Course Policies

Course Policies:

Please remember that the syllabus functions as a contract between the instructor and the students. You are responsible for knowing and abiding by these policies. Everyone has an “off” day now and then, but when you are here, your brain should be working.



  • Computers: Please bring your computer to class every day. Be sure that it is fully charged because our classroom has limited and inconveniently placed outlets.
  • Cell Phones: You can use your cell phone as a classroom tool to take pictures of the board or print materials, record short lectures, navigate Sakai, view our readings, etc. However, cell phones should not be used for endeavors unrelated to class during class sessions.
  • Other Devices: Tablets and any other devices are welcome as long as you are using them for work related to this course.

In this class, we will use Sakai (, UNC’s online course management system for a number of course assignments. If you have difficulty accessing our Sakai page, please let me know ASAP.

Remember: just because you have access to the Internet during class does not mean that you should be using our class time to post on YikYak or update your Tinder profile. If I notice that your participation is suffering due to technological distractions, I will ask you to come in for a conference so that we can discuss a plan of action.

Finally, it is important that you check your email and the Sakai site daily for messages and updates, as these will be our primary forms of communication inside and outside of class. Please keep all correspondence courteous and professional. I aim to respond to email within 24 hours. Note: I will not acknowledge nor respond to emails that include questions that could be answered by looking at the syllabus and/or unit project sequences.


Plagiarism/The Honor Code

The honor code applies to everything that we do at this university, including our use of outside sources in our research and writing. Our work in this class will conform to the principles and procedures defined in the Instrument of Student Judicial Governance ( The research that we do this semester, whether primary or secondary, print or online, formal or informal, will require careful documentation on your part. We will review citation guidelines early and often throughout the semester. The need to cite your sources applies to all your work, including drafts as well as final versions of your feeders and projects. When in doubt: CITE.

If I suspect you of plagiarizing all or part of a paper, even unintentionally, I am required to report the offense to the Honor Court. If you think you are running into trouble with an assignment, PLEASE come and speak with me.


Non-Discrimination Policy

We can never guarantee that a classroom will be a completely “safe” space. However, I believe that our classroom should be a sacred space where students can share their thoughts and ideas without fear. The University is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment and to ensuring that educational and employment decisions are based on individuals’ abilities and qualifications. Consistent with these principles and applicable laws, it is therefore the University’s policy not to discriminate on the basis of age, color, creed, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status as consistent with the University’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct. No person, on the basis of protected status, shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation under any University program or activity, including with respect to employment terms and conditions. Such a policy ensures that only relevant factors are considered and that equitable and consistent standards of conduct and performance are applied.

Title IX makes it clear that violence and harassment based on sex and gender are Civil Rights offenses subject to the same kinds of accountability and support applied to offenses against other protected categories. If you or someone you know has been harassed or assaulted, I encourage you to investigate these resources:


Accessibility Statement

Disabilities can be visible and invisible, and I am dedicated to ensuring that all students succeed in my course. If there are circumstances that may affect your performance in this class, please let me know as soon as possible so that we can work together to develop strategies for adapting assignments to meet both your needs and the requirements of the course. If you have information you wish to share with me about a disability, disorder, or neurodiversity issue, if you have emergency medical information you think I should know about, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please set up an appointment with me to discuss this during office hours.


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ensures that no qualified person shall by reason of a disability be denied access to, participation in, or the benefits of, any program or activity operated by the University. In compliance with UNC policy and federal law, qualified students with psychological, physical, and other disabilities are eligible to receive “reasonable accommodations to ensure equal access to education opportunities, programs, and activities” ( If you anticipate such accommodations and/or have concerns that should be discussed, please notify me as soon as possible so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Additionally, you may seek out student support services at the Accessibility Resources and Services Office ( and through the Learning Center (



The UNC Writing Center, located in SASB North and in Greenlaw Hall #221, offers free tutoring services for students. You may visit the Writing Center to ask for help with a specific paper, whether you are concerned with developing ideas and content, organizing your assignment, or working on style issues. To make an appointment, browse the Writing Center’s online resources, or send a draft online, please go to ( To make the best use of your time there, please bring a copy of both your assignment sheet and your draft with you. The Writing Center will not proofread papers or discuss grades with you.

Additionally, the Purdue Online Writing Lab ( and your textbook, The Tarheel Writing Guide, are fantastic resources for learning more about mechanics, style, grammar, and citations.

Note: If you need help, ASK! These writing courses are small so that we can all get to know and trust one another. If you are falling behind or need extra help, please let me know. We can discuss brief concerns before or after class, and we can have an extended conversation and/or writing conference during my office hours. To schedule an appointment, please email me.


Evaluation and Grading


Because grades often cause counterproductive anxiety for both students and teachers and because they distract us from the real work of learning, this course will employ a method known as contract grading. Your final grade for this course will be based on two things:

  1. Your work in class according to the grading contract.
  2. The quality of the work you include in your final portfolio

Contract grading is intended to shift your focus productively: it assures you that, if you work hard and demonstrate the professionalism necessary to fulfill the contract, you will receive a grade above what the university considers an average grade. I hope this will permit you to concentrate less on your performance on the course and more on growing as a writer and thinker.

  • To qualify for a B (83%): You must follow the contract for the entire semester by fulfilling the behaviors, activities, and practices it necessitates. Only students who have fulfilled the contract can earn higher than a B.
  • For grades higher than a B: I will evaluate only the quality of the writing and the finished products overall in the final portfolio to determine your final grade in the course. To earn an A, your projects must be of exceptional quality – i.e. ready for publication in a genre-appropriate source (undergraduate science journal, etc.). A grades can only be earned by submitting A projects.
  • For grades lower than a B: You will earn a lower course grade for not fulfilling the contract. If you have breached the contract, but the work in your final portfolio demonstrates exceptional quality, your final grade may improve up to a B- at my discretion. You are responsible for being aware of and following the contract stipulations whether I comment on them or not at the time. I will help you remain aware by notifying you periodically of minor or major breaches of contract.


ENGL105i Grading Contract to Earn a “B” (83%)

  1. Attend class and be on time for class consistently; 3 tardies = 1 absence. Being more than 20 minutes late for class without prior approval counts as an absence. More than 2 absences (without prior approval) throughout the semester is a major breach of the contract.
  2. Complete every assignment thoroughly, thoughtfully, and punctually. I expect your best effort and attention to all reading, writing, and day-to-day activities in the course. Please note that absence does not excuse you from completing any missed assignments. It is your responsibility to figure out what assignments you have missed and to work out an appropriate timeline with me for making them up.
  3. Engage actively in all in-class exercises, writing workshops, and activities. Participate intensively and diligently with your working group; slouchers will not be tolerated. Collaborate with your classmates by offering consistently thoughtful questions, reactions, feedback, and discussion related to their work and ideas. By closely engaging with your peers’ work, both you and your classmates will grow as writers, and we will all learn and benefit from a collectively engaged community.
  4. Give thoughtful peer feedback during class workshops and work faithfully with your group on other collaborative tasks (e.g., sharing papers, commenting on drafts, peer editing, on-line discussion boards, answering peer questions).
  5. Sustain effort and investment on each draft of all assignments (at least 2-3 drafts on average).
  6. Make substantive revisions when the assignment is to revise–extending or changing the thinking or the organization–not just editing or touching up. While you do not have to make every change suggested by your readers, final drafts of your assignments should show growth from original drafts and evidence of your thoughtful engagement with peer and instructor feedback.
  7. Copy-edit successfully all final revisions of main assignments until they conform to the conventions of edited American English. While we will prioritize higher-order concerns (ideas) over lower-order ones (sentence-level cosmetic issues), your attention to detail reflects your level of professionalism. The same standard for print projects applies equally to multimedia projects.
  8. Attend 1 scheduled conference with me during each unit to discuss drafts at the end of each unit. Office hours are the primary way (as opposed to written comments) that you will get my feedback on your work, so come early and often, and feel free to meet with me at any stage of the writing process. To cut down on waiting time and avoid conflicts, I will send out extended office hours towards the end of each unit.
  9. Submit a complete final portfolio with an introductory cover letter and final versions of your unit projects.


Final Portfolio:

At the end of the semester, you will select one unit project to revise and resubmit for a higher grade. You will also write a letter about your writing choices, revision process, etc. to supplement your revised assignments. We will discuss this in greater detail at the beginning of unit 3.


Final letter grades are determined based on the following scale:

A (93-100)      A- (90-92)       B+ (87-89)      B (83-86)        B- (80-82)       C+ (77-79)

C (73-76)        C- (70-72)       D+ (67-69)      D (63-66)        D- (60-62)       F (below 60)

I will use traditional rounding to determine grades that fall between whole values. Any mixed number with a decimal value of five tenths or higher will round up to the next whole number. (For example, 92.5 will round up to an A as a 93, but 92.4 will not.)


Late Assignments

Each assignment should be completed and prepared in the correct format for submission on the day it is due. This includes homework, feeder assignments, drafts, presentations, and unit projects. No late work will be accepted.