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Life’s too short. Are you familiar with that truism? A semester really is too short a time to cover all this material unless we’re each here every day that class meets; therefore, I look forward to seeing you at every class meeting, contributing to a discussion on each of the topics we’ll cover.

I make no distinction between excused and unexcused absences, so no documentation or excuse is required for an absence. If some sort of dire circumstance–such as serious injury or illness, death in the family, thermonuclear war–should arise, please notify me as soon as possible so we can try to make arrangements. (Note that malfunctioning alarm or automobiles, extended vacations, poor time management skills, or an overactive social life do not qualify as dire circumstances.) You should also remember that you are still responsible for any information or assignment covered in a class that you miss and that I do not provide make-up quizzes or other work.

If you are absent more than 5 times over the course of the semester, your final grade for the class will be lowered. You will lose one letter grade for each absence beyond 5. I do not give make ups for assignments completed in class if you are absent or late enough to class that you’ve missed that assignment.

Participation means more than simply being physically present – it means coming to class with the assigned reading completed and being ready to contribute in a thoughtful and respectful manner to discussion, peer editing, or other in-class assignments. You should have whatever text we’re discussing that day and any other necessary materials with you in class to refer to during discussions. To receive full credit for class participation you must contribute actively and regularly to in-class discussions in an informed and constructive manner.

I expect students to take their work seriously, to come to class prepared and willing to participate, and to treat peers and their ideas with respect.

Participation also includes taking part in the asynchronous parts of the class by writing posts on your domain, commenting on your peers’ writing, taking an active part in collaborative writing tasks in Google docs or other writing spaces. The Sunday Funnies assignments are counted specifically in your final grade, but all the other short writing assignments that you’ll complete this semester will be factored into your participation grade at the end. 

You are required to meet with me individually at least twice over the course of the semester. Missing conferences will result in deductions to your class participation grade.
The Assignments pages include descriptions of the four major assignments for the semester. In addition, you will have frequent, shorter and generally less formal writing assignments. I’ll describe those assignments to you either in class or via blog posts here on this site. Almost every Sunday, you’ll post a comic or other visual composition to your domain.

It is vital that you keep up with these as they are assigned. They help prepare you for class, give you a direction to work, give you practice opportunities for writing, critical reading, and thinking. These assignments are due on the assigned date and will NOT be accepted late (unless we make a prior agreement). If you know you will be absent, you must post your assignment early.

All work is due on the date and at the time specified on the calendar. I may refuse to accept or choose to deduct points for late work, and/or I may choose to provide a grade but no detailed feedback for late work.

If something comes up and you cannot get a major assignment completed on time, please email or speak with me as early as possible to make arrangements. If you come to me in advance, I will do my best to be reasonable and to work with you to come up with a solution that allows you to succeed while remaining fair to the rest of the class and meeting my needs as the instructor of the course. If you email me 10 minutes before an assignment is due, or 3 hours after it’s due, I am much less likely to be able to make such accommodations.

Since we are composing multimodally throughout the course, you are encouraged to bring to class and operate laptops, tablets, and smart phones. The classroom is equipped with desktops that we will use regularly. I encourage you to develop best practices for negotiating among virtual communities and the real time of the classroom. What choices can you make to remain attentive to your peers and me, while at the same time engaging with digital resources?
Email is the best way to contact me if you have questions or concerns. Generally, I will respond to all student email within 24 hours (although on weekends and holidays, it may take a little longer). Likewise, there may be instances when I will need to contact you by email. It is your responsibility to check your Emory-based email account at least once every 24 hours.
Please consider all writing for this class to be “public.” Part of becoming an effective writer is learning to appreciate the ideas and feedback of others. In this course, our purpose is to come together as a writing community. Avoid writing about topics that you wish to keep private or that you feel so strongly about that you are unwilling to listen to the perspectives of others.
The Emory Writing Center offers 45-minute individual conferences to Emory College and Laney Graduate School students. It is a great place to bring any project—from traditional papers to websites—at any stage in your composing process. Writing Center tutors take a discussion- and workshop-based approach that enables writers of all levels to see their writing with fresh eyes. Tutors can talk with you about your purpose, organization, audience, design choices, or use of sources. They can also work with you on sentence-level concerns (including grammar and word choice), but they will not proofread for you. Instead, they will discuss strategies and resources you can use to become a better editor of your own work. The Writing Center is located in Callaway N-212. Visit writingcenter.emory.edu for more information and to make appointments.
The Emory Writing Program and the Emory ESL Program offer weekly workshops dedicated to the key elements of the writing process. These hour-long sessions provide structured, guided time to work on those elements as they pertain to your actual assignments. While some workshops will begin with brief remarks from the facilitator, the bulk of the workshop time will be dedicated to allowing you to work individually and/or collaboratively on assignments for your actual classes.

Registration is required. For more information, to see the workshop schedule, and to register to attend, please visit [WEBSITE]. Please be sure to check the event description on the website before you attend for a list of materials you’ll need to bring in order to make the workshop useful to you.

If English is not your first language and you need help with class assignments, you may benefit from working with specially trained ESL Tutors. These tutors are undergraduates who will support the development of your English language skills. Like Writing Center tutors, ESL tutors will not proofread your work. Language is best learned through interactive dialogue, so when you come to an ESL tutoring session, be ready to collaborate! ESL tutors will meet with you in the ESLLab in Callaway S108 and other designated locations, and they will help you at any stage of the process of developing your essay or presentation. You may bring your work on a laptop or on paper. If you schedule an appointment in the ESL Lab, you may also bring your work on a USB stick – computers are available in the lab.

Visit www.epass.emory.edu and click on “ESL Services” to schedule an appointment, read the appointment policies, and view the offerings of the ESL Program. If you do not have a scheduled appointment, you may meet with a drop-in tutor in the ESL Lab. Here, you may have less time with a tutor if other students are waiting, but you can briefly discuss an assignment and some of your concerns. For more information, visit the website or contact Dr. Levin Arnsperger, Assistant Director of the ESL Program and Tutoring Coordinator (larnspe@emory.edu).

This course emphasizes user-centered design and the value of connectivity over static standards to facilitate “universal instructional design.” Issues of accessibility are an integral component of instruction for all students. While students should disclose non-standard needs in keeping with guidelines provided by the Office of Disability Services in order to have those needs augmented by digital tools such as voice to text software or close captioning, the course recognizes the extent to which all students are “multiply situated learners” (Price 88). As such, the course emphasizes shared strengths over remediation.

All of that said, Emory University complies with the regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and offers accommodations to students with disabilities. If you are in need of a classroom accommodation, please make an appointment with me to discuss this as soon as possible. All information will be held in the strictest confidence. For more information, please visit the Office of Disability Studies or contact the office by phone at (404) 727-9877 [voice] or TDD: (404) 712-2049.

Free and confidential counseling services and support are available from the Emory Counseling Center (404) 727-7450. This can be an invaluable resource when stress makes your work more challenging than it ought to be.

“Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.”
Samuel Johnson

Article Four of the Emory University Honor Code defines academic misconduct as “action or inaction which is offensive to the integrity and honesty of the members of the academic community,” which may include, but is not limited to, the following:

(a) Seeking, acquiring, receiving, or giving information about the conduct of an examination, knowing that the release of such information has not been authorized:
(b) Plagiarizing;
(c) Seeking, using, giving, or obtaining unauthorized assistance or information in any academic assignment or examination;
(d) Intentionally giving false information to professors or instructors for the purpose of gaining academic advantage;
(e) Breach of any duties prescribed by this Code;
(f) Intentionally giving false evidence in any Honor Council hearing or refusing to give evidence when requested by the Honor Council.

Please read through the description of the Honor Code linked above and make sure that you understand what it says. We will spend time in this course discussing these issues and you must observe that Code at all times. It is the responsibility of every faculty member and every student in the university to support the honor system here. Plagiarism is a serious academic offense: any students who engage in academic dishonesty will receive a zero on the assignment or fail the course and all suspected cases will be reported to the College Honor Council.



Header image: detail from Quimby the Cat by Chris Ware. Reprinted in Benjamin Widiss. “Autobiography with Two Heads: Quimby the Mouse” in The Comics of Chris Ware: Drawing is a Way of Thinking, edited by David M. Ball and Martha B. Kuhlman. UP Mississippi, 2010. 161.