Classroom Policies


Life’s too short. Are you familiar with that truism? A semester really is too short a time to cover all this material unless we’re each here every day that class meets; therefore, I look forward to seeing you at every class meeting, contributing to a discussion on each of the topics we’ll cover.

I make no distinction between excused and unexcused absences, so no documentation or excuse is required for an absence. If some sort of dire circumstance — such as serious injury or illness, death in the family, thermonuclear war — should arise, please notify me as soon as possible so we can try to make arrangements. You should also remember that you are still responsible for any information or assignment covered in a class that you miss and that I do not provide make-up quizzes or other work.

If you are absent more than 4 times over the course of the semester, your final grade for the class will be lowered. You will lose one-third of a letter grade for each absence beyond 4. I do not give make ups for assignments completed in class if you are absent or late enough to class that you’ve missed that assignment.

Class Participation

Participation means more than simply being physically present – it means coming to class with the assigned reading completed and being ready to contribute in a thoughtful and respectful manner to discussion, peer editing, or other in-class assignments. You should have whatever text we’re discussing that day and any other necessary materials with you in class to refer to during discussions.

To receive full credit for class participation you must contribute actively and regularly to class discussions in an informed and constructive manner. Participation also includes taking part in the asynchronous parts of the class by writing posts on your domain, commenting on your peers’ writing, taking an active part in collaborative writing tasks in Google docs or other writing spaces. Sunday funnies assignments and other short writing assignments that you’ll complete this semester will be factored into your participation grade as well.


I expect students to take their work seriously, to come to class prepared and willing to participate, and to treat peers and their ideas with respect.


Since we are composing multimodally throughout the course, you are encouraged to bring to class and operate laptops, tablets, and smart phones. I encourage you to develop best practices for negotiating among virtual communities and the real time of the classroom — and we will spend time reading, thinking, and discussing how to deal mindfully with the distractions presented to us via our electronic tools.

Fundamentally, I will expect you to remain attentive to and respectful of your peers and me while at the same time engaging with digital resources.

Inclement Weather
In recent years, there have been a growing number of University closures related to inclement weather.  In a desire to anticipate potential winter closures in the new year, the Emory College of Arts and Sciences administration has developed an Inclement Weather Make-Up Class policy. If we lose three or more days of class due to inclement weather, we will hold make up classes on dates designated by the college.

Short Term University Closures (one or two days)

In the event of short term closures due to inclement weather or emergency, we will revise our course schedule and use email and the class web site to accommodate the disruption.

Long Term University Closures (three or more days)

If the university should close for three days or longer, we will meet for make-up sessions. These school-appointed make-up dates are as follows:
  • Saturday, March 23 & Sunday, March 24
  • Saturday, April 6 & Sunday, April 7
These dates are included in our schedule but hopefully we won't need to make use of them.
Email is the best way to contact me if you have questions or concerns. Generally, I will respond to all student email within 24 hours (although on weekends and holidays, it may take a little longer). Likewise, there may be instances when I will need to contact you by email. It is your responsibility to check your Emory-based email account at least once every 24 hours.
Individual Conferences

You are required to meet with me for conferences at least twice over the course of the semester. Missing conferences will result in deductions to your class participation grade.

Assignments Policies

Short, Informal Writing Assignments

The Assignments pages will include descriptions of the major assignments for the semester. In addition, you will have frequent, shorter and generally less formal, writing assignments. I’ll describe those assignments to you either in class or via blog posts here on this site (or both).

It is vital that you keep up with these as they are assigned. They help prepare you for class, give you a direction to work, give you practice opportunities for writing, critical reading, and thinking. These assignments are due on the assigned date and will not be accepted late (unless we make a prior agreement). If you know you will be absent, you should post your assignment early.

Late Work

All work is due on the date and at the time specified on the calendar. I will deduct points for late work if you haven't spoken to me in advance to make some arrangement.

If something comes up and you cannot get a major assignment completed on time, please email or speak with me as early as possible to make arrangements. If you contact me in advance, I will do my best to be reasonable and to work with you to come up with a solution that allows you to succeed while remaining fair to the rest of the class and meeting my needs as the instructor of the course. If you email me 10 minutes before an assignment is due, or 3 hours after it’s due, I am much less likely to be able to make such accommodations.

Academic Integrity

Article Four of the Emory University Honor Code defines academic misconduct as “action or inaction which is offensive to the integrity and honesty of the members of the academic community,” which may include, but is not limited to, the following:

(a) Seeking, acquiring, receiving, or giving information about the conduct of an examination, knowing that the release of such information has not been authorized:

(b) Plagiarizing;

(c) Seeking, using, giving, or obtaining unauthorized assistance or information in any academic assignment or examination;

(d) Intentionally giving false information to professors or instructors for the purpose of gaining academic advantage;

(e) Breach of any duties prescribed by this Code;

(f) Intentionally giving false evidence in any Honor Council hearing or refusing to give evidence when requested by the Honor Council.

Please read through the description of the Honor Code linked above and make sure that you understand what it says because it is in effect in this course. We will spend time in this course discussing these issues and you must observe that Code at all times. It is the responsibility of every faculty member and every student in the university to support the honor system here.

I take plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty seriously. Should I suspect that you engage in academic dishonesty in this course, I will refer the case to Emory’s Honor Council. You may also receive a zero on the assignment(s) in question.

By taking this course, you affirm that it is a violation of the code to cheat on exams, to plagiarize, to deviate from the teacher’s instructions about collaboration on work that is submitted for grades, to give false information to a faculty member, and to undertake any other form of academic misconduct. You agree that the instructor is entitled to move you to another seat during examinations, without explanation. You also affirm that if you witness others violating the code you have a duty to report them to the honor council.

Public Nature of the Course

Please consider all writing for this class to be “public.” Part of becoming an effective writer is learning to appreciate the ideas and feedback of others. In this course, our purpose is to come together as a writing community. Avoid writing about topics that you wish to keep private or that you feel so strongly about that you are unwilling to listen to the perspectives of others.

Student Success Resources

Universal Design and Disabilities

I strive to create an inclusive learning environment for all. I am invested in your success in this class and at Emory, so please let me know if anything is standing in the way of your doing your best work. This discussion can include your own learning strengths, any classroom dynamics that you find uncomfortable, ESL issues, disability or chronic illness, and/or personal issues that impact your work. I will hold such conversations in strict confidence.

This course emphasizes user-centered design and the value of connectivity over static standards to facilitate “universal instructional design.” Issues of accessibility are an integral component of instruction for all students. While students should disclose non-standard needs in keeping with guidelines provided by the Office of Disability Services in order to have those needs augmented by digital tools such as voice to text software or close captioning, the course recognizes the extent to which all students are “multiply situated learners” (Price 88). As such, the course emphasizes shared strengths over remediation.

All of that said, Emory University complies with the regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and offers accommodations to students with disabilities. If you are in need of a classroom accommodation, please make an appointment with me to discuss your situation as soon as possible.

For more information, please visit Access, Disability Services and Resources or contact the office by phone at (404) 727-9877 [voice] or TDD: (404) 712-2049. Students who receive accommodations must present the Accommodation Letter from ADSR to your professor at the beginning of the semester, or when the letter is received. Please note that accommodations are not retroactive and that disability accommodations are not provided until an accommodation letter has been processed. Students registered with OAS who have a letter outlining their academic accommodations, are strongly encouraged to coordinate a meeting time with your professor that will be best for both to discuss a protocol to implement the accommodations as needed throughout the semester. This meeting should occur as early in the semester as possible.

Source: Price, Margaret. Mad at School: Rhetorics of Mental Disability and Academic Life. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2011. Print. 88

Writing Center and ESL Program

Tutors in the Emory Writing Center and the ESL Program are available to support Emory College students as they work on any type of writing assignment, at any stage of the composing process. Tutors can assist with a range of projects, from traditional papers and presentations to websites and other multimedia projects. Writing Center and ESL tutors take a similar approach as they work with students on concerns including idea development, structure, use of sources, grammar, and word choice. They do not proofread for students. Instead, they discuss strategies and resources students can use as they write, revise, and edit their own work. Students who are non-native speakers of English are welcome to visit either the Writing Center tutors or the ESL tutors. All other students in the college should see Writing Center tutors. Learn more and make an appointment by visiting the websites of the ESL Program and the Writing Center. Please review tutoring policies before your visit.

Emory Counseling Services

Free and confidential counseling services and support are available from the Emory Counseling Center (or by phone: (404) 727-7450). This can be an invaluable resource when stress makes your work more challenging than it ought to be.