SFU’s official policy is that you must submit all major assignments in order to pass the course, regardless of your calculated grade: both essays, the annotated bibliography, the presentation, at least half the quizzes, and at least half the face-to-face classes.



All assignments will receive a letter grade, and these grades correspond to the four-point scale and the percentage scale (below). Your course grade will contribute to your GPA on the four-point scale.

Letter Grades
Four-Point  Scale
Percentage  Scale
A+ 4.3 95%
A 4.0 90%
A- 3.7 85%
B+ 3.3 80%
B 3.0 75%
B- 2.7 70%
C+ 2.3 65%
C 2.0 60%
C- 1.7 55%
D 1.0 50%
F 0.0 0%

Essay Grades and Comments

The bulk of my comments will be attached to the body of your essay (usually at the bottom of each paragraph) with only a short summary at the end. I encourage you to come to office hours to talk in more detail about your essays—both before and after they’re marked!—and please note that there is an official grade-appeal process that I am always happy to help you through.



All essays are due at the beginning of class, after which the essay is “late.” Late essays take a -1 penalty per day, including the day on which they were due (e.g., an “A” becomes an “A-“, a “C-” becomes a “D,” etc). That’s the equivalent of a full letter grade every three days (or 5% a day if you’re accustomed to thinking in percentages).

All essays require a Works Cited page. Any essay that doesn’t have one is considered “late” until such time as you send that page to me.

I accept all essays by email (okidder@sfu.ca), and I return them by email. Please send a text file in one of the following formats:

  • .odt (OpenOffice/LibreOffice)
  • .doc or .docx (MS Word)
  • .pages (Apple)



You get one (1) free extension. You can invoke it right up until the moment the assignment is due—just before class, for example—and it moves the due date one week, to 5:30pm the nest Monday. I also need the request by email so that there’s a written record. If you need another extension, then you must provide documentation of an injury, illness, or personal emergency.


Academic Dishonesty

The function of education is to expose students to new knowledge and skills. The function of assignments and tests is to see if the students have absorbed that knowledge or those skills. Therefore, using other people’s work and pretending it’s your own is the exact opposite of learning. It maintains your ignorance, and ignorance is the enemy of education.

Academic dishonesty includes all of the following activities:

  • Cheating: giving and/or receiving unauthorized assistance in any exercise or examination
  • Plagiarism: representing the words or ideas of others as if they were your own
  • Falsification: inventing or falsifying information, citation, or data in any exercise
  • Multiple Submission: submitting substantial portions of any academic exercise more than once for credit without the prior approval of the instructor
  • Complicity: facilitating any of the above actions or doing anther student’s work
  • Interference: hampering other students from performing their assignments

The consequences of academic dishonesty include, but are no limited to, failing the assignment, failing the course, and expulsion from the University. The exact consequences depend on the severity of the offence and whether the student has committed multiple acts of academic dishonesty.



You are ultimately free to choose to miss a class, but I do take attendance to help determine your Participation mark, so I don’t encourage it. Also, with night classes such as our, missing “one” class means missing a whole week’s worth of content, so please bear that in mind when you decide whether you can afford to miss a day.

If you do miss a class, it is your responsibility to get notes from a classmate; do not ask me to summarize three hours of lecture and discussion in five minutes, and never ask me “if” we did anything important; we always did something important.



If you’re late for a class, just enter the room as respectfully as you can (i.e., come in and set yourself up quietly, don’t walk in front of the class, etc.). If you’re consistently late, then take responsibility! Figure out what’s making you late and stop that.



When you send me an email, remember that I’m an English professor, so use full sentences and proper spelling. Also, start with a greeting (e.g., “Hello, Orion.”) to make me feel like a person. Also, your subject line is essentially the title of the email, so use it to describe what the message is about (e.g., “Eng 199: Essay #3, citations”). Finally, do not respond to an old message with a new question and retain the old subject line; it’s lazy and confusing.


Classroom Etiquette

The only way we can have useful discussions in class is if we’re respectful towards each other. That means that we do not interrupt and talk over people, we phrase criticism constructively, and we refrain from all bigoted remarks (racist, sexist, transphobic, homophobic, classist, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, ablist, etc; you know what I’m referring to). We will discuss all of these issues in class, but we will do so respectfully.