Rhetoric & Composition I Rotating Header Image

Course Policies

You belong here. So do your classmates.

You belong here if you are quant, qual, crit, or undecided. You belong here if schools and society have crapped on you and your community. You belong here if you had great teachers and positive experiences of schooling. You belong here if you are Sikh, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Secular Humanist, Pagan. You belong here, especially if you are still figuring out what and who you are. You belong here if you are documented, DACAmented, or undocumented. You belong here if you are a person of color, or “white,” or perceived to be white, or mixed, or perceived to be a bunch of things that you aren’t. You belong here if you are disabled, differently-abled, or neurotypical and able-bodied. You belong here if you identify as gender non-conforming or LGBTQIA, or if you’re still learning what some of those letters mean. You belong here if you grew up speaking like an NBC news broadcaster, or your abuelita’s language, or if you style-shift from one kind of English to another or code-switch from English to another language of heart and home and back again. You belong here if your mom was a professor, or if you were the first one in your family to graduate from high school. Whatever your body type, appearance, talents, abilities, identities, histories, or backgrounds, you belong here if you are here to learn how to make classrooms and schools more humane, inclusive, respectful, rigorous, and just.

— Adapted from Kerry Enright


Assignment Requirements

Keep copies of all work submitted for grading. In the case of loss or damage, you are responsible for having another copy. Backup all your work for this or any other course when you are using a computer. Computer failure is a tragedy but not an excuse for late assignments.

NYT in class: 

In order to receive credit for this course, you need to bring your Sunday print copy to class — every class — unless we made other arrangements during Week 2.

Required Work We will do a lot of reading, writing, revising, editing, and proofreading in this course, and we will review and discuss your work at various stages in its production. You should plan ahead in order to stay abreast of the course calendar and to allow time for the most important parts of the writing & designing processes: rereading, revising, and rethinking. The revision process that occurs between your first and final iterations usually requires attention to several elements, such as mechanics, tone, and arrangement, and grading criteria will include an evaluation of your initiative and follow-through in the revising process. Each major assignment must be completed to receive a passing grade in the course.

Deadlines are negotiable only in cases of a documented medical emergency; without prior arrangements, late work will be marked down one letter grade for every day it is late.

Participation and your contributions to the intellectual life of our class:

  • Raising interesting, relevant, and generative questions that help us understand issues under discussion
  • Being respectful: making eye contact, affirmative body language, repeating your paraphrase of the previous speaker's comments before asking non-critical, clarifying follow-up questions, and then adding your own voice and position
  • Active listening and empathic listening: empathic listening is attempting to understand the other person. You engage in empathic listening by using both mindfulness, which is being “fully engaged in the moment,” and empathy, which is the ability to perceive another person’s worldview as if it were your own.
  • Another opportunity is to practice affirmative listening: affirm what's been said. For example, "Celeste, I appreciate your point that high-stakes testing might not be the best fit for this generation of students." I'm taking that in. I'm here listening, learning, and witnessing." Note that this does not require that you agree with the point. Practice affirming without adding-to
  • Don't play "devil's advocate" —  the devil already has enough advocates; instead, take responsibility for positions that you hold or for “thinking out loud” if that is what you wish to do. If you are looking for ways to express that you want to know what dominant culture thinks about “x” or “y” topic, go ahead and ask it in that way. Cultural aspects of everyday life are often difficult for people of dominant cultures to discern because their practices, traditions, values, and understandings are taken for granted as the norm. I’m also happy to offer more help with formulating this kind of question.

Peer Responses & Writing Groups The most important resource we have in this course is each other. We will spend time discussing collaborative work and how to create and sustain productive writing, designing, and editing groups. Part of your own grade will be based on your contribution to your writing group, as well as your collegial and professional responsiveness to their feedback.

ADA Statement Students with disabilities who feel they may need specific accommodations should contact me within the first two weeks of class.  All discussion will remain confidential. Students should also contact the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) for additional supports and services: CSD Lincoln Park 773.325.1677; CSD Loop 312.362.8002 or CSD@depaul.edu.


You may take two unexcused absences during the course. Beyond those, each absence will reduce your course grade substantially, and more than four 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.
Plagiarism and Academic Integrity Plagiarism is a serious offense, one whose sanctions range from a reduction in grades to expulsion from the university.  According to DePaul’s academic integrity policy,




Plagiarism is a major form of academic dishonesty involving the presentation of the work of another as one’s own. Plagiarism includes but is not limited to the following: – The direct copying of any source, such as written and verbal material, computer files, audio disks, video programs or musical scores, whether published or unpublished, in whole or part, without proper acknowledgment that it is someone else’s. – Copying of any source in whole or part without proper acknowledgement. – Submitting as one’s own work a report, examination paper, computer file, lab report or other assignment that has been prepared by someone else. This includes research papers purchased from any other person or agency. – The paraphrasing of another’s work or ideas without proper acknowledgment.

You should familiarize yourself with these and other academic integrity resources at DePaul, including those that discuss your rights and responsibilities. I strongly recommend that when in doubt, always provide citations and direct attribution when using anyone else’s work, from print or online sources, and when summarizing, paraphrasing, or quoting from someone else’s work. Why am I making such a big deal out of this? As you know, with the increasing use of communication technologies such as the internet, there is a simultaneous increase of copy-and-paste uses of other people’s work. In academic contexts, using someone else’s work without attribution can result in consequences ranging from a lowered grade (in my course, you fail the entire course) to expulsion from the university; in professional contexts, you surrender your credibility and probably your job. I’d encourage you, then, when tempted to use someone else’s work to stop and ask for help, or for a deadline extension, which I usually give automatically under most reasonable circumstances. 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.  

The Dean of Students Office (DOS) helps students in navigating the university, particularly during difficult situations, such as personal, financial, medical, and/or family crises. Absence Notifications to faculty, Late Withdrawals, and Community Resource Referrals, support students both in and outside of the classroom. Additionally we have resources and programs to support health and wellness, violence prevention, substance abuse and drug prevention, and LGBTQ student services. We are committed to your success as a DePaul student. Please feel free to contact us at http://studentaffairs.depaul.edu/dos/.
Wow, that's a lot of policies, isn't it? When I was in college, the only policy was "please don't smoke in the hallway before class."