Course policies

Laptop use

Cell phone use

Discussion of grades


Due Dates



Dropping the course<>

<>Laptop use

If you wish to bring a laptop, please keep it closed until there is “tops up” time for writing a few notes to yourself or there is a need to do some research online. I find it hard to connect with students who are focused on a laptop display; some students find the key clicks and monitor images distracting as well. If you have a disability verified by the Services to Students With Disabilities (SSWD) office and you wish to discuss academic accommodations relative to laptop use in class, please talk with me immediately.

Cell phone use<>

Please turn off your cell phones while class is in session
. You cannot be engaged in the session while text messaging.  Further, it is rude and uncivil behavior.  If you do not notify me of a substantial need to take a message (e.g. you are the documented sole caregiver for a relative), and I see you text messaging or gaming, I will ask you to leave class immediately and not return until the next session.  You will nevertheless be responsible for the content of the session and related assignments.

If you must be available for a call or expect to receive a text message, let me know, then put your phone on vibrate and sit near the classroom door so you can discretely exit and take your call or text. I expect this will be an extremely rare event.

Discussion of grades

I will not discuss any grades for any assignment on the day I hand it back to you, nor will I discuss individual grades in the classroom.  All such discussions will take place in my office at least one day after the grade was received.  If you wish to contest a grade, write out your argument clearly, concisely and completely and bring it with you to the meeting in my office.


Your attendance and participation each day is important. I expect you will attend each scheduled class meeting unless you are ill or have an emergency.  After three (3) absences, (which I assume will be used only in case of emergency or illness—I don’t ask for nor do I want excuses if you choose to miss two days) your final grade will be lowered at least one (1) grade  (e.g. B+ to C+) for each day missed thereafter

Note: I take attendance each class period.  If you are late to class, it is your responsibility to see me at the end of that class period to make sure you are marked present.  If you do not take care of the attendance at that time, I will not change the attendance record at a latter date. Please be considerate of your colleagues and me by coming on time. If you are late, please be discrete and quiet as you enter the class and take a seat near the door.

Due Dates

All assignments are due at class time on the date announced or assigned. Late assignments for whatever reason will be penalized one (1) full grade for each calendar day late (e.g. B to C).  After three (3) calendar days, I will not accept the assignment.  So, if a due date is Monday, I will accept the assignment no latter than Wednesday; if the due date is Wednesday, I will accept the assignment no later than Friday. 


There will be no make-ups for missed quizzes.  No exceptions.


I follow the departmental policy on plagiarism reproduced below.  In a nutshell, plagiarism is the use of other’s ideas or words without giving them credit.  This includes paraphrases of another’s ideas.  You must always give credit where credit is due.  Plagiarism is a serious academic offense. Note that the Department Policy is very strict and very clear: “Any student proved guilty of plagiarism in this course will be failed for the entire course.” (If you are still unclear as what defines plagiarism, go to

If you are not sure if are plagiarizing on a draft, ask me about it. I’m happy to help you and am completely forgiving if you ask when drafting your work. I am not forgiving when plagiarism occurs in completed essays.

Department of Communication Studies Plagiarism Policy

Any student proved guilty of plagiarism in this course will be failed for the entire course, not just for the piece of work in which the plagiarism occurs.  It is important, therefore, to understand exactly what plagiarism is.

Plagiarism is literary thievery:  the use of somebody else’s material as you own in a speech, film, or research paper without giving credit to the author.  It includes, particularly, the following:

1.  Use of somebody else’s exact wording, whatever the material, without indication of the source and quotation marks or other accepted typographical devices.  Changing a few words here and there is not sufficient to avoid plagiarism.

2. Borrowing the whole pattern of organization and points of view of a source without giving credit via standard in-text written citation.

3. Borrowing facts, figures, or ideas with originated with and are the property of a particular source, rather than a matter of common information available in many sources.

Collaborating with other students to the extent that two or more assignments are identical in pattern of organization, points of view, or wording.

Cheating on quizzes is copying answers from a classmate, consulting with a classmate; bringing notes or “crib sheets” to the quiz; using electronic resources during a quiz. If I observe any such behavior, I will take the quiz from you at that time. Cheating on quizzes will result in a zero for the quiz and I will report the incident to Student Affairs.

Dropping the course

I follow the attached departmental policy on dropping.  Be sure you drop by the end of the second week if you are at all inclined to do so because dropping after the fourth class session will require documentation of extenuating circumstances.

Department of Communication Studies Add/Drop Policy

During the first two weeks of the semester, Communication Studies classes may be added only by using an Add Permit (obtained on the 5th floor of Mendocino) signed by the instructor and brought to the Department Office in MND-5014.  It is the student’s responsibility to make sure that the form is filled out correctly—using the correct 5-digit course call no., the department and course number, and section number.  During this same time period, classes may be dropped using CASPER.

During the 3rd and 4th weeks of the semester, students must obtain a Petition to Add/Drop After Deadline form to add or drop a class.  This form must be signed by the instructor and by the Department Chair.  Attached to the petition is a student statement to be completed by the student explaining the reason for dropping or adding after the deadline.  This statement must be completed before the petition can be processed in the Department Office.

Please be aware that, after the 4th week of the semester, all adds must also be signed by the Dean of Arts and Letters and then processed through Admissions and Records.  The same is true for all drops requested after the 6th week of the semester.