Because I believe that growth as a reader and writer stems from consistent practice, I have designed this course to reward both the quality of your finished writing and thoughtful and steady work over time.
You will earn a letter grade for each of your three revisions (Rs). Each of these grades will count for one-quarter of your semester grade. The remaining quarter of your grade will be based on the six brief exercises (Xs) you turn in over the course of the term.
Since the revisions you’ll do for this course can take many different forms, I can’t offer a single template for assigning them grades. However, what I can say is that, whatever sort of piece you write, I’ll look for:
- An informed and innovative use of the source text
- An interesting idea driving your own writing
- Clear and imaginative prose
- A thoughtful comment on your work in revising
- Careful editing and document design
I will use this check-system to grade each of your Xs:
√ 2 points Good
√- 1 point Hurried or incomplete
0 0 Missing or late
And I will use this scale to determine the cumulative grade for all 6 Xs:.
Work in Seminar
I expect you to participate as an active member of this seminar: to meet deadlines as a writer, to be ready to discuss assigned readings, and to make your voice heard in useful ways in our talk in class. I will ask you to do some informal writing in preparation for or during many of our class meetings and will expect you to share that work from time to time. I will also often ask you to work in pairs or small groups and will expect you to take that work seriously. I reserve the right to raise or lower your semester grade by one step (for instance, from a B to a B+ or a B-) to reflect the consistency and quality of your work in seminar.
Work Out of Class
The usual calculus is that you should work two hours out of class for each hour in class. That would mean about six hours of work out of class per week. My sense is that you should divide this time more or less equally between reading and writing—that is, to imagine spending about three hours per week doing both.
Missed work or plagiarism
I expect you to complete all work assigned for this course. Missing assignments count as an F. If you plagiarize any of your work for this course, the penalty will be an F for the semester, and I will report the incident to the Office of Student Conduct.