Overall class grade is determine by averaging each of your three assignment grades along with your participation grade. Percentage breakdown:

25 % Participation

25% Journal

25% Assignments

25% Project

Grading FAQs

What is the grading scale for this class?

The letter grades I assign on student work during the semester correspond to numeric values as indicated in the following chart: slightly revised scale.


High (+)


Low (-)


















60 <

Is there extra credit?

Short answer: yes. Longer answer:

  1. You may contribute up to 2 additional posts and/or up to 2 additional comments. To qualify, these additional posts and/or comments must be as substantive as the required ones. (See assignment description for details). Please check the “extra credit” box (in addition to any other relevant tags and category boxes) before submitting your post(s) or comment(s). Clicking the appropriate tag and category boxes is how you will flag this work for consideration as extra credit. You do not need to ask me if you can take advantage of these extra credit options.
  2. From time to time, I will offer extra credit for one-off tasks and pop-up challenges. If a challenge has a due date, late challenges will not count for extra-credit. While I may post some challenges, these challenges are like generous door busters, if you’re not present, I am not responsible for notifying you about such challenges. If you learn about a challenge from a classmate who was in class and are able to participate before any applicable due date, then you are welcome to do so.

Can I make up or redo an assignment?

Because of the scaffolded nature of the assignments as well as the built opportunities for negotiating weekly workload, many of the exercises and assignments for this course cannot be made up once the deadline has passed. Examples include but are not necessarily limited to: one-off challenges; class discussion exercises; pop quizzes; project check-ins; thesis/intro draft workshops; midterm and final journal assessments; and final projects. The notable exceptions applies to post assignments. While late posts will be docked points because they fail to contribute to the classroom discussion, I will technically accept posts up until the reading period for the semester.

Paper and certain Close Reading Post assignments submitted early enough to be commented on before the last week of classes, may be submitted as a revision or a partial revision on a case-by-case basis. If you think you are a good candidate for a paper revision, you must contact me to set up a virtual meeting within 36 hours of receiving my feedback.  If I grant permission for a revision, we will work out a revision plan and date, which will then be non-negotiable.  When factoring in revisions, I do not average grades. Instead I take the highest grade (meaning if your revised effort is weaker as a whole than your initial draft, you will not lose points).

What’s the most important thing for me to do to get a B+ or higher in this class?

The class is designed to allow for students to successfully participate and complete the assignments in a variety of ways. However generally speaking, I would say that the two key elements to student success in any college level course are:

“Attend class” on time and prepared to discuss the readings. (*See the attendance policy for an explanation of what constitutes “attend[ing] class” during the 2020-2021 academic year.)

  • You’ll notice that class participation is 25 percent of your grade.  In accordance with University’s policies, you cannot fail the class based on attendance, however significant number of absences and/or tardies will undoubtedly affect your participation grade.   Being in class on time is certainly key, but it’s not all. Especially given the small class size, it’s essential that everyone show up having done the readings and any other assignment due for that class.  Having done the reading does not mean that you just know the plot. Having done the reading means you are familiar with the language, the narrative structure, the patterns and anomalies in characters, and above all it means that you are ready to ask questions and make connections to previous discussions and readings.

2) complete all assignments thoroughly and on time.

  • Take a look at the rubrics for the grading assignment, timely completion is a factor in all the grades. Of course, you have to use your own good judgement. If you are stuck between turning the assignment 1 day late but having it be complete and well done vs turning it in on time and being in complete with no citations,  you should elect to be late, and you should let me know.  In general though, you want to do the whole assignment (as detailed, include all of the parts, answer all of the questions), and turn it in on time.
  • Additional PSA: Regardless of the goal you’re trying to achieve, it’s generally helpful to know yourself; take stock of your particular strengths/advantages and weakness/challenges at the beginning and then build a strategy that plays to your needs and situations.  If you tend to have a hard time with the pacing and organization of longer projects, then make sure you do best with the more contained post assignments. Your final project and your post grades are both worth 25 %, so play to your strengths. And if you really want to play to your strengths, try using your post assignments to generate sections of the final project to help you organize and pace your work on the project.

I’m confused or concern about my grade, what should I do?

My desire is for every student to grow as thinkers, readers, writers, and whole people. And to the degree that it is possible and not in conflict with my primary desire, I want the growth students experience throughout the semester to translate into some quantifiable form of institutional success that they can leverage in their future endeavors (i.e. high marks, strong gpa, scholarly recognition, awards, etc.) Please know that I am rooting for each of my students.

To that end, if you have questions or serious concerns about

  • the requirements for a particular assignment;
  • the rubrics for assessing your grade (available on the respective assignment page);
  • how to interpret a comment I made on your individual work or to the class as a whole;
  • whether your idea about how to improve on a particular aspect of the assignment your grade or confused about how the grading works, you should talk to me.

Office hours (even if they are virtually) are some of the most generative time. I am happy to elaborate on any feedback you do not understand. (Note having a specific question or being able to identify what about the feedback you’re struggling with will make for a more productive conversation.)

Please note that while I’m happy to assist your understanding and growth however I can,

  • I will not entertain efforts to debate, negotiate, brown-nose, or (grade)grub for a better grade; (i.e. “grade-grubbing”).
  • I will not suffer suggestions that I should charitably hold you to lesser standard than I believe you are capable of
  • I will not continue any conversation aimed (however intentional or not) at coaxing me to do your thinking for you.

When in doubt, always reach out. Sometimes we struggle to be fully aware of all the motives that fuel and/or the consequences of our requests. So again, if in doubt, always reach out.