Requirements and Grading
The requirements for this class fall into three categories: Attendance, Preparation
and Participation, and Written Work.
Attendance: This is a discussion/workshop-based class and will only
succeed if everyone is a fully involved participant. You may miss one class
meeting without penalty, but attendance is required at all other class meetings
unless you have obtained my permission in advance or can document a medical
or family crisis after the event. Students with 1, 2, or 3 unexcused absences
will be graded 3, 6, or 9 percentage points lower for the course; students
with more than 3 unexcused absences will fail the course. You should
also make an effort to be on time for class; after your first tardy, I will
deduct two points from your final participation grade for each time you arrive
more than five minutes late to class during the term.
Preparation and Participation: You are responsible for reading all
of the assigned texts, or viewing an assigned film, at least once before
the corresponding class meeting. I also expect that you will come to
class ready to participate in our discussions or peer review workshops.
At the end of the semester, I will assign you a grade for your class participation
using the following grading scale:
A+/A= You regularly participated multiple times during our class
discussions by responding to discussion questions, adding to your classmates’
comments, posing questions of your own, offering an interesting reading of
the day’s texts, or advancing class discussion in other ways. During
workshops or small group activities, you actively listened and responded
to group discussions and gave constructive criticism to your classmates’
A-/B+= You participated in discussion at least once a class and regularly
demonstrated your knowledge and understanding of the assigned text in your
B+/B= In addition to showing active engagement and interest in class or workshops,
you occasionally participated in our discussions.
B/B-= You may not have verbally participated in class very often, but you
showed an active engagement and interest in class discussion or workshops.
C/D= In class you were typically unengaged: you daydreamed, read the newspaper,
slept, or were otherwise not involved with what was going.
Your participation grade will also be based on the following:
Opening Remarks: At least once this term, I will call on you
to introduce our discussion of the day’s readings. These presentations
should be very informal and consist mainly of your interpretations, responses,
and questions about the readings.
Written Work: The required written work for this class takes several
forms, not all of which will be graded, but all of which are important.
Short Assignments and Essays—You will complete several short
assignments (no longer than two pages) throughout the term.. These
assignments will each be directed at building specific writing skills.
Final Essay--Your final essay in this class will call on you to synthesize
the skills you acquire throughout the term. You must revise this essay once
(with guidance and feedback from me and your peers). Your final grade
for an essay will be the average of your grades on the original version and
the revised version.
In-Class writing Assignments and Discussion Board Posts-- I will frequently
ask you to complete brief in-class writing assignments or respond to a question
on our class’s listserv. These essays and short responses will not
be graded, but I will expect you to share your writing with the class in
Grading Your final grade will be based on the following percentages:
Preparation and participation as follows:
Class Participation (Including Opening Remarks)
Written work, distributed as follows:
Short Assignments and Essays
***Please note that if you do not complete or otherwise receive a failing
grade on any one of these assignments, you may receive a failing grade for
A Note on Plagiarism: In this our internet age, there
are many temptations and opportunities to cut and paste, borrow, plagiarize,
and otherwise cheat on your writing assignments. If I receive work
that seems suspicious, I will hand it over to the University Office of Student
Conduct for further investigation. Punishment for cheating or plagiarizing
at Penn can include a failing grade, a notation on your permanent transcript,
and even expulsion. If you have any questions about what constitutes
plagiarism, please talk to me about anything you are unsure of before you
turn it in.