Class Rules and Policies
- Five (5) absences will result in an F for the course regardless of your other performance in the course. In this situation, you are advised to drop the class.
- Two latenesses equal one absence.
- The University attendance policy in the Towson University Undergraduate Catalog states: Absences will only be excused if you: (1) have an illness or injury precluding you from attending class; (2) observe a religious holiday that prevents you from class attendance; (3) are required to participate in a university activity by a recognized authority; or (4) experience a compelling, verifiable emergency beyond your control.
- Acceptable written documentation must be provided to verify the reason for your absence. Examples: physician’s note, traffic accident report, court summons, hospital bill, death notices, obituaries. Providing documentation does not guarantee an absence will be excused.
- If you know that you are going to be absent on a particular day or days, you must turn in any assignment due during that time period AHEAD OF TIME.
If you miss class or you are late for class, it is your responsibility to catch up by contacting a student in the class.
Do not use any form of technology in class unless instructed to do so. Keep computer screens black and cell phones off.
Check the online Broadwater wordpress site for this course along with your TU email daily. The university requires all students to use their official Towson email.
Turn in assignments at the beginning of class, on or before the due date.
- No late papers will be accepted.
- If an emergency prevents you from getting to class, email it to me by the beginning of class so that I know you finished it on time.
- Bring a printout to me on the day that you return to class, along with documentation of the emergency. If you do not do both, you will receive a zero (0).
Take all exams/quizzes on the scheduled date.
- No make-ups unless the absence is excused.
- No absence will be excused without written documentation.
- Be prepared to make up the exam on the day of your return or you will forfeit your right to make-up the work.
Printout a rubric from the instructor’s website for all writing assignments and staple to the front.
Policy for Student Athletes/University Activities Participants: Provide a letter from your coach with a schedule of games/competitions during the semester. Take any tests and prepare any assignments that conflict with this schedule before the test or due date, not after. Provide a Notification of Absence from Class Form for every absence throughout the semester.
Policy for Students with Disabilities: Individuals with physical, psychological or learning disabilities must be registered with the Disability Support Services Office (410/704-2638) to receive auxiliary aids and services and reasonable accommodations. It is strongly recommended that students with disabilities contact me early in the semester to discuss and arrange accommodations. “Students who suspect they have a disability but do not have documentation are encouraged to contact DSS for advice on how to obtain an appropriate evaluation,” as stated in the Towson University Undergraduate Catalog.
Students are expected to exhibit civil behavior in class.
- The College of Fine Arts and Communication has instituted a civility code which students are required to follow.
- Students must leave the classroom and take an unexcused absence if they do not behave in a civil manner.
- When students’ behaviors become disruptive to class, faculty have the authority to remove students from class. Students will not be allowed to make up the rest of that semester’s coursework. If the incident occurs before the final withdrawal period, students must withdraw themselves. If the withdrawal period has expired, students will receive either an FX or the earned grade. Depending on the nature and level of disruptive behaviors, the faculty may report students to the Student Affairs Office or Judicial Affairs. The faculty may also call the University Police immediately if there are threats of imminent physical injury or danger to the faculty or to other students in class.
- Examples: unnecessary talking, using the computer or cell phone in class, arguing with the instructor, talking disrespectfully to the instructor or other students before, during or after class, sleeping, typing assignments for other classes or typing for any reason other than assigned classwork, chronic lateness.
COFAC CIVILITY CODE
- All College of Fine Arts & Communication Studies students, staff, and faculty are committed to collegial and academic citizenship demonstrating high standards of humane, ethical, professional, and civil behavior in all interactions.
- We must take responsibility for the relationship between our personal conduct and the quality of campus life. What we do and say always has an effect on others, whether we see it or not. Civility means more than respecting campus facilities and grounds. Civility means consistently treating people with consideration and respect. It means being courteous, polite, and fair. It means recognizing diversity and honoring differing points of view. When our behavior is guided by concern for others in our community, we are being civil. Practicing civility requires thoughtful behavior and checking our assumptions and perceptions of others’ race, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, abilities, culture, belief systems and economic status.
- Civility Code: COFAC places a priority on learning. We value the inherent worth and dignity of every person, thereby fostering a community of mutual respect. Students have the right to a learning environment free of disruptive behaviors and offensive comments. Faculty have the right to define appropriate behavioral expectations in the classroom and expect students to abide by them. Faculty have the responsibility to manage and address classroom disruption. Staff have the right and responsibility to define appropriate behaviors necessary to conduct any university activity free of disruption or obstruction.
- We believe that in order to achieve these ideals, all COFAC students, staff, and faculty are expected to exhibit and practice civil behaviors that exemplify: (1) respecting faculty, staff, fellow students, guests, and all university property, policies, rules and regulations; (2) taking responsibility for one’s choices, actions and comments; (3) delivering correspondence – whether verbal, nonverbal, written, or electronic – with respectful language using professional writing standards and etiquette; and (4) accepting consequences of one’s choices and actions.
- The use of offensive, threatening or abusive language, writing, or behavior will not be tolerated and can lead to academic dismissal. Further information about civility can be found in Appendix F of the university catalog.
- Examples demonstrating civility in the classroom as a student include:
- Being respectful of the professor and other students.
- Not texting or using cellular phones and other electronic devices.
- Not using your laptop for activities other than class work.
- Not eating or drinking in class.
- Not reading newspapers or listening to music during the class.
- Not sleeping in class.
- Examples demonstrating civility in the classroom as a faculty member include:
- Being respectful of the students.
- Attempting to understand individual student needs and learning styles.
- Discussing civil behavioral expectations during the first class.
- Taking time to talk with students whose behaviors negatively affect the classroom.
- Encouraging students to follow your civil behavior.
Policy on Plagiarism/Academic Dishonesty:
- Plagiarism, cheating and/or fabrication will not be tolerated and will carry serious consequences.
- Students will be prosecuted to the full extent that the policy allows, which can include failure for the assignment, failure in the course and a referral to Judicial Affairs.
- For further information, consult the Towson University Undergraduate Catalog and the departmental policy on plagiarism and cheating that is also attached to this syllabus.
- Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to:
- Writing stories from online sources. Journalism, by definition, is based upon in-person or telephone interviews with real people who are experts in a field. You, your family and friends are not legitimate sources/experts.
- Not doing original research
- Copying a classmate’s assignment
- Failing to attribute information to the appropriate source
- Recycling material or assignments from concurrent or previous courses
- Using other people’s reporting notes or a recording (You may, however, double check the accuracy of your facts and quotes with other reporters who attended the same interview or event.)
- Using sentences or paragraphs from other people’s stories or writing without giving credit
- Turning in someone else’s story and pretending it is yours
- Making up direct or indirect quotes in stories. Quoted material should be what a real person actually said to you.
- Making up people, events, or facts in a story.
- Making up an entire story from an event that never happened.
- Making up a story from an event or interview you attended in the past. You must represent the information in a story accurately.
- Making up a story from other people’s notes or other people’s accounts of an event.
- If there is any dispute about whether the offense occurred, the case will be referred to a disciplinary hearing.
Provide the instructor with contact information for all sources used in each news story.
- This will enable the instructor to contact the sources to confirm the authenticity and originality of students’ work.
In all assignments, students must comply with all laws and the legal rights of others (e.g., copyright, obscenity, privacy and defamation) and with all Towson University policies (e.g. academic dishonesty). Towson University is not liable or responsible for the content of any student assignments, regardless of where they are posted.
University Weapons Policy: Weapons are prohibited on campus. Details provided at the following link: http://inside.towson.edu/generalcampus/tupolicies/documents/06-01.11%20Weapons%20Prohibited.pdf
The course may change based on the speed that a given class is advancing or on the judgment of the instructor that an alternate method may allow learning at the current or at a superior rate.
Grading Distribution: Your final grade will be based upon a 1000 point system. Please note that the instructor reserves the right to raise or lower your grade by five percent based upon factors which may include attendance, effort and professionalism.
940-1000 points = A
900-939 points = A-
870-899 points = B+
840-869 points = B
800-839 points = B-
770-799 points = C+
700-769 points = C
670-699 points = D+
600-669 points = D
0-599 points = F
Administrative failure = FX
Grading Criteria: The following criteria will determine the grade you receive on individual assignments, as well as the overall grade you receive for the course.
90%-100% (A, A-): The work exceeds assignment objectives. It is exceptionally clear, well written, thorough and free of errors. It is an excellent topic and you worked on it for several weeks. It is organized well and contains effective transitions, quotations, AP style, attributions, quote format and anecdotes. It also is an effective coverage of the news story. The story is based completely upon your own interviews either in-person or by phone with experts based upon the instructor’s definition of expert, players or participants and informed witnesses. You do not know the individuals you have interviewed. There are no email interviews. In terms of the course, this means you have almost perfect attendance, scores in this range on assignments and tests and that you make constructive, insightful contributions to class discussion.
80%-89% (B+, B, B-): The work meets assignment objectives, and is adequate but not exceptional. It is well organized but there is some lack of clarity and seems like you rushed through it. Also, the assignment contains a few minor errors and the topic and handling of the story could have been more interesting, thorough or cohesive. Transitions, quotes, AP style, attributions, quote format and anecdotes could be improved. The story might seem incomplete and not all of the information contained within is based completely upon interviews with experts based upon the instructor’s definition of expert. The same may be true of players and informed witnesses. In some cases you may know the individuals you have interviewed. In terms of the course, this means you have good attendance, scores in this range on the assignments and tests, and make constructive, insightful contributions to class discussion.
70%-79% (C+, C) : The work minimally meets assignment objectives; however, it is less than adequate. It was be somewhat disorganized, lack clarity and seem as though it was done in the past day or a few days. It may omit important information or require extensive editing. The organization needs work and there may be minor errors in transitions, quotes, AP style, attributions, quote format, and anecdotes, Some sentences may be vague, complicated and use passive rather than active verbs. Some sentences may have to be rewritten because they are awkward, wordy, or confusing. Attributions may be present, but may be used inappropriately or inadequately. Much of the information contained within is not based completely upon interviews with experts based upon the instructor’s definition of expert. You may know the individuals you have interviewed. In terms of the course, this means you have poor attendance, scored in this range on the assignments and tests, and have not participated in class discussions.
60%-69% (D+, D): The work does not meet assignment guidelines and is superficial, confusing or requires extensive rewriting. It also may contain an unacceptable number of punctuation, spelling, and/or grammatical errors. Attributions are used inappropriately or not at all. Some or all of the information contained within is not based completely upon interviews with experts based upon the instructor’s definition of expert. You know some or all of the individuals you have interviewed. In terms of the course, this means you have missed more classes than you attended, scored in this range on the assignments and tests, and have not participated in class discussions. Students may receive elective credit with a D, but this course will not count among MCOM credits.
0%- 60% (F): The work may be so poorly organized, ineffective, or outside assignment objectives that it cannot be revised effectively. The information presented is completely incorrect. It does not meet the requirements in page length, focus, sources, topic or format. It may also contain significant misspellings and/or grammatical and/or factual errors. Attributions are not used. Only some or none of the information contained within is based upon interviews with experts based upon the instructor’s definition of expert. You know some or all of the individuals you have interviewed. In terms of the course, this means you have missed more classes than you have attended, scored in this range on the assignments and tests, and have not participated in class discussions. If you are caught cheating in any way, you will automatically receive an F in the course. If you attend the final exam and your average is below 60, you will receive F rather than an FX.
(“FX”): This is an administrative failure for non-attendance or failure to withdraw. If you stop attending class and do not withdraw from the course by the University’s present deadlines for the semester and stop attending the class, this is the grade you will receive.
(“I”) Incomplete: Students may receive an incomplete only when “verifiable medical reasons” or “documented circumstances beyond their control “prevent students from completing a course within the term” (Towson University Undergraduate Catalog 2005-2006, p. 25).
Final grades in this class will follow the above scale for percentages with the following exceptions: No A+ or D- can be awarded as a final grade in this class. Please note you must earn at least a C to progress in the major.
College of Fine Arts and Communication
Department of Mass Communication and Communication Studies
Towson, MD 21252
TO: All Students in the Department Of Mass Communication and Communication Studies FROM:
FROM: Department Faculty
SUBJECT: PLAGIARISM AND CHEATING
The Department of Mass Communication and Communication Studies adheres to the following policy regarding plagiarism:
- Any words or images taken directly from another source (including the Internet) must be
footnoted or cited and in quotation marks. Similarly, in oral presentations, attributions must
- Any ideas derived from a source not in the public domain or of general knowledge must be
- Any paraphrased material must be footnoted or cited. In oral presentations, attributions must be
- All papers and presentations must be the student’s own work. Submission of papers or presentations authored by others, even with their consent, constitutes plagiarism.
Any student found plagiarizing in any of the above ways will receive an automatic “F” for the assignment and may receive an “F” for the course. Documented evidence of the plagiarism will be kept in the department office, and will be reported to the Office of Judicial Affairs.
Any student discovered soliciting others to write a paper, speech, test, or other assignment for that student will receive an automatic “F” for the course.
There are ambiguities in concepts of plagiarism. Faculty will be available for consultation regarding any confusion a student may have.
Most students are careful to avoid blatant plagiarism, the unacknowledged copying of exact words of the source. However, students must also be aware that the concept of plagiarism extends not only to wording but to patterns or sequences of ideas. If you paraphrase without acknowledgement, using the same sequence or structure as the original author, then you are plagiarizing.
Students have the right to appeal a charge of plagiarism. An appeal starts with the chairperson of the department.
The Department of Mass Communication and Communication Studies has adopted the following policy regarding cheating:
ANY STUDENT CAUGHT CHEATING ON ANY QUIZ OR EXAM WILL RECEIVE A MINIMUM OF AN “F” ON THE QUIZ OR TEST AND A MAXIMUM OF AN “F” FOR THE COURSE.