Attendance is required and necessary since this is a participation-oriented class. More than three absences are grounds  for losing a letter grade, or even failure. There will be times in the semester when you really need the days off, so don’t miss class without good reason.

You are responsible for finding out what you missed and what assignments are due for the next class. If you miss a class, FIRST, ask your classmates. Missed assignments will not be excused because of absences.

Do not come late to class. If you arrive more than 10 minutes late, for any reason, you will be marked as absent. Likewise for leaving class early. Also, three times tardy equals an absence. Late attendance and absences will affect your participation grade. If you miss more than three classes, you will not receive an “A” for your participation grade.

You are expected to be prepared for every meeting. This means completing all reading and writing assignments on time. Failure to do so will greatly affect your participation grade.

  • Reading Responses

I believe that the best writing is derived from good reading; therefore, this class is reading intensive. I try to balance the reading load by giving you time to respond to the reading in class. In order to encourage you to keep up with the reading and to ensure your preparedness to participate in class discussions, you should expect to be asked to respond to your reading (textbook or handouts) in class every day. These in-class reading responses will sometimes take the form of quizzes, sometimes they will be a written response to a particular prompt, and sometimes they may be more creative or experimental. They may even be oral responses or participation responses, sometimes. They will require that you read the assigned texts thoroughly in order to be successful. You will need to be active readers! As opposed to reading journals, these responses will become a record of your thinking about your reading and classwork and will become an occasion for you to reflect and make connections. Reading responses will be worth 10% of your final grade.

  • Writing Responses

Along with preparing you to be a better reader, this class will help you develop as a writer. Reading the writing of others helps you read your own writing more carefully and critically. Therefore, you will be responsible for responding to the writing of your peers. You will respond through constructive comments during in class workshops. You will also be responsible for at least one written response each workshop day. You will submit thorough thoughtful comments that your assigned writer can act on in their revisions. Writing responses will be worth 10% of your final grade.

  • Formal Writing

You will be responsible for one short story, one creative nonfiction story, and three poems–and revisions. These works will be discussed more fully in separate assignment sheets. Please read and reread these assignment sheets and follow them closely.  These writing assignments will be worth 20% apiece for 60% total.

  • Final Portfolio

This final portfolio will give you a chance to return once more to your writing and make it as successful as it can be. At the end of the semester after the reading and workshops are completed, and after you have received criticism from me and your classmates, you will apply your new knowledge and experience to your creative works one last time. The final portfolio will be a testament to your understanding of yourself as a writer. It will consist of 18 to 30 pages of perfectly revised writing and a two-page reflection. It will be bound in a folder or binder. Think of this portfolio as your professional work, ready for submission. Your portfolio will be worth 20% of your final grade.