Course and College Policies

1. Attendance Policy Attendance in this course is crucial, and you will be rewarded for having either perfect, or near-perfect attendance. If you have perfect attendance or miss only one class, I will give you five extra credit points on your final exam.

Missing more than two class meetings will lower your final grade in this course as follows: 3-5 absences=1/3 grade reduction to your final grade (B to B-, for example), 6-8 absences=full grade reduction to your final grade (B to C, for example). Having more than eight absences will lead to your failing the class (unless these are explained by a documented illness or significant life event). If you are going to miss class for an extended period of time, please talk with me ahead of time and explain the reason. If you are experiencing a personal or medical hardship during the term, you must let me know about it ahead of time rather than to try and make up for missed time after.

Coming Late to Class. I will begin class at 11:00 and often make important announcements in the opening minutes of class. Habitual lateness is a great distraction to me and other students. After you are late to class twice I will talk to you about the obstacles you keeping you from arriving at class on time. After that, I will count every two late arrivals as an absence.

Please note that being in “attendance” for this course means more than just showing up: I expect you to bring your book to every class meeting (heavy as it is!) and to observe the basic guidelines for Classroom Courtesy below.

2. Late Work Your assignments are due at the beginning of class on the due dates you have agreed to, so please start early, back up your work frequently (do you know about Dropbox? Check it out!) and make sure you give yourself plenty of time to print your paper before class. I am sorry, but I cannot accept electronic submissions.

I will accept late work up to one week after the due date, but will deduct one fraction of a grade (A- to B+, B to B-) for each day that passes after the due date. After one week, I will grade the assignment as a 0.

If you anticipate problems with completing an assignment on time due to a serious emergency, you must let me know before it is due.

3. Completion of the Course You must complete all of the work for the course in order to receive a passing grade. Also, it is the College’s policy on incomplete grades that I may not grant an incomplete unless you have completed 75% of the work for the class.

4. Classroom Courtesy I want this course to be a place where, for a brief three hours a week, we can freely discuss ideas and explore the rich tradition of Shakespeare.  I have found that certain interruptions can be extremely distracting to both your classmates and me, so I ask that you observe these basic guidelines of classroom decorum:

  • Please come on time to class and make your bathroom breaks, coffee runs, and smoke breaks BEFORE coming to class.  Unless you have an emergency, I ask that you join us for the entirety of class.
  • It is my experience that laptops and other devices tend to create more distraction than learning in the classroom (this is an observation backed up by research–check it out if you are interested in the topic). I ask that unless you have you have made other arrangements with me, you may only use your smartphone or laptop if I have indicated we will need them for our class activities that day.

5. Technology I assume that students will have a basic-to-intermediate level of experience with electronic communications and resources for this class. I will periodically send out announcements via e-mail, so it is important that you frequently check your newpaltz.edu e-mail account for important messages about the class.  If any of the technologies we are using present a problem for you, please do not hesitate to speak to me and I will do what I can to help you with these resources.

6. Office Hours/Contacting Me I am always available for your questions over e-mail and after class, so please don’t hesitate to talk to me about any aspect of the course or literature in general.  You can come and see me in my office hours without e-mailing ahead or making an appointment. My office hours are available not only for your questions about upcoming assignments, grades, and so on, but also for you to ask a question you thought of after class, make a point that was missed by our discussions, brainstorm paper ideas, or just talk about something that interests you in our class.

7. Plagiarism Plagiarism, according to the College’s advising handbook, is “the representation, intentional or unintentional, of someone else’s words or ideas as one’s own.”  You must, therefore, put in quotation marks the words of others and properly cite, using MLA guidelines, where those words come from.  If you are paraphrasing someone else’s ideas, you must also give proper citation and credit to the author of those ideas.  I will strictly follow the College guidelines in reporting incidents of plagiarism:

Faculty members must report in writing cases of cheating, plagiarism or forgery to their department chair, academic Dean and Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Faculty members are also responsible for making the initial determination of the academic penalty to be imposed in cases of cheating, plagiarism, or forgery and for informing in writing the department chair, the academic Dean, and the student of the alleged violation and the proposed penalty. The academic penalty may range, for instance, from failure of a specific piece of work in a course to failure of the course itself. Cases requiring disciplinary and/or grade appeal action will be adjudicated in accordance with Procedures for Resolving Academic Integrity Cases, a copy of which is available in the office of the Vice President for Students Affairs, the office of the Provost for Academic Affairs, and in the academic Deans’ offices.

At a minimum, I will give a paper that contains plagiarism a failing grade and will report the incident as described above, and I may give a failing grade for the course. If you have any questions or doubts about what constitutes plagiarism, please talk to me about anything you are unsure of before you turn it in.  When in doubt, it is always best to give credit to a source.

8. Students with Disabilities I will comply with all provisions of The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Please alert me early in the semester if you have a disability that will require accommodations.

9. Student Evaluation of Instruction (SEI) The college will conduct online course reviews at the end of the term. I value student feedback and encourage you to share your experiences in the course either formally through SEIs or with me personally.

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