Home Course Policies & Grading
Required Texts Reading Schedule
Contact Me    Print Syllabus

Course Policies

Ground Rules for Behavior

I expect students to help me maintain an atmosphere of fairness, civility, courtesy, and respect for other students and for the teacher. 

Attendance Policy

Students are expected to attend all classes and to complete all assignments.  I begin taking roll officially on the second day of class, so if you join the course on the third day, you will already have accrued one absence. Papers due on an expected absence date must be turned into me in advance.  Use your absences for illness, births or deaths, transportation problems, work conflict, community & family responsibilities, university sponsored events of which you are a part, etc.  It is essential that students arrive to class on time, and habitual tardiness will not be tolerated.  Absences will affect your grade as follows:

Final Grade will be lowered one full letter with three or more absences.

Students with six or more absences will not pass this course.

Three tardies count as one absence.

Leaving early (even with permission) counts as a tardy.

Policy on religious observances

Any student who plans to observe a UNM recognized religious holiday that conflicts with the course schedule or requirements should contact me as soon as possible to discuss alternative accommodations.


Any apparent scholastic dishonesty (e.g., plagiarism) will be promptly reported to the proper authorities and will result in a grade of F for the course and a letter of reprimand in your file. Any assignment that does not appear to be deliberate plagiarism but fails to include clear record of an essay’s development (pre-writing and revision) or fails to provide appropriate attribution of sources or direct quotation will receive a grade of zero.

As commonly defined, plagiarism consists of passing off as one’s own ideas, words, writings, etc., which belong to another.  In accordance with this definition, you are committing plagiarism if you copy the work of another person and turn it in as your own, even if you should have permission from that person.  Plagiarism is a serious academic violation that will become part of your academic record, since I report all instances to the Dean of Students. 

Academic Integrity

You are expected at all times to follow University policies concerning academic integrity.  Each student is expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty and integrity in academic and professional matters.  The University reserves the right to take disciplinary action including dismissal against any student who is found responsible for academic dishonesty or who otherwise fails to meet the standards.  Any student who has been judged to have engaged in academic dishonesty in course work may receive a reduced or failing grade for the work in question and/or for the course.

Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, dishonesty in quizzes, tests, or assignments; claiming credit for work done by others; hindering the academic work of other students; misrepresenting academic or professional qualifications within or throughout the University; and nondisclosure or misrepresentation in filling out applications or other University records.  I will be available to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about academic and professional ethics during office hours.


scroll down for more on assignments
Participation     100 pts.             10%
Discussion Leader     150 pts.             15%
Team Reading Presentation     200 pts.             20%
In-class writing, homework, misc.   150 pts.             15%
Research Paper (due end of semester) or UNM Undergraduate & Creativity Symposium presentation    200 pts.             20%
Final Oral Presentation of research     200 pts.             20%
TOTAL:   1000 pts.         100%


Policy on Late Assignments

Be smart and plan for computer and printer problems by completing your assignments early, not the night before or the day the assignment is due.  Late work due to faulty computers/printers or lost work will still result in a late grade.  The penalty for late work is deduction of one full letter grade for every day the work is late.  This applies to all assignments, including homework.  Work is due, unless otherwise announced, at the beginning of class.  If work is turned in after roll call, it will be considered late and points will be deducted.  Work must be turned in to me in person (do not leave papers with the department secretary, under my office door, or send through email, because they will be tossed).  This policy applies to group projects as well.


You should not assume that you may "take an incomplete" in this course. Requests for an incomplete should be addressed to the Undergraduate Director of English.  Your college advising office will be contacted to verify your reason for requesting a grade of I.  Requests will be considered only if a student has completed 50% of the work in the course.

Grades will only be discussed in private consultation during office hours (no earlier than twenty-four hours after an assignment has been returned to the student).  Grades will not be posted over email or over the phone.


I cannot gauge your level of understanding in the class if you do not participate in class discussion.  Participation is expected, and your level of participation is reflected in your final grade.

Discussion Leader

Each week, someone will be given the responsibility of helping me lead class discussion.  The discussion leader will open class discussion and lead things along for about 15 minutes.  To do this, bring in 2 questions to pose to the class.  These should be higher order questions formulated as a "how" or a "why" question.  Type up your questions and answers and turn them in to me at the end of class on the day you are assigned to be discussion leader.

Team Reading Presentation

Use Hill's questions as the basis for your team presentation.  Choose between 2 or 3 and then prepare to present the questions and your answers to the class on the day you are assigned as a team reader.  Plan on 15 minutes to present the questions and your team's answers.  Present any dissenting opinions and alternative answers if your team does not agree with one another.  Remember to answer how and why you came up with your answer(s).  Type up your answers and turn them in to me at the end of class on the day you are assigned to be team reading presenters.

Research Paper

The final project will take the form of a 10-page (1 pg. for works cited and 9 pp. for your own research and writing) research-based paper applying rhetorical and/or critical analysis to writing that focuses on civic/citizen engagement in one form or another.  Feel free to interject your personal experiences with civic engagement if they relate to your research topic. 

Another option that can take the place of a final research paper would be your participation in the UNM Undergraduate and Research Symposium.  I have included a link to this above.  You can write a shorter conference-length paper to present or you can create a poster.  If you need help with either of these kinds of presentations, please come see me.  If you choose this as your final project, you would need to have your work complete about one month earlier. 

No matter what you choose to do, the final research paper or the UNM Undergraduate and Research Symposium presentation, everyone will have to present their work to the class in the final days of the semester.

217 Humanities Bldg., Albuquerque, NM 87131       Telephone: (505) 277-6347 Fax: (505) 277-5573