Course Policies

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University of Arkansas

ENGL 1013:  The Compocalypse 

Required Materials

  • A Sequence for Academic Writing, 5th ed,. By L. Behrens and L. Rosen
  • They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing, 2nd ed., by G. Graff, C. Birkenstein, and R. Durst
  • The St. Martin’s Handbook  (7th Edition) by Andrea A. Lundsford
  • Pens, pencils, and highlighters for article annotation
  • Access to a computer with a reliable Internet connection


Purpose: To teach students how to conduct research using written sources from across the curriculum, and to teach them to draft, revise, and edit their researched essays to demonstrate sound argumentation, development of ideas, clear organization, accurate analysis, awareness of writing conventions, and mastery of standard linguistic forms.


Specific Goals: In accordance with the stated purpose of the course, students will learn, among other things, how to:

  • analyze rhetorical situations;
  • identify authoritative sources;
  • identify persuasive appeals in written and visual texts;
  • paraphrase and summarize accurately the ideas of others;
  • develop a thesis and construct a convincing written argument for a specific audience;
  • use electronic resources to support library research;
  • synthesize three or more sources, using MLA style for internal documentation and works cited;
  • analyze and revise their own writing and the writing of others; and
  • practice academic integrity and ethical communicative aims.


Procedure: Discussion; workshop; lecture; and the writing of papers, essay examinations, and exercises. The quality of writing will largely determine the final grade.



10%       Paper One

20%       Paper Two                                                                                                                  100%-90% = A

20%       Paper Three                                                                                                                  89%-80% = B

25%       Paper Four                                                                                                                    79%-70% = C

10%       Attendance and Participation                                                                                   69%-60% = D

15%       In-Class Assignments, Quizzes, and Homework                                                      60%-0% = F


Critical Essays:  All critical essays must be submitted electronically through SafeAssign by midnight on the due date. Otherwise I will consider it late.  Late essays will be marked down 10 points per day.  In other words, an essay that was due Monday but is turned in Wednesday will lose 20 points right off the bat. Additionally, I expect submitted work to follow MLA guidelines.  I WILL NOT ACCEPT EMAILED PAPERS—NO EXCEPTIONS. 


Rough Drafts: I’m happy to look over rough drafts as long as we do so prior to in-class peer review days.  After that, I’ll answer questions, but I won’t read full essays.  If you ever want me to go over a draft with you, let me know and we’ll schedule a time that works for you.


Course Website and BlackBoard:  Outside readings, paper assignments, important links, and class handouts will post to BlackBoard.  It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the site and BlackBoard, and you should check them regularly.

In terms of BlackBoard, all of your major assignments will be turned in electronically through SafeAssign.  It’s your job to make sure SafeAssign works with your computer; I won’t accept “SafeAssign didn’t work” as an excuse for late assignments.  If you’re having issues, contact 


Homework, In-Class Assignments, and Journals:  To better explore the readings in class, I will often assign group work, individual writing assignments, reading quizzes, and take home projects to encourage critical thinking.  These assignments cannot be made up, even if an absence is excused.


Attendance and Participation:  Attendance in this class is required and counts for 10% of your total grade.  Absences work like this:  0-3 absences = no grade reduction; each additional absence will lower your grade in this category 10 points.  For example, if you miss 2 days of class, your attendance grade will be a 100, but if you miss 5, you’ll have an 80.  If you are tardy and miss roll or leave the class before it is dismissed, you will receive half an absence.   Having 8 or more unexcused absences is grounds for course failure.

However, warming your seat without opening your mouth does not equal perfect attendance!  I expect all of my students to make a concerted effort to contribute thoughtful ideas, perspectives, and criticisms to our discussion of cultures and texts.  Ergo, you must do the reading if you want to succeed in this course.  If you are not an active member of this class, expect your grade in this category to be lowered by a minimum of 20 points.     


Excused Absences and Make-Up Work:  Absences will only be excused if the student can produce valid documentation.  This means a doctor’s note for illness, an obituary for a funeral, a legal document for a court date, etc.  These excuses must be provided on the next day of class. In-class assignments cannot be made up for any reason, even if the absence is excused.

Furthermore, you are responsible for the material covered in class.  If you are absent, it is your responsibility to get notes from one of your classmates.  If you are unclear about the lesson, you can come in and discuss the material with me during my office hours.  I will not give you a mini-lesson at the end of the next class period. 


Required Materials:  It is important that you bring the assigned readings to class every class period.  If you have a reading in one of your textbooks, make sure you bring the book to class.  If the reading is on BlackBoard, feel free to bring in an eReader or a laptop.  (See “Laptop/eReader Policy” below.)


Cheating:  As a core part of its mission, the University of Arkansas provides students with the opportunity to further their educational goals through programs of study and research in an environment that promotes freedom of inquiry and academic responsibility. Accomplishing this mission is possible only when intellectual honesty and individual integrity prevail.

Each University of Arkansas student is required to be familiar with, and abide by, the University’s ‘Academic Integrity Policy,’ which may be found at Students with questions about how these policies apply to a particular course or assignment should immediately contact me.


Inclement Weather Policy: Unless the University closes, we will hold class.  University closures are always posted on the homepage.


Emergency Preparedness:  The University of Arkansas is a very safe campus and there is a low probability that a serious incident will occur here. However, we want to emphasize our emergency procedures for evacuation and shelter in place incidents. Our preparedness will be critical if an unexpected event occurs.  Instructions for specific emergencies, such as severe weather, an active shooter, or fire can be found at  However, there are some simple things you should do in the event an emergency occurs during our class.

  • Always follow the directions of the instructor or emergency personnel
  • If told to evacuate, do so immediately. 
  • If told to shelter-in-place, find a room, in the center of the building with no windows, on the lower level of the building.
  • If told to lockdown, lock and barricade the door.  Turn off the lights and wait for police to arrive. 


Email:  I send many emails throughout the semester, often with attachments.  Check your UARK account regularly.  Additionally, do not turn in assignments via email.  I will not accept them.


Cell Phone Policy:  When you enter the classroom, you should make sure that your phone is either off or on silent, and put it out of sight.  This means that cell phones cannot be placed on your lap, on the top of your backpack, on your desk, or sneakily hidden anywhere else.  Talking on the phone and/or texting during class not only drives me nuts, but distracts your peers as well.  Any violation of this policy will result in being asked to leave the class.  Additionally, you will receive a 0 on any in-class work and an absence for the day.    


Laptop/eReader Policy: Since we’re going digital, feel free to bring your reading device with you to class whenever we have readings (please don’t bring them on days we’re viewing films).   Notice I said “reading”— that means I expect you to turn your Wi-Fi off when you enter the classroom.  Please refrain from surfing the web, checking Facebook, or tweeting.  Just like texting, it’s distracting for everyone.  If you abuse your technology privileges, I’ll ask you to leave your device at home for the rest of the semester.  Then you’ll have to print off articles from BlackBoard and bring them to class. 


Quality Writing Center:  This is an invaluable resource for writers of all skill levels.  The staff is incredibly helpful, and they will help you improve the content of your paper.  You can visit the Center on the third floor of Kimpel, or check out their website at


Classroom Etiquette: By coming to class, you are pledging to fulfill the role of a student.  In return, I strive to maintain a classroom atmosphere where you can learn effectively and without distraction.  In order to give everyone the opportunity to learn, if you are talking excessively, sleeping, texting, checking FaceBook, passing notes, working on assignments for other classes, reading the newspaper, doing a crossword or Sudoku, or engaging in any other disruptive behavior, I will ask you to leave the classroom.  If you are asked to leave, you will lose attendance credit and receive a 0 on any in-class work for that day. 


The Golden Rule:  This goes without saying, but I’m going to point it out anyway.  This class is discussion oriented, and I want everyone to feel comfortable participating.  Additionally, we will be dealing with charged topics like religion, spirituality, and homosexuality.  To this end, I ask that the classroom atmosphere remains one of encouragement and respect at all times.  In other words, treat others with the respect you would like to receive. 




If you have any questions about an assignment or need extra help, please do not hesitate to visit me during my office hours!  If they don’t work with your schedule, speak with me after class and we’ll find a time that works for both of us.  I am more than happy to answer questions via email as well.  I usually respond quite quickly, and will certainly get back with you within 24 hours.  Remember—I want you to succeed!