Course Policies

Basic info


As a student in my class, you are responsible for reading and understanding the following course policies. In particular, you should pay close attention to the following sections:

Any questions? Let me know!


If you are a student with a disability and would like to request disability-related accommodations, contact me and Disability Services as early in the semester as possible. All communications about this topic are confidential. Letters of accommodation should be signed and printed on letterhead from the Disability Services office. It is the student's responsibility to provide these letters to professors in a timely manner so that accommodations may be put in place. Please meet with me early in the semester to help me determine how best to accommodate your needs during the semester. All conversations will be confidential.

Policy regarding problems with technology

Technological problems are a fact of life, and so you should develop work habits that take them into account. Start early and save often. Always keep a backup copy of your work saved somewhere secure (Hint: as part of your USC Upstate "Office 365" account, you have 1 terabyte -- which is 1,000 gigabytes -- of free online storage space. Use it!)

Inkless printers, computer virus infections, lost flash drives, corrupted files, incompatible formats…: none of these kinds of unfortunate events should be considered an emergency. Take the proper steps to make sure your work will not be lost irretrievably in cases of technology problems. I will not grant you an extension based on issues you may be having with the devices or services you're using.

When you encounter problems with USC Upstate email, access to online campus services, access to the campus network, you should contact USC Upstate Information Technology Services:

Attendance & Punctuality

Note: these policies do not apply to asynchronous, online-only courses.

I do not distinguish between excused and unexcused absences. In case of an absence, you are responsible for determining from another student what went on in class and what assignments, if any, were introduced or discussed. You may want to find out the names and phone numbers or e-mail addresses of some of your classmates to contact if you are absent.

Due to the participatory nature of this class, students are expected to attend regularly, to be on time, and to remain until the class is over. Circumstances may occasionally arise that might cause a student to miss class, but excessive absences, tardiness, and/or occasions of leaving class early will have a negative impact on the final course grade.

are allowed regardless of reason; additional absences will cause your final grade to drop. You will fail the course if you miss enough class meetings, are consistently late, or consistently leave class early.

Consequences of accumulating more than this number of absences are as followed:

Required Student Conduct for this Class

Standard Campus Policy for Student Behavior

A Member of the USC Upstate Community of Scholars . . .

Basic academic etiquette is expected: attend class, arrive on time, come prepared, stay until the end of class, silence your cell phones to prevent distractions, put your cell phones away unless otherwise instructed, actively listen to classmates and respond with civility to others' opinions.


The following criteria will be used in assessing contributions to class discussions. Keep in mind that an excessive number of absences may lower your participation grade regardless of what your participation is like when you are present in class.

Excellent : Participants demonstrate consistent preparedness and willingness to participate in all classroom assignments and activities, read every assignment and demonstrate familiarity and engagement with the text in class, rarely, if ever, miss class, enthusiastically and insightfully contribute to all class discussions, engage actively in group activities, ask questions, and not only respond when called upon but volunteer answers and opinions almost daily.

Good : Participants demonstrate regular preparedness and willingness to participate in classroom assignments and activities, read every assignment and demonstrate familiarly with the text in class, rarely, if ever, miss class, ask frequent questions, enthusiastically contribute to class discussions and group activities, and not only respond when called upon but volunteer answers and opinions with frequency.

Fair : Participants demonstrate a superficial level of preparedness and willingness to participate in classroom assignments and activities, read assignments in a cursory or incomplete manner and cannot demonstrate familiarity with the text in class, use all three absences (or more if accompanied by enthusiasm and preparedness when in class), ask questions about course policies or procedures rather than course content, cannot always respond when called upon, and contribute minimally to class and group discussions and activities.

Unsatisfactory : Participants are unprepared and unable to respond to even the most basic questions about the material, rarely volunteer answers or opinions, ask few questions, attempt to lead discussions away from course content, and demonstrate a low level of contribution to and enthusiasm for group and class activities and discussions.

These criteria created by Dr. Celena Kusch _ and used with her permission._


Unsure what counts as plagiarism? As explained in “The Academic Honor Code” found in the USC Upstate Student Handbook,

"Students are required to properly acknowledge sources as follows: students may not present as their own ideas, opinion, images, figures, languages or concepts of another, including those of other students. Students must acknowledge all sources such as magazines, journals, internet sites, records, tapes, films and interviews. The common specific uses of source material are:

Direct Quotation : Word-for-word copying of a source. A direct quotation must be accurate, must not misrepresent the source in any way and must be properly acknowledged.

Paraphrase : A recasting into one's own words material from a source, generally condensing the source. A direct quotation with only a word or two changed, added or omitted should not be passed off as a paraphrase. A paraphrase restates the source but does not misrepresent it and must be properly acknowledged.

Use of ideas : The use of an idea from a source must be properly acknowledged, even when one's application of that idea varies from the source.

Use of figures, tables, charts, statistics, images, photographs and other similar sources : These items must be fully acknowledged, and any changes must be clearly indicated. . .

. . .[A]ny kind of help (except that permitted by an instructor) in the preparation of a project . . . must be fully acknowledged. Papers and other materials [copied or] bought from 'term paper writing services,' if submitted as the work of anyone except the writing service, constitute a violation of the principles of this document." (94)

Warning : The consequences of plagiarism range from a grade change to expulsion.

Approved Writing Assistance: USC Upstate Writing Center

You should consider visiting the University Writing Center (HPAC room 136) for free, one-on-one assistance and advice regarding your writing. Consulting a UWC tutor does not constitute plagiarism. Their phone number is 864-503-5883. Do not wait until the last minute to seek assistance as their schedule tends to fill up rather quickly. You should also come by my office during my office hours (or make an appointment) to receive assistance and advice regarding your writing.

Staying in touch

Guidelines for communicating with me

My office is room 201 of the Humanities and Performing Arts Center (HPAC 201), and my office phone number is 864-503-5285. You can come knock on my office door at any time, and if I'm there and not busy, I'll be happy to talk with you. I am (almost) always there during my regular office hours. You can call my office phone any time, and if I'm there, I will answer.

To communicate with me online, we may meet via Microsoft Teams or Blackboard Collaborate. Or you can ask questions in the "Q & A Forum" under "Discussions" on Blackboard.

If you choose to email me instead of using the above methods, understand that you are not likely to receive a prompt response; in contrast to the above means of communication, I receive dozens and dozens of emails that require my attention every day.

Guidelines for communicating with each other

In order to make it easier to catch up on any missed work or to form study groups, you should exchange your USC Upstate email address (and any other contact information) with as many classmates as you feel is appropriate. You do not, of course, need to be overly stiff or formal, but you should be courteous and respectful in your correspondence with others, and you should expect the same from them. Report any abusive or harassing emails to the USC Upstate Information Technology office: < http://www.uscupstate.edu/its >.

I encourage you to develop a professional demeanor for electronic communication because in addition to all the social benefits the Internet provides, it is increasingly the venue by which you will make your first impressions on many potential employers and professional contacts.

Standard disclaimer: These course policies are subject to change. I reserve the right to make adjustments as necessary. Students will be notified of changes in class and online.

How others will use your work

To improve our teaching, faculty sometimes consider samples of student work completed for a course. These samples are always anonymous; all names are removed before the essays are read. If you do not want your essay used in this assessment, please see the LLC administrative assistant in HPAC 222 for a non-participation form. Filling out this form has no effect whatsoever on your grade for the course.