Course Contract

The students who meet all the objective requirements listed below will be guaranteed a grade of “B” or better. 

Each Formal Assignment (together, 45% of grade)

  • Meet the length requirement
  • Meet the stated requirements of the prompt (be on-topic)
  • Assert an arguable thesis
  • Support claims with relevant evidence
  • Integrate the kinds of analysis the prompt requires:
    • For Assignment 1 – close reading of two texts (one canonical, one chosen by you) and definition of terms (define clearly your criterion and how it has been understood)
    • For Assignment 2 – a persuasive argument defending your position using your own personal experience; a brief analysis of the text you’re proposing, enough to show why you’ve chosen it
    • For Assignment 3 – an argument addressing an interpretive question you have about the text supported by research. You MUST cite at least two substantial, supported, relevant sources.
  • Document any evidence from outside sources according to a style guide like MLA, which means you MUST:
    • Include in-text citation EVERY time you use ideas from a source
    • Include a Works Cited page with entries for each source you used

Portfolio Reflection (5% of grade)

  • Submit a 1-2 page reflection on the development of your writing process over the course of the semester
  • Address all the formal assignments
  • Both discuss your personal experience of producing this writing and also comment on the product itself – how do you feel about what you produced?


Group Presentation (10% of grade)

  • Together, the group will:
    • Present for 5-10 minutes on the text they are assigned to present on
    • Be ready to present on the day they signed up
    • Summarize their assigned text and comment on the extent to which they agree with its values
    • Offer a literary text that the group thinks demonstrates the theoretical text’s values, explaining why they think it does


Peer Review (5% of grade)

  • Come to class having prepared a full draft on each peer review day
  • Give substantial feedback to classmates on each peer review day


Weekly Short Writings (25% of grade)

  • Submit a weekly writing of 200-400 words every week a prompt is assigned (you may skip up to two writings to meet the course contract grade of B, but should submit them all if you are working toward the A)
  • Respond to the question of the prompt (be on-topic)
  • Post your submission as a comment on our course site, responding to the post where I pose the question


Discussion and In-Class Writing (10% of grade)

  • Each week, either contribute verbally to class discussion at least once or write a 50+ word response to someone else’s weekly short writing.
  • Complete all in-class writings and turn them in at the end of class.