Multicolored beach shop with sign: "Slow Down. Life's Too Short"

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. (Note that malfunctioning alarm or automobiles, extended vacations, poor time management skills, or an overactive social life do not qualify as dire circumstances.) 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 5 times over the course of the semester, your final grade for the class will be lowered. You will lose one letter grade for each absence beyond 5. 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 in-class discussions in an informed and constructive manner.

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.

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. Side quest assignments and other short writing assignments that you’ll complete this semester will be factored into your participation grade as well.

Short, Informal Writing Assignments

The Assignments pages 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.

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 must post your assignment early.

Late Work

Banner image for the Late Show with Stephen Colbert

All work is due on the date and at the time specified on the calendar. I may refuse to accept or choose to deduct points for late work, and/or I may choose to provide a grade but no detailed feedback for late work.

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 come to 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.


Since we are composing multimodally throughout the course, you are encouraged to bring to class and operate laptops, tablets, and smart phones. The classroom is equipped with desktops that we will use regularly. I encourage you to develop best practices for negotiating among virtual communities and the real time of the classroom. What choices can you make to remain attentive to your peers and me, while at the same time engaging with digital resources?

Email Policy

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.

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.

Peer Tutoring Writing Support

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 currently enrolled in an ESL-supported section of English 101, English 123, or English 221 or who plan to take one of those courses next semester should see ESL tutors, as they are specifically trained to support students in ESL Program courses. Go here to learn more about ESL tutoring or to make an appointment. 

All other students in the college should see Writing Center tutors who are trained to work with this broader population. Go here to learn more and make an appointment at the Emory Writing Center. Please review tutoring policies before your visit.

1 2