The Fine (but Important) Print

Fall 2014 Edition

Bruce B. Janz

This document is considered part of all syllabi in all my classes. W or M courses may have a revised version of this Fine Print document, that deals more directly with online delivery. You can find that version in the Webcourses course area.


STANDARDS FOR PAPERS

I expect papers and take-home exams to be typewritten, in essay form (that is, not point form). They should be in 12 point Times New Roman font, with one inch margins, and double-spaced. Pages must be numbered, and the paper should be single-sided (that is, do not use both sides of the sheet of paper when printing). There should be a title page which includes the title of the paper, the name of the author, the date, the course, and the name of the professor. DO NOT put the paper in a folder, binder or plastic sleeve. I will be taking grammar, spelling, and structure into account - good ideas cannot be communicated with poor form. If the grammar or structure in a paper is severely flawed, I reserve the right to give a paper back to the student for revision without a grade (or with a reduction in grade), or fail the paper. As for citation style, I will be using the MLA format. For citing electronic sources in MLA, go here. I am open to other recognized formats (e.g., Chicago, Turabian), but whatever format you use must be used consistently. Note that the library has obtained a site license for a number of good citation programs, such as Endnote and ProCite, which can aid in proper citation form. See the library's home page for these. For information on documentation styles, see http://www.uwc.ucf.edu/Writing%20Resources/writing_resources_home.htm#documentation


ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION OF PAPERS

Some professors do not allow electronic submissions; I, on the other hand, generally prefer it for most assignments. It should be sent to bruce.janz@ucf.edu as an attachment. For fully online courses, submit papers in Webcourses, in the relevant assignment link. The paper must appear identical to how it would look if you were to hand it in as a physical document (in other words, with a title page at the beginning and reference list at the end), as a single file. You will receive typed comments on the paper, and it will be returned electronically in the same format as it was sent. Do not include .exe or .scr files or anything that might contain a virus, and please scan your document with a virus program before you send it. For non-online courses, send the paper from your Knightsmail account, and please identify yourself and the course in the subject line of the message (e.g., "<Your Name>, <Paper title> for <course name and number>"). I will likely rename the paper in the following format: "lastname, firstinitial - short paper name". Please make sure as well that I can reach you at the email address that you use to send the paper, in case the file does not open. NOTE: You will receive a return email from me when you send your paper in. If you do not receive an email, please assume that the paper was not received, and try contacting me again. If you do not receive confirmation, the paper may not have arrived, and so you will not receive a grade for it. The only proof that I received a paper is an email response from me. Claiming later that you sent it is not good enough, because I don't know whether you really did or not.

WRITING HELP

The University Writing Center (UWC) is a free resource for UCF students. At the UWC, a trained writing consultant will work individually with you on anything you're writing (in or out of class), at any point in the writing process from brainstorming to editing. Appointments are recommended, but not required. For more information or to make an appointment, visit the UWC website at http://www.uwc.ucf.edu, stop by the first floor of Colbourn Hall, or call (407) 823-2197.

 

ATTENDANCE, ABSENCES FROM CLASS AND FROM EXAMS, AND LATE ARRIVALS

I expect students to be in every class, on time. Classes are absolutely essential to success in the course. If you cannot be at a class, let me know before-hand. I reserve the right to not accept assignments from students either if attendance has been a problem, or if a paper is seriously late without a legitimate (in my opinion) reason. This includes any paper or graded activity in the course, including the final paper and the final exam. I will only inflict this measure after having given a warning; however, if you simply never come to class, do not expect to get much sympathy at the end of the term when you want to hand in assignments. PLEASE NOTE: Specific classes may have other attendance requirements. Please see the syllabus.

 

Generally, I adhere to the list of university approved reasons for absence. The following is an expansion on some of those points.

There is another reason to be in class on time. I consider the syllabus, the class, and this "Fine Print" document to be the official record for the course. If I announce something in class, I assume that everyone has heard it. If the class location changes for a given day, for instance, I may only announce that in class. If you miss a class, it is up to you to find out what is happening. I will not repeat instructions that were given in the official class time, nor will I deliver lectures over again if a person missed the class or was late. If you miss the day when we discuss an upcoming exam, it is up to you to find out what happened from someone in the class.


The bottom line is this: I am happy and willing to work with you if you show the respect of coming to class on time and participating. If, however, you don't bother to come, you haven't pulled your weight, and I see no reason to make up for your lack of commitment to the class. So, take it seriously.


LATE PAPERS

On late papers in general: The due dates are firm. There will be penalties for late papers. If there is a legitimate reason for a paper being late, I am willing to consider it and waive the late penalty. Unacceptable reasons include:

This, of course, does not exhaust the list of reasons that will not succeed. Plan ahead, and save yourself problems. Having said that, I recognize that there will sometimes be factors beyond a person's control. I will deal with these cases on an individual basis. Giving an extension in one case in no way obligates me to do it in others. The most successful appeal will a) have an argument for why an extension is justified, and b) tell me how the assignment will be made better by the extension.


I will be especially unwilling to help anyone who has just not come to class for a substantial amount of time, and then wants to catch up by doing papers later. If you cannot come to class and participate, please drop the course and take it again in a term when you can give it your attention.


DIGITAL TOOLS

In a number of my courses, we will be using a variety of digital tools to augment and enhance the course. These could include wikis, blogs, course delivery software such as Canvas (local name: Webcourses), or some other tool. Some of these may require you to set up a login. This is part of the course. While the use of these tools will assume that you have a functioning computer with basic software on it, in some cases more sophisticated software might be required. I will try to let you know which tools we are using at the beginning of the course, so that you can prepare yourself. If the software needs to be purchased, this will be included in the list of required textbooks.

COMMUNICATION OF GRADE

Grade reporting to students will happen through Webcourses, in all modalities of course. The university follows the national FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) code, which does not allow the communication of grades to a student by email (including embedding them in documents, which means they cannot be placed on a paper emailed to me), or by posting them outside a professor's door. This is a confidentiality issue. Please do not ask me for your grade by email outside of Webcourses - by law I cannot send it.


GENERAL COMMUNICATION WITH STUDENTS

In this class our official mode of communication is through email. All communication between student and instructor and between student and student should be respectful and professional. As of Fall 2009, Knightsmail is the only official student email at UCF. Class rosters list Knightsmail addresses rather than external email addresses, and all official class communications will be sent only to the Knightsmail addresses. Students are responsible for checking their Knightsmail accounts regularly. See https://extranet.cst.ucf.edu/KMailSelfSvc/FAQ/ for further information.

 

I will not expect you to answer an email from me on a weekend or holiday, and you shouldn't expect that from me either. Generally, you can expect a response within two school days.

INCOMPLETES

I will only give an incomplete in very rare and unique circumstances. Simply not having time to finish work during the term is not a sufficient reason. Even medical reasons may not be enough - medical withdrawal from the course is a preferable option in many cases (if medical withdrawal is to be taken, it needs to be taken from all courses in a given term). So, please do not take on too much in a term, thinking that it will be easy to get an incomplete and then finish the work later. Incompletes will require documented evidence from the student. Please note as well: Incomplete grade automatically revert to F's one year from the end of the course in question.


ACADEMIC HONESTY

As with all matters of student conduct, academic honesty is governed by the "Golden Rule". We will discuss the nature of academic honesty in class, but a note here is warranted. Basically, your work should be your own and original to this class, and when you are drawing on the words, images, or ideas of others, this should be properly noted. What must be avoided?

The university writing center has many useful handouts on writing, including handouts on properly handling citations. If you have any question about how to properly complete an assignment, please see me. On occasion I may submit student papers (or ask students to submit them) to Turnitin.com, a website that checks for plagiarism. Papers submitted to that site become part of their database. Submitting a paper in this course gives consent for your paper to be added to their database.

DISABILITY ACCESS

The University of Central Florida is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for all persons with disabilities. This syllabus is available in alternate formats upon request. Students with disabilities who need accommodations in this course must contact the professor at the beginning of the semester to discuss needed accommodations. No accommodations will be provided until the student has met with the professor to request accommodations. Students who need accommodations must be registered with Student Disability Services, Student Resource Center Room 132, phone (407) 823-2371, TTY/TDD only phone (407) 823-2116, before requesting accommodations from the professor.

FINANCIAL AID REPORTING

As of Fall 2014, all faculty are required to document students’ academic activity at the beginning of each course. In order to document that you began this course, please complete the following academic activity by the end of the first week of classes or as soon as possible after adding the course, but no later than August 27th: MODULE 1 QUIZ. Failure to do so may result in a delay in the disbursement of your financial aid.

CONTROVERSIAL CONTENT

Many of my courses deal with issues in contemporary culture. Occasionally, there may be controversial content - concepts, images, opinions - that we will consider. If you feel uncomfortable with this, please let me know and we can try to make accommodations, but everyone should be aware that the nature of the humanities, philosophy, and religious studies is to consider a wide range of ideas and images, some of which will be offensive to some people. The goal is not to endorse these ideas, but to understand and analyze them.


DROP & WITHDRAWAL

It is the student's responsibility to drop or withdraw from the course if there is an unavoidable conflict or if the need should arise for another reason. Students who fail to drop before the deadline established in the curriculum catalogue will receive an F for the course. For Fall 2014, the drop date is 11:59 p.m., Thursday, August 21. The withdrawal deadline is Monday, Oct. 27. All dates relevant to the fall term are available in the academic calendar.