Because I believe that growth as a 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 two final Projects. Each of these grades will count for one-quarter of your semester grade. You will also earn a letter grade for each of your four Revisions (Revs). The average of these four grades will count for the third quarter of your semester grade. And the last quarter of your grade will be based on the brief Exercises (Xs) and Responses (Rs) you turn in over the course of the term.
More schematically, your final grade for this course will be based on the average of:
- Your letter grade for Project One,
- Your letter grade for Project Two,
- The average letter grade of your four Revisions (Revs),
- The cumulative grade for your 20 Exercises (Xs) and Responses (Rs).
We’ll talk more over the course of the semester about my criteria for grading nonfiction, but I will probably use a version of this Rubric_117_Fall-10.
Exercises (Xs) and Responses (Rs)
I will use this check-system to grade each of your Xs and Rs:
√ Good 2 points
√- Hurried, late, or incomplete 1 point
0 Missing 0
And I will use this scale to determine the cumulative grade for all 20 of your Xs and Rs:
Work in Seminar
I expect you to participate as an active member of this seminar: to meet deadlines as a writer, to respond thoughtfully to the work of the members of your writing group, and to make your voice heard in useful ways in our talk in class. I will ask you to do some writing during most of our class meetings and will expect you to share that work from time to time. 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. Since this is a writing-centered course, I urge you to set aside one hour for your writing for this course five days per week. This will leave you another hour to keep up with the readings for the week. Such a schedule will help you do well in this course. More important, it will put you in the habit of writing regularly—which is a key part of the work life of any serious writer.
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.