss Boyd, Ms. Boyd, Miss Sarah, Ms. Sarah, Mrs. Sarah: these modes of are not only inaccurate, but they are also inappropriate and disrespectful in many cases (ask me why!). 

***Policies and Calendar Subject to Change as necessary–but I’ll give you as much advanced notice as possible!