Course Policies


Students are expected to attend all class sessions. Your participation requires you to be present.  I do not dock points for attendance per se.  I’ve found a direct correlation between frequency of attendance and grade, but more importantly, between frequency of attendance and the amount of learning you do in the course.   If you miss a class session, consider it an occasion for self-direction; cultivate a friend in class to help you stay up to date. The G+ group, discussion forum, and email provide opportunities for students to form peer relationships as a management tool for a self-directed education.

Academic Integrity & Plagiarism

It is the responsibility of each student to adhere to the university’s standards for academic integrity. Violations of academic integrity include any act that violates the rights of another student in academic work, that involves misrepresentation of your own work, or that disrupts the instruction of the course.  Other violations include (but are not limited to): cheating on assignments or examinations; plagiarizing, which means copying any part of another’s work and/or using ideas of another and presenting them as one’s own without giving proper credit to the source; selling, purchasing, or exchanging of term papers; falsifying of information; and using your own work from one class to fulfill the assignment for another class without significant modification.  Proof of academic misconduct can result in the automatic failure and removal from this course.

For questions regarding Academic Integrity, the No-Grade Policy, Sexual Harassment, or the Student Code of Conduct, students are encouraged to refer to the English Department’s Undergraduate Handbook, the Undergraduate Catalogue, the Ram’s Eye View, and the University website at


If you have a disability that requires accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), please meet with me as soon as possible so that I can support your success in an informed manner. If you would like to know more about West Chester University’s services for students with disabilities, please contact the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities which is located at 223 Lawrence Center and can be reached at 610-436-3217 and at

Grades & Assignments

I follow the standard 100 point grading scale, using numbers and letters with a + or a  -.  I take grading to be an ethical contract:  I demonstrate what the expectations are for each level, and you are confident as to where you stand as the semester progresses.   Note:  The best seminar papers will be submitted for consideration for an award from the English Department; students who do not wish to be considered may notify me.


Students are advised to carefully read and comply with the excused absences policy for university-sanctioned events contained in the WCU Undergraduate Catalog. In particular, please note that the “responsibility for meeting academic requirements rests with the student,” that this policy does not excuse students from completing required academic work, and that professors can require a “fair alternative” to attendance on those days that students must be absent from class in order to participate in a University-Sanctioned Event.


West Chester University and its faculty are committed to assuring a safe and productive educational environment for all students. In order to meet this commitment and to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and guidance from the Office for Civil Rights, the University requires faculty members to report incidents of sexual violence shared by students to the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Ms. Lynn Klingensmith. The only exceptions to the faculty member’s reporting obligation are when incidents of sexual violence are communicated by a student during a classroom discussion, in a writing assignment for a class, or as part of a University-approved research project. Faculty members are obligated to report sexual violence or any other abuse of a student who was, or is, a child (a person under 18 years of age) when the abuse allegedly occurred to the person designated in the University protection of minors policy. Information regarding the reporting of sexual violence and the resources that are available to victims of sexual violence is set forth at the webpage for the Office of Social Equity at


All students are encouraged to sign up for the University’s free WCU ALERT service, which delivers official WCU emergency text messages directly to your cell phone.  For more information, visit To report an emergency, call the Department of Public Safety at 610-436-3311.


It is expected that faculty, staff, and students activate and maintain regular access to University provided e-mail accounts. Official university communications, including those from your instructor, will be sent through your university e-mail account. You are responsible for accessing that mail to be sure to obtain official University communications. Failure to access will not exempt individuals from the responsibilities associated with this course.


The Writing Center (Lawrence 214) provides a free service for students who need help during any stage of the writing process. You may drop in to seek help or call for an appointment (610-436-2121).

General Education Goals

This writing emphasis course helps you meet a goal of the University’s General Education program, helping students demonstrate “the ability to communicate effectively.” The development of your writing ability is an important objective of the course. We will spend time in class developing your writing and research skills through workshops and review, and we’ll spend time out of class in workshop and review. I will expect you to revise assignments based on feedback from me and your peers. Eighty percent of your final grade is based on your writing assignments.

Department of English Program Goals

This course has been approved to meet the requirements of the Department of English. This course meets the following goals of the English program:

Outcome 1: Diverse Genres
Graduating seniors will use the conventions of diverse textual genres (e.g., the nonfiction essay, poetry, proposals, autobiography, novel, memoir, film, plays, editorials, and so forth) in their own work and will explain and evaluate the use of these conventions in the work of other writers. This course will teach you to attend to the genres of video games as a form of textuality, and help you develop your ability to look at the rhetorical situation of gaming. The course teaches this goal through course “readings” and discussions, and this outcome is assessed through graded class participation and the written essays & projects.

Outcome 4: Information Literacy
Graduating seniors will demonstrate the ability to find, select, assess, and analyze information sources, both print and electronic, and to credit, integrate, and synthesize those sources in their own work. This course will achieve this goal by instructing students in the selection of texts for the annotated bibliography, using class discussion of appropriate texts. This outcome is assessed in the annotated bibliography.