ENGL 202-05 and ENGL 202-08 – Writing and Critical Inquiry Course Policies
Western Carolina University
Instructor: Nate Kreuter
Email: nakreuter [at-sign] wcu [dot] edu (make sure you enter this correctly when emailing!!!)
Course Website: Blackboard (100% of course material available)
Alternate Course Website: www.natekreuter.net/courses
Office: Coulter 207
Walk-In Office Hours: W 11-2, and by appointment (email to set up an appointment)
Meeting Time: ENGL 202-05 M, W, F 8:00 – 8:50
ENGL 202-08 M, W, F 10:10 – 11:00
Class Location: ENGL 202-05 M, W in Coulter 203, F in Coulter 205
ENGL 202-08 M, W in Coulter 303, F in Coulter 205
In the unlikely event that a policy described herein conflicts with a Department of English, College of Arts and Sciences, or University policy, the Department, College, or University policy shall prevail.
Liberal Studies Core Description: This course partially satisfies the Liberal Studies Program’s C1 Core requirement, which consists of two sequential writing courses (English 101 and 202). These courses introduce you to college-level writing via the best practices of composition instruction available. These practices undergo constant assessment and improvement. This course sequence addresses immediately an essential academic skill, that of communicating ideas in written form. As in all of the Liberal Studies Core offerings, this course will provide you with academic skills and intellectual habits you will need throughout your undergraduate experience.
Course Objectives: The following objectives will drive our course content and assignments, and are goals that, if achieved or approached, will serve as a foundation for both the remainder of your collegiate career and your broader civic life. (Redundancies Intentional)
- Learn the processes of writing (Invention, Revision, Editing, Revision Again)
- Learn Individual Writing Strategies
- Learn How to Conduct Research and Evaluate Source Materials
- Learn How to Integrate and Synthesize Information from a Variety of Sources
- Learn How to Meaningfully and Ethically Engage in the Debates Surrounding Public Policies and Controversies (from Local to Global)
- Learn How to Analyze the Arguments (and Expectations) of Others
- Learn How to Make Constructive, Persuasive Written Arguments Aimed at Real Audiences (from Local to Global)
- Learn How to Evaluate, Communicate, and Act Upon the Values that Matter to You Personally
- Learn How to Engage Other Citizens
Attendance Policy: Students accumulating 6 absences will fail automatically and without question. Up to 5 absences can be afforded without any penalty, but the 6th absence will result in immediate failure of the course. Additionally, students who come to class unprepared (without books, or without having read, or without other work outlined on the syllabus) will be dismissed from class and assigned an absence for the day. Roll will be taken daily. Students 10 minutes or more late to class will be counted as absent.
Additionally, according to North Carolina General Statue 116-11(3a) a student may request absences for required religious observances. WCU allows two absences each academic year for religious observances required by faith. To obtain permission to be absent for religious reasons a student must complete the Absent due to Required Religious Observance Form with the instructor (electronic form obtained through MyCat) and submit it to the Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (Dr. Fred Hinson) for final approval at least two weeks prior to the proposed absence. Students are encouraged to discuss these absences with the faculty member prior to the end of drop/add in case the absence will unavoidably keep the student from completing the requirements of the course. However, if the student completes the form and submits it to the instructor prior to the two-week time frame, he/she shall be given the opportunity to make up any tests or other work missed due to an excused absence for a required religious observance.
Tardy Policy: The instructor will begin calling roll immediately at the start of class, alphabetically. If you are not in the room when your name is called, you are either tardy or absent. Three tardies will be counted as an absence, which will count toward the absence policy described above.
Academic Honesty Policy (from student handbook): Students, faculty, staff, and administrators of Western Carolina University strive to achieve the highest standards of scholarship and integrity. Any violation of the Academic Integrity Policy is a serious offense because it threatens the quality of scholarship and undermines the integrity of the community. While academic in scope, any violation of this policy is by nature a violation of the student code of conduct. Violations of the Academic Integrity Policy include:
a. Cheating—Using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise.
b. Fabrication—Creating and/or falsifying information or citation in any academic exercise.
c. Plagiarism—Representing the words or ideas of someone else as one’s own in any academic exercise.
d. Facilitation—Helping or attempting to help someone to commit a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy in any academic exercise (e.g. allowing another to copy information during an examination).
Instructors have the right to determine the appropriate sanction or sanctions for academic dishonesty within their courses up to and including a final grade of “F” in the course. Within 5 calendar days of the instructor’s knowledge of the violation of the Academic Integrity Policy, the instructor will inform his/her department head (Associate Dean of the Graduate School) in writing of the allegation and sanction. See student handbook for further information.
Your instructor, Nate Kreuter, reserves the right to assign grades in cases when students are caught violating the Academic Honesty Policy. He may assign a failing grade for the assignment, or even for the course, as well as less severe penalties. He also reserves the right to use third-party plagiarism detection software to detect violations of the academic integrity policy.
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: Western Carolina University is committed to providing equal educational opportunities for students with documented disabilities. Students who require disability services or reasonable accommodations must identify themselves as having a disability and provide current diagnostic documentation to Disability Services. All information is confidential. Please contact Disability Services for more information at (828) 227-2716; or 144 Killian Annex. You can also visit the office’s website: http://www.wcu.edu/12789.asp
Communications (and Submission of Writing): All writing is to be turned in to Nate electronically. We will exchange as little paper as possible. Nate will only respond to emails originating from Catamount email addresses. Students are expected to use their Catamount email addresses and to check them at least once daily. Writing assignments are due by the time that class starts via electronic submission. Example: Paper 1 is due to the instructor on 1/25. So, your papers should be delivered from your Catamount email address to Nate’s email by the start of your class period. Any changes to assignments or updates of the syllabus will be delivered electronically via email, as well as updated in Blackboard and on the alternate website. Additionally, student emails will only be answered between the hours of 9-5, M-F. So, plan accordingly.
Cell Phones: Don’t let them ring in class. Don’t text in class. You’ll be compelled to leave class if you receive calls or text during class. If you are observed texting in class you will be dismissed from class and assigned an absence for the day.
Required Texts: The following texts are required for this course, and are available through the WCU bookstore, as well as other outlets:
- Rhetorical Analysis, by Mark Longaker and Jeffrey Walker
- Fields of Reading, edited by Comley, et al
- The Big Short, by Michael Lewis
- Ink, edited by Beth Huber
- Rules for Writers, edited by Diana Hacker
Portfolios: You must keep an electronic copy of all assignments and all drafts, and be prepared to produce them for the instructor. This is critical to evaluating your progress over the course of the semester. Do not save over drafts as you revise. Save new copies. We will talk about this in class. These materials will be used in your end-of-semester portfolio, which we will go over very early in the course.
Snow Policy: We will follow the university policies and announcement for all weather related closures. However, in the event that school is not closed but the instructor is unable to make it to campus, cancellations will be announced to you via email.
Honors Contracts: The instructor does not do honors contracts. If you would like honors credit for your 202 course, drop our class and enroll in an honors section. This is non-negotiable, so please don’t ask to do an honors contract.
Minimum Requirements on Major Assignments: On all of the prompts for your major assigned you will see a section titled “Minimum Requirements,” that lists minimum requirements for the assignment in very specific terms. These are required, not recommended. Assignments that fail to meet ALL of the minimum requirements will automatically receive a grade of F and not receive feedback from the instructor. No exceptions. Take this admonition very seriously. If you are worried about how to meet a minimum requirement as you work on your assignment, it is an indication that you need to come by office hours or schedule an appointment with the instructor for help, which he is more than happy to provide.
Expectations: Students are expected to be prepared at all times, to complete all assignments on time, and to bring copies of the text to be discussed with them to class. See Student/Instructor Contract for more details.
Impartiality Policy: Nate is impartial in dealing with students. Regardless of how much you participate in class, or the quality of your work, Nate views each assignment with fresh eyes, and evaluates student work on its own merits, and without regard to previous performance or in-class occurrences. Similarly, when making accommodations for students in special circumstances, Nate regards each situation uniquely, and makes whatever accommodations possible, when possible, on a equitable basis.
The Jerk Clause: Quite simply, don’t be a jerk, not to your classmates, and not to your instructor. College is not only a time for learning content material, but is also a time to learn how to interact with the world as an adult. Commensurately, I won’t tolerate anything other than respectful, professional behavior. If you are profoundly or repeatedly disrespectful to anyone associated with our class (the instructor gets to define these terms), Nate reserves the right to penalize your grade in a manner proportional to your offense. (FYI—your instructor has always had this rule, and have never had to invoke it. Please don’t be the first.)
Participation: While there is no participation grade, every student is expected to contribute to class discussions on a daily basis. Failure to participate or participate appropriately may result in dismissal from class and assignation of an absence for the day. If the instructor suspects that students are not reading, pop reading quizzes will become a part of our lives in the classroom.
Grades and Grading: The following list outlines our major writing assignments and how each assignment will be weighted towards the calculation of your final grade. There will be no opportunities for “extra credit.”
Paper 1.1 – 10%
Paper 1.2 – 15%
Paper 2.1 – 15%
Paper 2.2 – 15%
Paper 3.1 – 15%
Paper 3.2 – 15%
Final Synthesis – 10%
All Other Assignments Combined – 5% (There will be at least four  of these smaller assignments, meaning that each one will represent 1.25% of your final grade. If there are more than four assignments, each one will represent less than 1.25% of your final grade.)
Grading Scale: The following scale will be used to determine final grades. Holistic scales will generally be used for individual assignments, and will be explained on individual assignment prompts.
A 99% – 94%
A – 93% – 90%
B+ 89% – 88%
B 87% – 84%
B – 83% – 80%
C+ 79% – 78%
C 77% – 74%
C- 73% – 70%
D 69% – 65%
F 64% – 0%
Questions: Students should ALWAYS feel free to come to Nate with any questions or problems. Generally, the sooner a problem is brought to his attention, the more likely he is to be able to help fix it. Students should always feel free to come by during office hours, make an appointment, or email about questions not only relating to our own class, but regarding other University issues as well. Nate is here to help. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s his job and obligation to help you through them.