Course Policies


Because this is a course based on student participation, prompt attendance is mandatory at all classes and at least three (3) academic lectures. Each unexcused absence lowers your final grade by 1%. Tardiness both delays and disrupts class time. Therefore, two (2) days of tardiness are counted as one (1) unexcused absence. Please notify both me and the TA in advance via email if you will not be attending class, and your reason for doing so. Permission is required unless you are sick. If you are already aware of class days you will miss due to classes, events, or days of observation, you must inform me before the second day of class.

Assignment Deadlines:

9 pm deadline Sundays, according to assignment instructions. Unexcused late submission = 1 lower letter grade on the submission per day.

Writing assistance:

Your TA is available to provide targeted feedback for your writing. If you would like additional writing assistance, please take advantage of Penn State’s Undergraduate Writing Tutors. The earlier you visit them, the more they can help you.

Citation format:

You must follow one citation format, and be consistent with it. If you have questions about proper format, you can consult the Chicago Manual of Style online. Within the constraints of the PSU website manager, we will develop an alternative appropriate citation method within WordPress for citing within online posts. The purpose remains the same, regardless of format: you must credit ideas you gained from others, and provide readers with a way to track down those sources for more information.

Academic Integrity:

You shall provide appropriate credit in your text for direct quotes, ideas which came from elsewhere, and images. Not giving proper credit for such constitutes plagiarism. If you are unclear on appropriate usage, please consult the University’s Plagiarism Tutorial for Students.

Word counts:

The word count for paper submissions is a guideline to give the topic a proper depth for that submission. This word count does not include required reference lists or heading information. There will be a leeway of +/– 10% permitted. You may petition for an alternative word count target if your selected source has shorter norms, but this petition must be approved at least 1 week before a submission deadline.


Most of your assignments will have an associated grading rubric that indicates performance levels that generally correspond to grades:

A indicates remarkable achievement
B indicates very good and thoughtful work
C indicates acceptable work that minimally achieves the learning objectives
D indicates significant deficiencies in the work
F indicates failure to exhibit work that displays an achievement of the learning objectives
Note that Penn State does not allow the grades C-, D+, or D-

I will post grading rubrics shortly. Marie and I will distribute grades regularly through ANGEL.

Contacting me:

I generally return emails within 24 hours during weekdays. Email within 48 hours of a deadline may not be returned. You may use the link on my name in the top left corner of the website, or here.


Please contact me if you require special accommodations due to learning disabilities, religious practices, physical requirements, medical needs, or any other reason.

photo by Yu

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