Course Info

Upward Bound Composition

Summer 2013

Syllabus and Schedule Document

Instructor J. Hoermann, M.A.


1 flash drive on which to save your class work

1 journal

1 folder or binder

Grade Breakdown

Unit 1:                    Finding Our Borders Essay                                                                                               25%

Unit 2:                    Exploring Our Borders Essay                                                                                           25%

Unit 3:                    Revising Our Borders Essay                                                                                             25%

Other:                     Daily Journaling/ Participation                                                                                          10%

Class Presentation                                                                                                              15%

All work completed outside of class should be typed. Make sure you have a backup copy of all work before you turn it in to be graded. Major essays will be penalized one letter grade (e.g., from B to C) for each class period they are late.

Grading and Evaluation

In this course, the work required of you will often be different in type and level of difficulty from what you do in typical high school courses.  Expectations are naturally higher, so approach assignments accordingly. Be realistic in your expectations about grades; start assignments early and work steadily to avoid last-minute rushing; and make an appointment with your instructor if you do not understand an assignment or the grade you received.

A          The qualities of a B assignment, plus imagination, originality, and engaging expression.

B          Thorough analysis of the communication problem; a satisfactory solution to the problem, judgment and tact in the presentation of this solution; good organization and solid expression.

C          Satisfactory analysis of the problem, clear organization, and competent style; nothing remarkably good or bad. A C means your work met the demands of the assignment in a minimally acceptable way.

D          Presence of a significant defect in context, substance, organization, style, or delivery in a lackluster paper; inadequate treatment of the assignment.

F          Inadequate coverage of essential points, uncertain or misguided purpose, poor organization; ineffective and inconsistent expression; significant defects in standard usage.


Academic Honesty

It is imperative to your success in this course—and to your future academic endeavors—that you understand plagiarism and academic dishonesty. These are serious ethical breaches, but we will discuss what constitutes plagiarism in class as well as how to avoid it. If at any point the distinctions between plagiarism, collaboration, and citation become unclear, please feel free to bring up these concerns in class so that the rest of the class can learn, too. If you are uncomfortable asking this question in front of the rest of the class, please come talk to me before or after class or during study hall hours.

Class Attendance and Participation

Classes are in a discussion/workshop format and depend on your active learning; therefore, regular attendance and productive, courteous participation with classmates and the instructor are important. Because we only have one month together, repeat absences will dramatically affect your grade in this course. Much of what we do in class cannot be rescheduled for you individually, made up, or accepted late, regardless of your reason for missing class. Missing more than two classes will lower your grade, and excessive absences will result in a failing grade for the course. Even with a valid reason to miss, you can accumulate so many absences in a semester that your work and classroom experience are too compromised for you to be successful in the course.

Showing up late to class is disrespectful to both me and your peers. Tardies will be recorded, and if you are more than 10 minutes late, you will be counted absent. You are still encouraged, however, to come and stay for as much of the class period as possible because every day is important. Every day we will learn something.

Computer Ethics

“People expect that someone from a foreign country will speak with an accent. I think it’s just as fair to expect that people write with an accent.”

Tony Silva, Second-Language Learning Researcher

When in the lab, please use computers responsibly, that is, for class-related activities only. Additionally, when communicating electronically with your peers, please be sure to use netiquette or computer etiquette to the best of your abilities. We will have several conversations about what makes for courteous, effective electronic communication so you may re-apply these skill sets to future situations.

Diversity Affirmation

Iowa State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, sex, marital status, or disability. An effective learning environment values and supports diversity. Respect the learning environment and learning needs of other students through appropriate behavior and civility.

Disability Accommodation

If you have a disability and require accommodations, you must contact your instructor early in the semester so that your learning needs may be appropriately met. You will need to provide documentation of your disability to the Disability Resources (DR) office, main floor of the Students Services Building, Room 1076, 515-294-7220.

FAQs & Answers From Ms. Hoermann

What’s the best way to contact you?

Email is best. If I don’t answer within 24 hours, email again. It’s very possible that your email was lost in the matrix and re-emailing does not get on my nerves.

Do you take attendance?

Yes, yes, yes. It’s extremely important for you to be in-class, prepared, and focused, every day.

How do you feel about tardies?

You will still be welcomed into this class no matter what time you arrive. I’m happy you can attend for however long, but if you’re more than 10 minutes tardy you will be marked absent.

Can we be Facebook friends?

Although I’d love to be your Facebook friend, I do not add students because I don’t want any student to appear to have an advantage over another student because you and I were “friends.”

Do you post grades online?

No. Feel free to speak with me about your grades at any time or calculate them yourself (refer to the “Grade Breakdown” section).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s