Course Information

Policies & Grading

AttendanceDue to the cooperative format of our small seminar and emphasis on participatory learning, attendance is mandatory.  If you miss more than three classes, you will receive a one-step grade decline (e.g., B+ to a B) in your final course grade for each additional absence.  An exception to this policy will be made only under significant extenuating circumstances.

TardinessPlease be respectful of the work that you and your colleagues are accomplishing in class by remembering that tardiness is not acceptable.

Due Dates: All assignments are due by the date and time indicated on the working calendar of assignments. Late assignments may not be accepted and, thus, may negatively impact your course grade. An exception to this policy will be made only under significant extenuating circumstances.

Evaluation of Your Work/Grading: In line with our participatory learning community model, you have the opportunity to self-evaluate and critically reflect upon what grade you believe you have earned in the main graded areas of the course:

    • Project 1 (alphabetic essay) (20% of your course grade)
    • Project 2 (video essay) (30 % of your course grade)
    • Project 3 (digital story) (20% of your course grade)
    • Participatory Learning Community (30% of your course grade)

Projects 1, 2, and 3: We will collaboratively set evaluation criteria and standards for projects 1, 2, and 3. At the completion of each project, you will compose a self-evaluation in which you reflect upon how well you met those agreed-upon criteria and standards. I will assign you a letter grade for your project that  corresponds to both of our assessments of your work.

Participatory Learning Community: This grade takes into account the entirety of your engagement with and contribution to the  participatory learning community. Thus, in addition to your in-class and conference participation and preparedness, this grade also includes such assignments as your pre-workshop critiques, tweets, storyboards, research maps, collaboration manifestos, research annotations, and other short-form assignments. Towards the end of the semester, you will compose a self-evaluation in which you reflect upon how well you engaged with and contributed to the participatory learning community. I will also assign you a letter grade that  corresponds to both of our assessments of your work.

Since this form of grading may be new to you, please speak with me as soon as possible if you have questions or concerns.

Public Work: Please be aware that this course requires that you submit the majority of your work and contribute your voice to open access public forums. Please speak with me immediately if you have questions or concerns about the public nature of our course or if you wish to establish a pseudonym for purposes of submitting assignments for this course.

Duke Community Standard: The Duke Community Standard reads: “Duke University is a community dedicated to scholarship, leadership, and service and to the principles of honesty, fairness, respect, and accountability. Citizens of this community commit to reflect upon and uphold these principles in all academic and nonacademic endeavors, and to protect and promote a culture of integrity.

 To uphold the Duke Community Standard:

  • I will not lie, cheat, or steal in my academic endeavors;
  • I will conduct myself honorably in all my endeavors; and
  • I will act if the Standard is compromised.”

Avoiding Plagiarism: Plagiarism irreparably damages the dignity of our intellectual environment and academic endeavors and will not be tolerated. Please visit Duke University Libraries’ Avoiding Plagiarism page to familiarize yourself with Duke’s policies regarding plagiarism and how you can avoid violating these policies. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about these policies.

Goals & Practices

While many features of academic writing vary across disciplines and genres, students in all sections of Writing 101 learn how to:

1. Engage with the work of others. In pursuing a line of inquiry, scholars need to identify and engage with what others have communicated. To do this, academic writers:

  • Read, look, and listen closely to others’ arguments.
  • Attend to the context of others’ arguments.
  • Make fair, generous, and assertive use of the work of others.

2. Articulate a position. The point of engaging with the work of others is to move beyond what  has been said before. To do this, academic writers:

  • Respond to gaps, inconsistencies, or complexities in the relevant literature.
  • Anticipate possible counterarguments or contradictory evidence.
  • Provide new evidence or interpretations.
  • Advance clear and interesting positions.

3. Situate writing for specific audiences. In order to effectively advance their position within their fields of inquiry, scholarly writers need to be aware of disciplinary conventions and expectations. To do this, academic writers:

  • Apply discipline-specific conventions for using and citing sources.
  • Draw on appropriate and effective support for an argument.
  • Learn expectations and concerns of intended readers.
  • Integrate context-appropriate visual design elements.

4. Transfer writing knowledge into situations beyond WR101. Even as scholarly writers situate their writing for specific audiences, they also need to transfer knowledge and practices across disciplines and contexts. Writing is an ongoing practice. To do this, academic writers:

  • Build on prior writing knowledge.
  • Adapt writing knowledge to new contexts.

Achieving these goals involves several integral writing practices. Through print, in-person, and digital interactions, students in all sections of Writing 101 are offered practice in:

1. ResearchingResearch is often ongoing and recursive, rather than a discrete, initial step of the writing process. Depending on the field, this research may include locating primary and secondary sources; conducting fieldwork; questioning methodology; collecting, analyzing, examining, or organizing data/evidence; identifying social or political contexts; or considering the implications of an academic work.

2. Workshopping. Academic writers re-read their own writing and share work-in-progress with colleagues in order to reconsider their arguments. Students learn how to become critical readers of their own prose through responding to one another in classroom workshops, seminar discussions, or conferences.

3. Revising. Students are asked to rethink their work-in-progress in ways that go beyond simply fixing errors or polishing sentences in order to extend, refine, and reshape what they have to say and how they say it.

4. Editing. As a final step in preparing documents for specific audiences, students learn how to edit and proofread.