Basic Policies


TA: David Gehring: (this is the best way to contact me)
Office: 4269 Humanities, 263-1039. Office Hours: Thursday, 12:30-2:30.
Mailbox: 5076 Humanities

Attendance: Required. I will be taking role at the beginning of each hour, and your attendance will affect your grade. Do not, however, think that your sitting in a chair for fifty minutes will suffice, as your active and informed participation are expected. The course material provides an excellent forum for discussion and, provided that you’ve done the readings, our weekly dialogue will prove exciting and fruitful. Discussion sections will deal primarily with the readings, and ideas and issues brought up in lecture by Professor Sommerville, but will also branch off a bit when interesting avenues present themselves. We’ll have much to discuss this semester, I promise. English history during the age of Shakespeare is nothing to sleep through!

Assignments and Grading: As indicated on the main course website, your performance in discussion section is worth 20% of the total course grade. This percentage is somewhat flexible, however, since I happily reward sustained improvement over the course of the semester; another way to help your discussion grade is to visit me during office hours. (I actually put a lot of weight on this, and it’s hard to get to know each other while only in the classroom!) Also, I can permit two absences from discussion (with good reason), but a third absence will drop your discussion grade a letter.

Academic Dishonesty (Plagiarism): Do not cheat. Believe it or not, it’s really easy to spot. The university has policies on this, see: If you are writing a paper for a fourth credit, remember to cite your sources, both when quoting directly and when paraphrasing an author’s argument. When in doubt, footnote it.

Writing tips: The Writing Center (6171 Helen C. White Hall, is a horribly underutilized, yet absolutely crucial resource for undergraduates. Before submitting your paper (if you elect to write one), it would be an excellent idea to set up an appointment to go over it with a writing tutor. Setting up such an appointment, even once, will help your written presentation considerably. The best guide to writing is The Chicago Manual of Style. A new edition has recently come out (15th ed.), and can be found in Memorial Library and online. A concise, affordable synopsis is Kate Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. With questions on citation, quotation, and punctuation, see these books. Additionally, you can see my own and Professor Sommerville’s advice on our websites.

Bear in mind: Wednesday, Jan. 28 is the last day to drop courses without notation on your transcripts. If you have special needs or concerns about the course, please do feel free to see me either after class or during office hours.