Attendance is vital to your success in a class such as this one, since classroom discussion will be our opportunity to work together to create everyone’s experience of the course. Class discussion should come as a reward for doing the preparation before class and for making the effort to be present. You should expect to participate in an active and engaged classroom experience, twice a week. I realize, however, that there may come a time when you need to miss class. Each time you miss class, you will miss the opportunity to generate a more meaningful understanding of the class materials. Class participation and engagement are also an important part of your grade, and if you miss out on class, you will inevitably fall behind in other areas of the course.  
I will take attendance daily. I don’t distinguish between excused and unexcused absences, so save your 2 free absences for times when you really need them. If a situation arises during the semester that will affect your ability to attend class regularly (such as an extended illness), please contact me as soon as possible so we can discuss your options. You can be dropped from the course after your 6th absence (that is, after missing 3 weeks of the course).
Tardiness is disruptive to the classroom environment and prevents you from fully participating and assimilating the information and materials discussed in class. Students arriving 5 minutes after the class start time will be considered late, and 3 late arrivals add up to one absence.

OAKS: The College’s Learning Management System, including the Gradebook and Assignment folders, will be used for this course throughout the semester. But our main website is housed here, on WordPress.

Office Hours and Email: I keep regular office hours each week (in my office at 74 George St., room 101), and this time is reserved for you to discuss with me any issues, concerns, or suggestions you have about your work or about the course. I have an open-door policy, so please don’t hesitate to visit me during office hours: MW 12:30-1:45pm and MW 3:15-4pm. I have lots of other availability, so please find a slot on my calendar here if the scheduled office hours don’t suit your schedule. I am happy to meet virtually in Zoom if you prefer.

During the week, I check email regularly. Over the weekend, I check email much less frequently. I will respond to all emails within 72 hours.

Assignments and Grades:

Your grade in this course will reflect your performance in 3 broad categories as described below.

  • Participation— 20%: Measured by your performance on frequent Reflective Engagement and other measures of participation that you will have an opportunity to complete across the semester. (Specifications for Reflective Engagements can be found here.) Sometimes engagement takes the form of observations offered in class discussion or in online discussion. Sometimes it takes the form of questions asked of fellow students, or of the instructor. But those are not the only forms engagement can take. Engagement also takes the form of quiet, patient attention given to fellow students and to the instructor. That kind of attention supports the investment being made by others in the value of the class experience. Finally, it also takes the form of preventing yourself from speaking too much, dominating discussion. Making room for others, and inviting their participation, is a key form of engagement. If you are a quieter person, one way to signal your interest in class discussion would be to comment on your peers’ blog posts more extensively.
  • The “Post|English” blog—40%: Over the course of the semester, each of you will compose 6 blog posts of 650-800 words each responding to specific prompts. On the Assignments tab, you’ll see instructions for 4 posts and 2 field reports, all of which will appear on the blog. Because these are for public consumption, you should take care to polish and properly format them, and since this is 2024 and not 1984, they should also incorporate various forms of media and external reference (images, video embeds, links to other sites or posts, and so on). If you’ve never blogged before, and/or used the WordPress platform, not to worry: just check out the instructions under the blog tab in the menu above.These blog posts will cover a range of topics, and 2 of these posts will be “field reports”: one will be an interview and profile of a former CofC English alum English major; and the second will be a reflective self-analysis relevant to your prospective field and goals. These field reports will be count for twice as much (20 percent) as the other blog posts (10 percent each).
    • A note on privacy: You have full control of who has access to your posts. You can post publicly if you wish, or you can post privately, so that your posts will be visible only to those in our class. You can also change how your name appears as an “author” on your post, allowing you to blend public expression and some sense of control of privacy. We will discuss how to control these privacy tools in class.
  • Final ePortfolio–40%: The final portfolio is the culminating project for the semester, and one that you will be working on from the first day of the course. This portfolio will include:
    (1) a personal-professional narrative in which you introduce yourself and frame the various artifacts in your portfolio;
    (2) a resume or CV and link to a LinkedIn profile;
    (3) a remix or adaptation of a previously completed academic project, in a new genre for a new audience; and
    (4) additional examples (minimum 2, maximum 4) of student work in English and other academic and professional areas that aptly demonstrate the skills, knowledge, and dispositions cultivated during your time at CofC.
    Part of the grade for your ePortfolio will relate to digital presentation and design as well as your final presentation to the class.

Specifications grading: The work you will do for this course will all be performed in relation to a set of specifications, detailing the specific features that I will assess and laying out what you need to do and what you need to produce in order to earn an A, B, C, and so on for that assignment. We will carefully go over the particular features included on the specifications list for each assignment, and you will work toward the grade that you choose to earn.

Across the semester, I will record points earned in the Grades section in OAKS, so you can see your progress across the semester. Graded assignments will earn letter grades that have the following numerical values (which map on to the specifications for each particular assignment, and are also used for the final grade):

  • A-Range: 97-100 = A+, 93-96 = A, 90-92 = A-
  • B-Range: 87-89 = B+, 83-86 = B, 80-82 = B-
  • C-Range: 77-79 = C+, 73-76 = C, 70-72 = C-
  • D-Range: 67-69 = D+, 63-66 = D, 60-62 = D-
  • F-range: 0-60

Respect for diversity: It is my intent that students from all diverse backgrounds and perspectives be well served by this course, that students’ learning needs be addressed both in and out of class, and that the diversity that students bring to this class be viewed as a resource, strength, and benefit. It is my intent to present materials and activities that are respectful of diversity: gender, sexuality, disability, age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race, and culture. Your suggestions are encouraged and appreciated. Please let me know ways to improve the effectiveness of the course for you personally or for other students. In addition, if any of our class meetings conflict with your religious events, please let me know so that we can make arrangements for you.

On Inclusive Class Discussions:

1) Respect others’ rights to hold opinions and beliefs that differ from your own.

2) When you disagree, challenge or criticize the idea, not the person.

3) Listen carefully to what others are saying even when you disagree with what is being said. Comments that you make (asking for clarification, sharing critiques, expanding on a point, etc.) should reflect that you have paid attention to the speaker’s comments.

4) Be courteous. Do not interrupt or engage in private conversations while others are speaking. Be aware of messages you may be communicating with your body language.

5) Support your statements. Use evidence and provide a rationale for your points.

6) Share responsibility for including all voices in the discussion. If you have much to say, try to hold back a bit; if you are hesitant to speak, look for opportunities to contribute to the discussion.

7) If you are offended by something or think someone else might be, speak up and do not leave it for someone else to have to respond to it.

8) Recognize that we are all still learning. Be willing to change your perspective and make space for others to do the same.

What other rules are important to you? Please feel free to share additional concerns you have with me via email, in my office hours, or in our next class when we will supplement these rules as we create a set of shared expectations for the class.

Dual Submission Policy: In most circumstances, the same paper may not be submitted for a grade in more than one class. Because this course includes a portfolio involving past work, you will be returning to and revising past work in this course.

Plagiarism and the Honor Code: All students, needless to say, must follow the College of Charleston’s academic integrity policy, which forbids cheating, attempted cheating, and plagiarism. Any case of suspected cheating or plagiarism (on any written response for the course) will be sent to the College’s Honor Board.

The College of Charleston Student Handbook defines plagiarism as:

  1.  The verbatim repetition, without acknowledgement, of the writings of another author. All significant phrases, clauses, or passages, taken directly from source material must be enclosed in quotation marks and acknowledged in the text itself and/or in footnotes/endnotes.
  2. Borrowing without acknowledging the source.
  3. Paraphrasing the thoughts of another writer without acknowledgement.
  4. Allowing any other person or organization to prepare work which one then submits as his/her own (Student Handbook, 13-14).

Please see the College’s XXF Policy here. Plagiarism is a serious academic offense. Should you have any uncertainties about appropriate citation practices, these free online tutorials hosted by Indiana University can be an excellent resource. I am happy to assist, as well.

Generative AI (such as ChatGPT): Because writing, analytical, and critical thinking skills are key learning outcomes of this course, all writing assignments must be prepared by you, the student. As a result, AI-generated submissions are not permitted and will be treated as plagiarism. Understanding how and when to use tools such as ChatGPT is an important part of thinking and working in today’s world.