SFU policy states that you must submit all major assignments in order to pass the course, regardless of your calculated grade. This includes both essays, the annotated bibliography, and at least half of the reading quizzes.
All essays will receive letter grades, not percentages. This course does not use percentages.
Essay Grades and Comments
Dr. Kidder marks essays on a seven-category matrix. Students receive a grade in each category (A, B, C, D, or F), and the average of all seven is your grade for the essay. The categories are as follows:
- Logic (Log): thesis, reasoning, avoiding fallacies
- Evidence (Evi): clearly defined premises, appropriate quoting/citing
- Structure (Str): proper intro and conclusion, clearly defined sections, rational organization/sequence
- Language (Lan): topic sentences, clarity, concision, readability
- Grammar (Gra): proper sentence mechanics, absence of errors
- Format (For): adherence to MLA formatting, including citation (parenthetical and bibliographical)
- Total Impression (Imp): cleverness, originality, complexity, depth
When students receive their essays, there will be comments on the page, corrections in the sentences, and a table with grades in each category. It looks like this:
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: an “A” becomes an “A-“, a “C-” becomes a “D” etc. That’s the equivalent of 5% a day, or a full letter grade every three days.
All essays require a Works Cited page. Any essay that doesn’t have one is considered “late” until such time as you submit those citations to your teacher (i.e., it takes -1 per day, as above).
Dr. Kidder accepts all essays by email (email@example.com) and returns them by email. When you send your essay to him, include a clear subject line and do not just reply to an old message. In addition, write a greeting into the email. Do not just attach a file by itself. He will confirm having received the essay by email and/or in class.
Essay File Format
Dr. Kidder’s students can send their essays in one of the following formats:
- .doc or .docx (MS Word)
- .odt (OpenOffice/LibreOffice)
- .pages (Pages for Mac)
If Dr. Kidder’s computer cannot read the file, he’ll email you back to get a better copy, but if he does not hear from you within a few days, then the assignment is late and takes penalties accordingly.
You get one (1) free extension per semester. You can invoke it right up until the assignment is due, literally at the beginning of class, and it moves the due date one week. You do not need to explain why you need it, but you must submit the request in writing (i.e., by email). If you need another extension, then you must provide documentation of an injury/illness or personal emergency.
The function of education is to expose students to new knowledge. The function of assignments and tests is to see if the students have absorbed that knowledge. Therefore, claiming the contributions of others as your own is the exact opposite of learning. It maintains 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.
Attendance and Lateness
Your teacher will take attendance for the purposes of deciding on your Participation mark. If you have to miss a class, it’s common courtesy to email and explain why. If you are late, just enter the room quietly and respectfully.
Students with Disabilities
If you have any disabilities that you anticipate will have an effect on your coursework, you can consult with SFU’s Centre for Students with Disabilities, and they can forward a confidential letter to your teacher detailing your requirements. We will make whatever reasonable changes we need to so that you can fully participate in the class, including but not limited to changing your deadlines, giving you extra time during quizzes or exams, or allowing you to write them in a separate room.
When you send email to your teachers, remember that we study writing for a living, so use full sentences and proper spelling. Also, start with a greeting (e.g., “Hello, Orion.”), and use a subject line that describes the content of the message (e.g., “Eng 103: MLA citation”). Do not respond to an old message with a new question that has an unrelated subject line; it’s lazy and confusing.
It should go without saying that the only way we can have useful discussions in class is if we’re respectful towards each other. That means that we avoid interrupting and talking over people, we phrase criticism constructively, and we refrain from all racist, sexist, homophobic, classist, or otherwise bigoted remarks. We will discuss race, gender, sexuality, class, etc. but we will do so respectfully.