Policies and Grading

Class Policies

Attendance and Participation

In this course we will work and learn together.  That means you need to be here, both in lecture and in section, for that learning to happen.  On-time attendance of all lectures and sections are required.  We will start promptly at the given hour, and instructors will take attendance.  We understand that you may encounter situations where you cannot attend class; for this reason you may miss two meetings without penalty.  For each class you miss thereafter your participation grade will decline by 5% per additional absence.  

Class environment and etiquette

It is important to us that you realize the critical role you play in shaping a productive classroom experience. Basic expectations of class etiquette are expected and will be enforced.  Following UCSB’s campus policies, we encourage respectful dialogue, which involves listening, showing courtesy, and being open-minded.  We encourage a classroom of critical thinking and debate, yet each interaction should be approached with sensitivity and respect. 

Please refrain from talking or whispering, and give each individual your attention when they speak. If course materials, subjects covered, or comments others make on topics ever present concerns, questions, or difficulties for you, please contact us with any questions or concerns.  Ask good questions, back up your points with thoughtful evidence, draw from your reading and preparation.  If you tend to be a quiet person, challenge yourself to participate; if you talk easily, think of giving others an opportunity.

Diversity and Respect

All students have the right to learn and participate in a classroom environment free of intimidation, harassment, and discrimination based on characteristics such as gender, race, age, sexual orientation, disability, religious or political beliefs and affiliations.  If you ever feel uncomfortable or are in need of support at any time please contact us as soon as possible. If you would like to disclose information related to pronouns, name changes, or identities, we encourage you to do so. UCSB’s Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity on the 3rd floor of the Student Resource Building is also available to advocate and be of and support to students.   

Use of technology 

It is our policy that all cellphones are to be silenced, and put away during both lecture and section.  An ideal learning space is one that avoids technological distractions.  You may use a laptop or tablet for taking notes only.  We will ask you to put a device away if we sense it is being used for other purposes.

Policies for Written Work

All written assignments will be due on the date and time of the given deadline.  In most cases, we will have you upload your work to GauchoSpace at a specific hour on the due date.  If you experience internet difficulties loading your assignment, you may email your section instructor your work.  If other extenuating circumstances arise, please coordinate with your section instructor before the assignment deadline to agree on alternative arrangements. For every 24 hours that an assignment is late, ½ letter grade will be deducted.

You will receive feedback on all your written assignments with recommendations for improvement.  In some cases you will have an opportunity to do and receive peer review. Please take this information seriously, ask questions, and follow up with the instructor or TA for more assistance as needed.  We are here to make you better readers and communicators!

Responsible Scholarship

All work you submit MUST BE YOUR OWN.  Honesty and integrity in all academic work is essential for a valuable educational experience.  

The Office of Student Conduct has policies, tips, and resources for proper citation use, recognizing actions considered to be unethical, and descriptions of students’ responsibilities with regard to source use and academic practice on their website:


Plagiarism occurs when a writer deliberately passes off another’s words or ideas without acknowledging their source. Plagiarized assignment will receive a grade of 0 and may result in additional disciplinary action.  Plagiarism is different from misuse of sources, occasions when a writer does not properly cite a source, misuses quotations, includes too much of an original source in a paraphrase or summary, or commits similar unintentional violations of academic protocol. If you misuse sources, we will work on appropriately incorporating and/or citing the sources.


Participation (attendance & discussion) — 15%

Section (writing, activities & peer review) — 15%

1st Large Assignment — 20%

2nd Large Assignment — 20%

Final Written Project and E-Portfolio — 30%

This course will strongly emphasize the importance of engagement and participation.  We understand that every individual interacts with group dynamics in different ways, but we encourage you to participate in section as much as possible.  For your section writings, we will indicate your progress through a √, √+, √- system, and track your engagement and collaboration with partners or small groups.  We will assign letter grades for the large assignments and projects, and provide constructive feedback and suggestions for revisions.  We will take seriously your potential growth for improvement.