HU2506 | Summer 2008 | Science & The Public Sphere: The Example of Biochar | Terra Preta Nova

Course policies & grades

Course Grading Criteria

  • Project-specific documentation: due Week Five: 20%
  • Reading journal: 20%
    This is a project- and discussion-intensive course. You will keep a reading journal and provide regular reading notes that serve as the basis for our project work, discussions, and reflections. Your dialectic-reading journal is meant to encourage you to actively engage in a meaningful conversation with the reading individually and comparatively. As you make journal notes, you should regularly re-read your previous pages of notes and comments, noting any new connections. Writing is a way to produce or possess new knowledge as you attempt to do interpretative phrasing. I read, but do not judge or evaluate the notes, tone, questions, or reflections during the course. Your dialectic-reading journal grade is based on your willingness to document your reading notes as we proceed resulting in a record of your intellectual engagement.
  • Reading presentation: 20%
  • Feasibility report & presentation: 40%


All of the writing, project work, and documentation for th ecourse is evaluated with professional criteria in mind:

A The writing & design are exceptional. This is the kind of document that might lead to promotions in the workplace. It is professional and reflects the writer’s careful consideration of audience and purpose. It contains all necessary information, is written in an appropriate and engaging style, is memorable, and its delivery is visually appealing. It is free of mechanical errors.

B The document is strong. It would be considered acceptable in the professional contexts. It too reflects consideration of the rhetorical situation. It is generally above average in terms of the criteria mentioned above, but falls short of excellent in one or more category. It is free of mechanical errors.

C The document is competent. It would probably be returned for revision in professional contexts. It is generally average in terms of the major criteria listed above. It has few mechanical errors.

D The document is weak. It would probably get the designer into a bad situation in professional contexts. It falls below average in terms of one or more of the major criteria.

F Pink Slip

Attendance Policy

You may take two unexcused absences during the course. Beyond those, each absence will reduce your course grade substantially, and more than five absences will result in a failing grade. Professional conventions also ask you to alert us ahead of time if you will be missing class on a day when you are scheduled to present materials to the class, or to participate in workshop activities.

Should you miss a class or a workshop for any reason, it is your responsibility to find out from classmates & colleagues what you missed and to get copies of handouts or other materials.

Academic Integrity Policy

Plagiarism is a serious offense, one whose sanctions range from a reduction in grades to expulsion from the University. According to the Office of Student Affairs, “Anything less than total commitment to honesty undermines the efforts of the entire academic community. Both students and faculty are responsible for insuring the academic integrity of the university.”

Definitions of Academic Dishonesty

  • Plagiarism: copying another’s work or ideas and calling them one’s own or not giving proper credit or citation.
  • Cheating: intentional use of any unauthorized study aids, equipment, or another’s work during an academic exercise.
  • Fabrication: intentional falsification or invention of any information or citation during an academic exercise without proper authorization.
  • Facilitating academic dishonesty: allowing or helping another individual to plagiarize, cheat, or fabricate information.

I am always available to discuss any plagiarism or other intellectual property concerns or questions you might have for this or for any other class.

ADA Statement

MTU complies with all federal and state laws and regulations regarding discrimination, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). If you have a disability and need a reasonable accommodation for equal access to education and services at MTU, please call the Associate Dean of Students, at 7-2212. For other concerns about discrimination, you may contact your advisor, department head or the Affirmative Action Office at 7-3310. All discussions are confidential.

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