What is this course about?

While the name of this course is officially "technical writing," it is designed to help you learn how to communicate relevant specialist knowledge to non-specialist audiences across modes and media, which is a basic starting definition of "technical communication." This course in technical communication emphasizes both "theory" and "practice." That means we will learn the theoretical--largely rhetorical--underpinnings of technical communication, while engaging in the practice--which is iterative, recursive, and reflective--of technical communication.

In addition to introducing what this course is, I think it's also helpful to take a moment to discuss what it is not. The course will not emphasize professional correspondence and internal office communication (e.g., memos). Those genres and processes are covered in the department's business writing course (ENGL3130). Nor will we focus on grant and proposal writing. Those, too, are the subject matter of another course, ENGL4510. Finally, this course deals for the most part with documents and processes associated with non-academic workplaces, so the work you do in this class may be quite different from the work you have done or are doing in your other classes, whether you are an English major or not.

So what document genres and composition processes will we study in this class? To some extent, that depends. The major project in this course is a client-driven service learning project. You will work individually and in groups with an Atlanta-based non-profit organization to design a package of documents or deliverables. Depending on who your client is, you may be developing a set of newsletter and annual reporting templates, a series of brochures describing the organization's services, a manual for employees on how to use social media to cultivate donors and reach the organization's clients or beneficiaries, press releases and other marketing copy, etc. As a result, rather than focusing on genres (e.g., brochures, public service announcements, resumes, instructions), this class is organized around rhetorical analysis, the principles of multimodal design, content development and management, and collaborative project management. The goal is that, by the end of this course, you will have a better understanding of how to analyze and respond to rhetorical situations involving technical communication, so that you can work with clients and other participants in the design process to identify and follow the conventions of genre and style most appropriate for a particular purpose, audience, and professional context.

Image credit: "Hand-Drawn Machine Schematics," by Tom Blackwell

What will we be doing?

This course has four major projects, which are designed to engage you in the composition processes and familiarize you with some of the products of technical communication in the non-academic workplace:

  • Individual Reading Annotations (6, 300-600 points)
  • Individual Pitch Presentation (1, 125-250 points)
  • Collaborative Final Service Learning Client Packet (300-600 points)
  • Individual Online Professional Profile (1, 125-250 points)

You will earn points for each major project. In addition, you will also earn points for general class participation (400-??? points). In general, this course is designed to reward the quality and quantity of work you do. The more you put into the course, the more you will get out of it–with regard to both your learning and your grade.

Reading Annotations | 300-600 Points

For this project you will read all of the assigned readings for each unit, but will be assigned only two readings per unit to annotate (50-100 points each).  Your annotations will draw out questions and applications from both readings and put them into conversation with one another and the other readings in the unit. Annotate more readings for more points (up to 50 points per submission, for a max total of 600 points on this project).

Your reading annotations will be created using Hypothes.is, using the hashtag #gsutw16 and the hashtag associated with the reading you have annotated. You will submit links to your annotations using the submission form.

Due Dates:

Annotations 1&2 are due on September 6th by 11:59 pm; annotations 3&4 and 5&6 are due the first day of the relevant unit of study, by midnight:

  1. Annotations 1&2: 11:59 pm on September 6th
  2. Annotations 3&4: 11:59 pm on October 10th
  3. Annotations 5&6: 11:59 pm on November 14th

Once a unit has ended, no more points will be awarded for annotations of that unit’s readings. Late annotations can be submitted for completion credit (but not for points, see late work policy below) until midnight on December 5th.

Project Purpose and Goals

 

Annotations emerge in the process of a reader’s coming to understand a text, and in the case of this particular project, putting one text into conversation with another. Ultimately a strong set of annotations for this project will reflect your understanding of main ideas from both texts, raise questions that arise from differences/convergences/comparisons between them, and explain difficult concepts/terms/passages.

This project is designed as an opportunity to practice gathering, summarizing, synthesizing, and explaining information from various sources.

Guidelines

*Use Hypothes.is to annotate two of the major assigned readings for this class

*Begin with one annotation that summarizes, in one or two paragraphs, the main “take away” point, question, or concern raised in the reading

*Continue with annotations that discuss, in specific detail, where you see tensions between text you’re annotating and the other texts you are reading/have read for class, where the another text may help to explain the one you’re annotating, where another text and the one you’re annotating seem to be exploring and applying similar concepts

*Use the literary present tense

*Cite paraphrased details and quotations as precisely as possible (see APA style guide for in-text citation)

*Consider multiple modes when composing your annotations: spatial, visual, linguistic

Rubric

Click here to see a copy of the evaluation rubric, which we will compose together as a class.

Individual Pitch Presentation | 125-250 points

Audience and deliverables: For this project, you will work individually to create a presentation for your service learning client. In this presentation you will pitch your concept and ideas for the final service learning project deliverables, including a polished working draft of at least one of the anticipated deliverables. Presentations will range from no fewer than five (5) and no more than seven (7) minutes in length, and the client will be present in our class on the day to provide you with critique and feedback.

Here is the evaluation rubric for this project, which we will discuss and finalize as a class.

Dates for the pitch presentations are dependent upon the clients’ schedules and will be announced after the start of classes. They will most likely take place during class on September 27, 29, and October 4, 6. Draft deliverables and project reflections will be due by 11:59 pm on October 10.
Project Purpose and Goals

 

This project is designed to help you to develop your written, oral, gestural, and visual communication skills, and to provide you with an opportunity to interact one on one with a client. You will practice.

Deliverables

The project will include the following deliverables:

  • In-class oral presentation
  • Working draft of at least one proposed deliverable (uploaded to your WordPress site and link to file submitted via the form)
  • Reflection blog post with process narrative

You will need to maintain an individual work log during this and every project. This work log will be the basis for your post-project reflection (and linked file in your reflection blog post). Your reflection blog post for each project should respond to the reflection prompt, tailoring your response to include details about the specific rhetorical situation (purpose, audience, context) and your deliverables.

Rubric

Click here to see the Individual Presentation rubric.

Collaborative Service Learning Client Packet | 300-600 Points

Audience and deliverables: For this collaborative project, you will work in teams with a non-profit organization to complete a packet of high-quality communication deliverables designed for an authentic rhetorical situation. Each team will be working on a different set of issues and deliverables for their client. I will try to ensure that your client for this project will be the same client you worked with for the individual pitch presentation. I will also try to ensure that the problem or matter will be the same as well. In some cases, however, it may be necessary to shift some students to a different client or matter, depending on what our class enrollment looks like after the midpoint, in order to ensure that teams and matters are staffed effectively.

You can see a well-designed and executed client packet from a previous class here.

This project will be due in the following stages:

  • Draft memorandum of understanding (emailed to client, cc me): 11:59 pm on October 21st
  • Workshop drafts: During class on November 10th and 15th
  • Presentation of final drafts for clients and peers: During class on November 29th and December 1st
  • Final packets (emailed to client, cc me): 11:59 pm on December 2d
  • Individual reflection memo: 11:59 pm on December 5th

Failure to submit any of the deliverables on time will result in a deduction of up to 100 points from each team member’s points total.

Project Purpose and Goals

This project is designed to give you, to the extent possible within a classroom setting, the experience of helping a real client solve a real technical communication problem. You will continue to develop your research and rhetorical analysis skills, practice written and oral client communication, and hone your ability to compose in a variety of modes and media. You will also gain experience working with and managing a collaborative composition process. 

Guidelines

  • COLLABORATIVE: Signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the client, outlining scope of work, schedule for deliverables, and expectations of the parties.
  • Professionally designed packet
    • COLLABORATIVE: Framing and navigational documents
      • Cover letter to appropriate audience, with commentary about choices and rationales
      • Table of contents (hyperlinked)
    • Deliverables
      • COLLABORATIVE and INDIVIDUAL: Deliverables will vary depending on client and rhetorical situation.
    • Appendices
      • Resume of each team-member
      • Copy of original MoU
  • COLLABORATIVE: Oral presentations of final drafts to peers and client
  • INDIVIDUAL: Reflection blog post with process narrative

You will need to maintain an individual work log during this and every project. This work log will be the basis for your post-project reflection (and linked file in your reflection blog post). Your reflection blog post for each project should respond to the reflection prompt, tailoring your response to include details about the specific rhetorical situation (purpose, audience, context) and your deliverables.

Rubric

The evaluation rubric for this project, which we will discuss and finalize together, is here.

Online Professional Profile | 125-250 Points

Audience and deliverables: This individual project will provide an opportunity to create a digital professional presence for yourself. The project asks you to design four distinct deliverables: resume, professional biography, at least one social media profile, and a website.

You will begin designing your website on the first day of class using your sites.gsu.edu WordPress site, or if you choose, a WordPress site hosted on your own domain through Reclaim Hosting.

Your project reflections with links to your project deliverables will be posted to your class website, and you can even use your website as cloud storage to host PDF, Word, and other files that you create during this course.

By the end of the course, once you complete your professional biography, your resume, and your social media profile and link them to your course website, the site will serve as a professional portfolio, documenting your experience and providing examples of your work.

You will complete this project in four stages; failure to turn in any of the three drafts on time will result in a 100 point deduction from your final points total:

  • Draft resume: Class time on November 4th
  • Revised resume draft: Class time on November 8th
  • Draft website: Class time on November 17th
  • Final profile, and reflection post with process narrative: 11:59 pm on December 9th

You will need to maintain an individual work log during this and every project. This work log will be the basis for your post-project reflection (and linked file in your reflection blog post). Your reflection blog post for each project should respond to the reflection prompt, tailoring your response to include details about the specific rhetorical situation (purpose, audience, context) and your deliverables.

Project Purpose and Goals

This project is intended to help you either create or polish a professional portfolio that can be used outside the context of this course. Your online professional profile will be a hybrid academic/professional portfolio that will accomplish the following goals:

  • Demonstrate through examples of multimodal technical communication and written reflection a knowledge of rhetorical terms and concepts and an ability to apply these terms and concepts in your own technical communication process;
  • Demonstrate the technological competencies you have employed and developed over the course of the semester;
  • Offer a well-organized, well-designed, and engaging user experience

Resources

Guidelines

The audiences for the online professional profile will simultaneously be me and potential employers or other outside evaluators interested in learning about your qualifications and experience.

At a minimum, your online professional profile must include or link to your resume, your professional biography, your social media profile, and your project reflections and examples of your work from the pitch presentations and service learning client packet. You will compose a project reflection for the online professional profile, too, but the reflection for this project doesn’t have to be integrated into the profile itself.

In addition to these required elements, you may also want to include examples of and reflections upon your work in other classes or non-academic workplace settings, links to or a portfolio of your creative work, a home or landing page, etc., etc. This is your space, and as long as it fulfils the intended purpose for this class, you can customize it so that it becomes an effective representation of you and your work.

Rubric

Click here to see the evaluation rubric for this project, which we will discuss and finalize as a class.

Image credit: “Sewing” by Roger Nelson

Participation | 400-??? Points

Check your points in your doc on Google Drive.

~Ask not what you can do to earn credit for this course; ask what you will do to earn as many points as you possibly can.

During the course of the semester I invite you to engage with the course material and assignments, with your peers and with your instructor, consistently and in inventive ways. I will assign points to your work reflecting the level of your participation both inside and outside of class. I will also subtract points for failing to participate (e.g., missing class) so as to fairly reflect your level of engagement with the course concepts. Your goal is to accrue as many points as possible during the semester.

If you complete all of the major projects, come to class prepared, and miss only four class meetings, you will earn at least 1,330 points and a grade of “C.” If you complete all of the major projects, miss only four class meetings, and accrue 1,891 points you will automatically receive a “B.” Once you complete all of the major projects, miss no more than four class meetings, and accrue 2,180 points, you will automatically receive an A in the course!!!

Your points will be recorded on a Google doc, which will be shared with you and available for you to view at any time.

Suggestions

I hope to encourage your participation by offering points as follows, but please suggest your own projects and activities for potential points:

Attendance: 10/class, -10/absence (see attendance policy)

Class preparation assignments: 10 per

Study group organization and participation: up to 25

Individual office hour visit: 20

Group meetings with instructor: 20

Blog posts reflecting practice of course concepts: up to 50

Constructive commentary on blogs: 15

Extra reading annotations: up to 50/per

Create Facebook groups around topics, projects or readings: up to 50

Contribute to the glossary of terms: 15 per

Complete Lynda.com tutorial on a relevant technology: up to 50

Suggest something!

**Be sure to let me know when you have completed points-potential work that doesn’t automatically get counted. Generally, you will do this by writing up your work as a blog post and submitting the link to your post via the submission form. This gives me opportunity to discuss the work with you and give you general feedback.

While participation is ongoing, you can earn rewards by accruing points early, and some opportunities for earning extra points expire when the major project with which they are associated expire.

 

Rewards

To make things interesting, small prizes (e.g., Starbucks gift cards, coupons for local businesses, etc.) will be awarded to points leaders periodically.

Expiration Dates

While points will be awarded for class attendance and participation, study groups, group conferences, office hours meetings, and other forms of participation throughout the semester, opportunities for earning points associated with major projects will expire when the course unit with which they are associated end:

  • Reading Annotations for Unit 1 Readings: September 26th
  • Reading Annotations for Unit 2 Readings: October 17th
  • Reading Annotations for Unit 3 Readings: November 1st
  • Pitch Presentation: October 10th
  • Service Learning Client Packet: December 5th
  • Online Professional Profile: December 9th

Late work can be submitted for completion credit, but you will not be able to earn points for submissions made after these deadlines. No work will be accepted for points or completion credit after 11:59 pm on December 9th.

Submitting your work . . .

Use this form to submit pretty much everything for which you’d like to earn points–study group reflections, major project drafts, reflection posts, etc. I will keep track of when you come to see me during office hours for individual or group conferences. For everything else, however, you will need to submit a link to evidence of your work on your own site, on Hypothes.is, or elsewhere on the web.

If you ever have questions about what kind of evidence you need to provide to document your participation and how to submit it, stop by during office hours or ask the question before or after class. You’ll earn points for the office hours visit, asking the question, and for finding a way to make the information available to the rest of your classmates.

What is the general plan for the course, and when are things due?

The detailed course calendar and a week-by-week overview are available below. Here is the general plan for the course; keep in mind that this general plan is subject to change:

Getting Started

  • Introduction to the course
  • Individual website set-up (sites.gsu.edu)

Unit 1 | Weeks 2-7 | Definitions

technical communication/modes/media/usability/genre/content management

  • Reading Annotations 1&2 (11:59 pm, September 6th)
  • Pitch Presentations (in class September 27th and 29th, and October 4th and 6th)

Unit 2 | Weeks 8-12 | Issues

race/gender/access/culture/intellectual property and ethics

  • Reading Annotations 3&4 (11:59 pm, October 10th)
  • Pitch Presentation Deliverables and Reflections (11:59 pm, October 10th)
  • Memo of Understanding (to client, cc me, 11:59 pm, October 21st)
  • Draft resume (class time, November 4th)
  • Revised resume draft (class time, November 8th)
  • Draft Service Learning Packet Deliverables (class time, November 10th and 15th)
  • Herrington, T. (2011). Copyright, free speech, and democracy: Eldred v. ashcroft and its implications for technical communicators.Technical Communication Quarterly, 20(1), 47-72.
  • Reyman, J. (2008). Rethinking Plagiarism for Technical Communication. Technical Communication, 55(1), 61-67.
  • Williams, Miriam F. and Octavio Pimentel (2012). Introduction: race, ethnicity, and technical communication. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 26(3), 271-276.
  • Durack, Katherine T. (1997). Gender, Technology, and the History of Technical Communication. Technical Communication Quarterly, 6(3).
  • Williams, George H. (2012). Disability, Universal Design, and the Digital Humanities. Debates in the Digital Humanities.
  • Godden, Rick and Jonathan Hsy (2016). Universal Design and Its Discontents. Disrupting the Digital Humanities.

Unit 3 | Weeks 13-15 | Praxis

collaboration/aesthetics/project management

  • Reading Annotations 5&6 (11:59 pm, November 14th)
  • Draft Online Professional Profile Website (class time, November 17th)
  • Service Learning Packet Presentations (class time, November 29th and December 1st)
  • Final Service Learning Packets (to client, cc me, 11:59 pm, December 2d)
  • Service Learning Packet Reflection (11:59 pm, December 5th)
  • Final Online Professional Profile and Reflection (11:59 pm, December 9th)

Image credit: “April 1941 Advance Pattern Fashion News,” by Jessica Hartman Jaeger

Weekly Overview

To open the weekly overview in a new window, click here. This is an overview of the readings and deliverables for the week of:

Course Calendar

Click on the entry for a particular date for more details. You can also use Google to view and subscribe to your class calendar. Copy and paste this link into your browser to view the calendar in a new window: https://calendar.google.com/calendar/embed?src=eee5bk26bvtb6j73f07eg9dmd4%40group.calendar.google.com&ctz=America/New_York%22. Copy and paste this code into the text editor view of your WordPress page or post to embed it:

<iframe src=”https://calendar.google.com/calendar/embed?showCalendars=0&amp;mode=AGENDA&amp;height=600&amp;wkst=1&amp;bgcolor=%23FFFFFF&amp;src=eee5bk26bvtb6j73f07eg9dmd4%40group.calendar.google.com&amp;color=%23B1365F&amp;ctz=America%2FNew_York” style=”border-width:0″ width=”800″ height=”600″ frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no”></iframe>

Image credits, left to right: “silicon3,” “gold5,” “phosphorus4,” and “aluminum3,” by Flickr user Mrs. Pugliano

How will my grade be calculated?

Check your points in your doc on Google Drive.

You will earn points for just about everything you do in this course–preparing for class, attending class, completing in-class work, studying, major projects, coming to office hours to discuss your drafts or progress, etc., etc. You can earn points on major projects as follows:

  • Individual Reading Annotations (6, 300-600 points)
  • Individual Pitch Presentation (1, 125-250 points)
  • Collaborative Final Service Learning Client Packet (300-600 points)
  • Individual Online Professional Profile (1, 125-250 points)

You can also lose points for missing class, failing to turn in a project on time, coming to class unprepared, etc., etc. At the end of the course, if you have completed all four of the major projects (reading annotations, pitch presentation, service learning packet, and online professional profile), your letter grade will be assigned based on the points you’ve earned. In order to pass the course, you must complete all four of the major projects. FAILURE TO COMPLETE ANY OF THE MAJOR PROJECTS WILL RESULT IN AN AUTOMATIC GRADE OF “C-” OR LOWER, REGARDLESS OF HOW MANY POINTS YOU HAVE, MEANING THAT YOU WILL HAVE TO RE-TAKE THE CLASS.

If you complete all of the major projects, come to class prepared, and miss only four class meetings, you will earn at least 1,330 points and a grade of “C.” If you complete all of the major projects, miss only four class meetings, and accrue 1,891 points you will automatically receive a “B.” Once you complete all of the major projects, miss no more than four class meetings, and accrue 2,180 points, you will automatically receive an A in the course!!!

Your points will be recorded on a Google doc, which will be shared with you and available for you to view at any time.

Image Credit: “water is unfit for human consumption” by Flickr user woodleywonderworks

What texts and other resources will I need?

In all of my classes, I make every effort to keep text and materials costs under $75. Unless otherwise noted below, I expect students will have access to all required texts and resources from the first day of class.

Students should not expect to “get by” without reading assigned texts. Unlike some lecture classes, where the lecture is a review of assigned reading, this is a seminar course in which the assigned reading is preparation for a discussion or application of the information and ideas presented in the text. To put it another way, by completing assigned readings before class, we establish a basic shared knowledge base upon which we can build thoughtful conversations and productive work sessions. It’s OK if the reading sometimes raises more questions than it answers; I expect that to happen often, in fact. Make a note of your questions. Let them circulate in your thoughts in the hours before class, and then bring them up in your reading annotations and our class discussions.

Required Reading

  • Arola, Kristin L., Jennifer Sheppard, Cheryl E. Ball. Writer/Designer: A Guide to Making Multimodal Projects. (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014) — http://bit.ly/1tbI2aI
  • Additional readings linked to the course calendar or posted to the course folder on Google Drive

Required Materials and Tools

  • Access to a laptop or desktop computer for daily use.
  • Access to email on a daily basis.
  • An active student account on sites.gsu.edu.
  • An account on Hypothes.is.
  • Access to computer software and programs used for digital composition and editing (I am always able to recommend free or very low-cost open source alternatives to more expensive proprietary software such as Microsoft Office, InDesign, Photoshop, etc.)

On Campus Learning and Tech Support

Image credit: “Weather and medicine signals for daily reference” by Dr. J.C. Ayers & Co. (1886), via the Boston Public Library on Flickr

General

ENGL3110: Technical Writing

Fall 2016 | Classroom South 303

T/R 1:00-2:15 pm

Instructor:

Dr. Robin Wharton

  • Office: 25 Park Place #2434
  • Office Hours: T/Th 9-11 am, and by appointment; I am able to meet during office hours or by appointment via Skype or Google Hangout if that works better than an in-person conference
  • Contact: rwharton3{at}gsu{the dot goes here}edu

All work must be submitted by the scheduled due date and in accordance with project guidelines. As a general rule, you will not receive any points for late work, or work that does not meet formatting and submission guidelines outlined in the project description.

I reserve the right to change the policies, schedule, and syllabus at any time during the semester.

Attendance

You earn points for coming to class and lose points for unexcused absences. You will earn 10 points for coming to class, and 10 points for required class preparation, for a total of 20 points per class on average. You lose 10 points for each absence or missed class prep assignment. Arriving to class late will result in a deduction of 5-10 points.

In this course, students are expected to adhere to the Georgia State University student code of conduct. This includes the university attendance policy. Excused absences are limited to university-sponsored events where you are representing GSU in an official capacity, religious holidays, and legal obligations such as jury duty or military service days. Absences for all other reasons will result in a points deduction as outlined above. In the event of extended illness or family emergency, I will consider requests for individual exemption from the general attendance policy on a case by case basis.

Accommodations for Students With Disabilities

Georgia State University complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Students who wish to request accommodation for a disability may do so by registering with the Office of Disability Services. Students may only be accommodated upon issuance by the Office of Disability Services of a signed Accommodation Plan and are responsible for providing a copy of that plan to instructors of all classes in which accommodations are sought. According to the ADA (http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=110_cong_bills&docid=f:s3406enr.txt.pdf): ‘‘SEC. 3. DEFINITION OF DISABILITY. ‘‘As used in this Act: ‘‘(1) DISABILITY.—The term ‘disability’ means, with respect to an individual— ‘‘(A) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual…major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working. ‘‘(B) MAJOR BODILY FUNCTIONS.—For purposes of paragraph (1), a major life activity also includes the operation of a major bodily function, including but not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.

Language Conventions

This course presumes that because you were exempt from or passed English 1101 and 1102, you have a basic knowledge of standard American English, including but not limited to variations in sentence structure, subject-verb agreement, pronoun-antecedent agreement, parallel structure, dangling modifiers, grammatical expletives, possessives and plurals, punctuation, capitalization, word choice, and various other grammatical and mechanical problems. If you are someone for whom this knowledge and practice are a struggle, this course gives you time to improve. If you do not, your grades will be affected. You have resources available at GSU to help you improve your knowledge. In the Writing Studio (http://www.writingstudio.gsu.edu/) you can work one-on-one, in private, with a tutor to improve. Writing Studio tutors can also help you to help you refine already strong competence, moving from good to excellent. The Purdue OWL (https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/) has resources to assist you with identifying and correcting common grammar, punctuation, and usage errors, and to help you with formatting citations and bibliographies.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Describe the discipline of technical communication, historically and today
  • Analyze documents for technical or specialist audiences critically and reflectively
  • Design and compose texts for a range of technical or specialist audiences for various purposes
  • Compose ethically and responsibly, considering audience and purpose
  • Recognize conventions and standards within a chosen discipline, including conventions and standards related to multimodal elements (linguistic, visual, spatial, gestural, aural)
  • Produce and edit multimodal artifacts for print and digital distribution

Academic Honesty/Plagiarism

The Department of English expects all students to adhere to the university’s Code of Student Conduct, especially as it pertains to plagiarism, cheating, multiple submissions, and academic honesty. Please refer to the Policy on Academic Honesty (Section 409 of the Faculty Handbook). Penalty for violation of this policy will result in a zero for the assignment, possible failure of the course, and, in some cases, suspension or expulsion. Georgia State University defines plagiarism as . . . “ . . . any paraphrasing or summarizing of the works of another person without acknowledgment, including the submitting of another student’s work as one’s own . . . [It] frequently involves a failure to acknowledge in the text . . . the quotation of paragraphs, sentences, or even phrases written by someone else.” At GSU, “the student is responsible for understanding the legitimate use of sources . . . and the consequences of violating this responsibility.” (For the university’s policies, see in the student catalog, “Academic Honesty,”http://www2.gsu.edu/~catalogs/2010-2011/undergraduate/1300/1380_academic_honesty.htm)

Learning Technology

If you have them, you may bring laptops or mobile computing devices to class for use in in-class activities. Students should use these devices responsibly for class-related work. If they become a distraction for you, me, or other students in the class, I will ask you to put them away. Occasionally I will will request a device-free learning environment for a discussion or learning activity, and students are expected to honor such requests.

Receiving a Grade of Incomplete

In order to receive an incomplete, a student must inform the instructor, either in person or in writing, of his/her inability (non-academic reasons) to complete the requirements of the course. Incompletes will be assigned at the instructor’s discretion and the terms for removal of the “I” are dictated by the instructor. A grade of incomplete will only be considered for students who are a) passing the course with a C or better, b) present a legitimate, non-academic reason to the instructor, and c) have only one major assignment left to finish.

For English Majors

The English department at GSU requires an exit portfolio of all students graduating with a degree in English. Ideally, students should work on this every semester, selecting 1-2 papers from each course and revising them, with direction from faculty members. The portfolio includes revised work and a reflective essay about what you’ve learned. Each concentration (literature, creative writing, rhetoric/composition, and secondary education) within the major may have specific items to place in the portfolio, so be sure to check booklet located next to door of the front office of the English Department. Senior Portfolio due dates are published in the booklets or you may contact an advisor or Dr. Dobranski, Director of Undergraduate Studies. See the English office for additional information.

Student Evaluation of Instructor

Your constructive assessment of this course plays an indispensable role in shaping education at Georgia State. Upon completing the course, please take time to fill out the online course evaluation.

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