Participation: Participation is more than showing up. You should strive to engage in discussions and activities with alacrity and to avoid distractions (electronic or otherwise).

Attendance: The Writing Program’s policy that students must attend at least 75% of the class to receiving a passing grade. Consequently, accumulating more than 4 absences is grounds for failing this course. Attending class, however, is necessary but not sufficient for succeeding in this class. You must also participate (see above) and avoid being tardy or distracted while in class (or you may be counted absent). That said, sometimes absence is unavoidable. In these cases, keep up with the work – talk to your classmates about getting notes – and of course let me know. Whenever possible I will do my best to accommodate you.

Due Dates: Turn in your assignments on time, if not early. If you feel you cannot meet a particular deadline, let me know and I’ll do my best to accommodate you whenever possible. I reserve the right to give any late work a FAILING GRADE.


Final Projects (60%)

  • Unit 1 (20%)
  • Unit 2 (20%)
  • Unit 3 (20%)

Participation: 20%

  • Attendance (6%)
  • Drafting Workshops, Quizzes, etc. (7%)
  • In-Class Participation (7%)

Feeders: 20%

  • 6 feeders – 2 per Unit – (3% each)

I will calculate your final grade according to the following scale:

A 93-100%      A- 90-92.9%   B+ 87-89.9%  B 83-86.9R      B- 80-82.9R    C+ 77-79.9%

C 73-76.9%     C- 70-72.9%    D+ 67-69.9%  D 63-66.9%    D- 60-62.9%   F 0-59.9%


  • A compositions – whether written, aural, or visual – represent exceptional work that more than fulfills the requirements of the assignment. A compositions tackle the topic in an innovative way, with a clear sense of the rhetorical situation (audience, purpose, etc.), with an insightful or novel ideas conveyed in a compelling manner, with appropriate and effective, and carefully planned organizational logic and “flow.” A compositions excel at not just summary but analysis, synthesis, and argument. The style is energetic and precise: when written, A compositions maintain varied sentence structure and thoughtful diction. How the writer or speaker or designer says/shows things is as excellent as what the writer says/shows. There is evidence of careful editing since the essay contains few (if any) grammatical and/or mechanical errors and, if necessary. A compositions have careful documentation of research in an appropriate format.
  • B compositions are clearly above-average and more than meets the requirements of the assignment. Like the “A” composition, it demonstrates clear thinking and organizational strategies, providing a unified, coherent, and developed support for its argument and assertions. While B compositions takes some “risks,” attempts complex strategies of development, and pays attention to audience, it falls short of the “A” composition in one or more of the following ways: the argument may not be as interesting or insightful; there may be weaknesses in organizational strategy or its execution (flow); the support may not be uniformly conclusive and convincing; and the style may not be as energetic or the diction as thoughtful. B compositions show strong evidence of editing since there are relatively few grammatical and/or mechanical errors and B compositions have clear documentation of research in an appropriate format (with only few errors).
  • C compositions are average, solidly meeting the requirements of the assignment but not exceeding them. C compositions have an argument and organizational plan, which demonstrate thought on the composer’s part, a generally clear style, an awareness of audience, and adequate documentation (though possibly flawed). C compositions have unified and coherent support, but may have difficulty with any of the following: the argument may be too general or vague; the evidence may be predictable (more summary than analysis or synthesis), may not be thoroughly interpreted, or may not be clearly related to the writer’s point; with written compositions, paragraphs may be uneven in development and lack effective transitions. Even with “C” compositions, there should be relatively few grammatical or mechanical errors–not enough to interfere with readability—but these errors may cause distractions; the student has done some editing, even though it may be superficial and/or incomplete.
  • D compositions are below average work that demonstrates a serious attempt to fulfill the assignment and shows some promise but does not fully meet the requirements of the assignment. D compositions may have one or several of the following weaknesses: it may have a general or implied argument, but the idea may be too broad, vague, or obvious; it may have some awareness of audience, but may not be evident in use of inappropriate tone or diction for the genre; the organizational plan may be inappropriate or inconsistently carried out; evidence may be too general, missing, not interpreted, irrelevant to the argument, or too repetitive; documentation may be incomplete or inaccurate; the style may be compromised by repetitive or flawed sentence patterns and confusing syntax. Grammatical and mechanical errors may interfere with readability and indicate a less-than-adequate attempt at editing or unfamiliarity with some aspects of Standard Written English.
  • F compositions are substantially below average for the assignment. F compositions exhibit one or several of the following: they may be an attempt to meet the requirements of the assignment, but it may have no apparent thesis or a contradictory one, or the composition is so general or obvious as to suggest little thinking-through of the topic. They may display little or no apparent sense of organization; they may lack development; evidence may be inappropriate and/or off-topic or may consist of generalizations, faulty assumptions, or errors of fact; it may display little or no awareness of audience. They may fail to handle borrowed material responsibly and/or to document appropriately. They may be plagiarized or simply off-topic. The style suggests serious difficulties with written, oral, or visual fluency, which may be revealed in short, simple sentences and ineffective diction. Grammatical/mechanical errors may interfere with comprehension or indicate problems with basic literacy or a lack of understanding of Standard English usage.

Computers: Bring your computers to class – we’ll be using them in in class workshops and activities. If you need tech assistance, visit: http://help.unc.edu or contact ITS by phone at 962-HELP). Students should also be aware that electronic class activities can be public in nature. The work that you conduct resides on the University computer network and may be viewed by an unknown audience.

Sakai: Sakai is a web-based instructional environment that will be our digital home for this semester. Here, you will find the syllabus, the assignments, and important announcements/reminders. I will use sakai for its gradebook. To sign into sakai, go to: https://www.unc.edu/sakai/

Your username and password for Sakai are your university ONYEN and password

PlagiarismThe Instrument of Student Judicial Governance defines plagiarism as “the intentional representation of another’s words, thoughts, or ideas as one’s own” (4). I support the University policy on plagiarism. Because we will be working in groups, spending a lot of time drafting and revising papers, it is practically impossible for you to plagiarize and get away with it, so please don’t try it.  I will not hesitate to report plagiarism to the Honor Court; if you are found guilty, you will face one semester suspension and will fail the course. See me if you have questions or doubts about what constitutes plagiarism.  Remember that all drafts and non-graded work are also subject to this policy (in addition to all graded materials).

Academic Etiquette: In addition to participating in all class activities (which include class discussions, group activities, impromptu presentations, drafting, responding, and researching), I expect all students to refrain from non-productive activities during class time, such as IM-ing or emailing, carrying on extraneous conversations, or doing work for other classes.  Further, students will show respect for the course, the instructor, themselves, their classmates, and opinions that may differ from their own in deference to the educational atmosphere. If you fail to maintain appropriate academic etiquette relations with your classmates or instructors, I will ask you to leave the class, you will be counted absent for that day, and you will not be able to make up any work you missed for that day.  If your behavior is in violation of the school Honor Code, I will contact the Dean of Students regarding the incident and you may be subject to further reprimand.

Honor Code: The students of The University of North Carolina have a long, proud tradition of honorable conduct, and I expect all students in this class to continue that tradition. Cheating, plagiarism, or other acts of academic misconduct will result in prosecution from the UNC Student Court, who may censure, suspend, or expel a guilty student. Because this course chiefly involves composition, be especially aware of the definition of plagiarism as explained in The Student Guide to English 100, 101 & 102. For more information, see the UNC Honor Code: http://honor.unc.edu/

Email:  You must use and check your UNC email. Check your email early and often. It may have important announcements concerning assignments or class location changes. Failing to check your email is not an excuse for missing class announcements or assignments. If you think you are not getting emails, contact ITS immediately to fix the problem.

Drafting Workshops: This class relies on a draft workshop format, meaning that your peers will help you with your papers.  Ultimately, it is your decision to accept or refuse the input of any other person on your own writing, but everyone has a response for a reason and if the input is not accepted you should still ponder why it was offered in the first place and consider how to revise accordingly.  In order to encourage productive revision, my comments (like those of your peers) will not be comprehensive. I will focus on the most pressing areas of need (e.g. quality of thesis, organization, argument, logic, incorporation of evidence, transitions, etc.) and encourage you to address those first. Subsequent drafts will then provide opportunities to concentrate on other weaknesses.  If either your writing group members or I choose not to address a particular aspect of your writing, this should not imply that you do not need any improvement in that area.

Accessibility Resources & Services: Any student who identifies as differently abled, who feels he or she cannot participate to the fullest expression of his or her abilities due to a learning issue should contact me as soon as possible so that we can discuss class requirements and recommendations necessary to ensure full participation. UNC-Chapel Hill facilitates the implementation of reasonable accommodations for students with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, mental health struggles, chronic medical conditions, temporary disability, or pregnancy complications, all of which can impair student success. Please see the ARS website to set up an appointment if you haven’t done so yet: https://accessibility.unc.edu/

The Writing Center: The UNC Writing Center offers free tutoring services for students. You may visit the writing center to ask for help with a specific paper, whether you are concerned with developing ideas and content, organizing your assignment, or working on style issues. For more information visit http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/

Counseling and Psychological Services: CAPS is strongly committed to addressing the mental health needs of a diverse student body through timely access to consultation and connetion to clinically appropriate services, whether for short or long-term needs. Please visit https://caps.unc.edu or visit their facility on the third floor of the Campus Health Services building for a walk-in evaluation to learn more.

Pronouns: Please tell me your preferred mode of address and gender pronoun (either in person or via email). For instance, my pronouns are she/her and I liked to be called by my first name (Sarah) or last name (Boyd) with the title Professor (Dr. is acceptable too). Please refrain from calling me Mrs. Boyd, Miss Boyd, Miss Sarah, Ms. Sarah, Mrs. Sarah: these modes of are not only inappropriate and inaccurate, but they are also disrespectful in many cases (ask me why!). 

***Policies and Calendar Subject to Change as necessary–but I’ll give you as much advanced notice as possible!

Interdisciplinary Writing