Course Policies

Academic honesty: As a student, your primary job is to demonstrate academic integrity in everything you do: the way you conduct yourself in class, the way you present your ideas in assignments, and the way you demonstrate competency during exams. Academic integrity embodies everything from treating your classmates and me with respect to coming to class prepared to citing all of your sources in your written work. Acts of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to, plagiarism (using the ideas of another without giving credit), handing in an essay already submitted for credit in a previous class, cheating on a test or exam, allowing another person (even an editor or a tutor) to rewrite segments of your assignments, or knowingly handing in work that is not your own. I take academic dishonesty very seriously; it represents not only a failure to meet course requirements, but an act of intellectual theft and a contravention of the social contract of the college. I will fully pursue all cases of academic dishonesty, without exception. Familiarize yourself with the college’s policy on academic dishonesty:

Assignments: Keep hard and digital copies of all take-home assignments, and save all research, notes, and drafts. You may be asked to resubmit or demonstrate your writing process at any point in the semester. Printer and/or computer problems are not acceptable reasons for tardy assignments, so please complete your work ahead of deadlines and have a plan in place should your printer or computer fail you in the eleventh hour.

Assignment Submission: All assignments must be typed in a reasonably sized and legible font, double-spaced, and presented in MLA style. Assignments not meeting these requirements will be returned and considered late, with applicable penalty, until re-submitted with the problems rectified. Assignments must be submitted either directly to me at the beginning of class on the due date or to the LLPA Drop Box in the LLPA field base, NW 2600. Assignments submitted by email (unless specifically required by the assignment), shoved under my office door, or left at the front of the classroom will not be graded.

Cool-down period: You are always welcome to come and talk to me after an assignment has been returned to discuss how you can improve your writing or to have me explain a grade. However, in your best interests I enforce a 48 hour “cool- down” period before I am willing to discuss your work. Often in the heat of the moment, students say things they might later regret; given the strictness of the college’s anti-harassment policies, this can create more problems than it solves. Please use these 48 hours to read all the comments I make on your assignment and to reread the assignment guidelines. If you believe your mark is a mistake, you are invited to submit a 250 word request for reconsideration explaining where you believe the mistake was made.

Documentation: The only acceptable documentation in the case of illness is a doctor’s note written or typed on the doctor’s own letterhead and signed by the doctor’s own hand. Letters from clinic managers or receptionists are not acceptable, nor are notes from your parents. Medical notes must be dated for the period of absence/missed work; back-dated medical notes are not acceptable. Submit a copy of your medical note at the next scheduled class or to me in my office hours. In the case of bereavement, an obituary or funeral program is acceptable documentation.

Email: It is my goal to be accessible and responsive to your emailed concerns, within some reasonable boundaries. I respond to email from students twice daily on weekdays, so you should always receive a response within 24 hours. I do not respond to email on weekend.  I’m happy to use email to discuss your progress in the class, specific issues with assignments, or clarification of course material. (For very short questions, Twitter is likely faster than email, but be sure your account is public or I won’t see your message.) I will not respond to emails asking for information clearly available in this syllabus. Substantive feedback on essays is best saved for in-person meetings, either in office hours or by appointment. In any case, I am not a proofreading service – do not email me assignment drafts for corrections. Please note that you are required to check your mydouglas email account regularly – that is the official channel of communication from the college. If you don’t intend to check it, forward the account to an address you do check regularly. The following are some tips to ensure your email gets to me:

  • include your course and section number in the subject line
  • send it from your mydouglas account or an email address that sounds legitimate; the spam filter will often catch
  • include your full name somewhere in the email (I have about 130 students in any given semester, so you are probably not the only person with your first name)

Extensions: To grant extensions is entirely the Reasonable requests for extensions will always be considered, provided the request is made in writing (email is fine) no less than three days before the assignment due date. Documentation may be requested, depending on the nature of the extension.



Numerical Value

Percentage Equivalent


A+ 4.33 95%
A 4.00 90% Outstanding Achievement
A- 3.67 85%  
B+ 3.33 80%
B 3.00 75% Good Achievement
B- 2.67 70%  
C+ 2.33 65%  
C 2.00 60% Satisfactory Achievement
C- 1.67 55%  
P 1.00 50% Marginal Achievement
F 0.00 49% and below Unsatisfactory Achievement

As you can see from this Douglas College grade breakdown, only truly excellent and error-free work will receive grades in the A range, and only strong work will receive Bs. Generally speaking, assignments that just meet the stated requirements of an assignment will achieve grades in the range of C, indicating that the assignment is satisfactory. An A+ is reserved only for flawless work, and an A for truly exceptional with very few minor errors. Please consider a C+ a grade indicating average competency in the course material.

Late Penalty: Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the date indicated in the syllabus. Assignments submitted after the end of class will be considered one day late.  The late penalty is one letter grade per day late. Late assignments due to documented illness or bereavement will not be penalized; see documentation policy for further details.  Please note that because of the nature of our very full schedule, late assignments will receive a grade only and will not receive thorough feedback.

Peer Editing: Scheduled peer editing sessions in this course are mandatory. If you do not attend the scheduled peer editing sessions for a given paper, the highest mark that paper can receive is a P.