Rhetoric and Writing Syllabus Guidelines (revised Fall 2011)
All Rhetoric and Writing syllabi must include the following elements:
1. Course number and title
2. Unique number, semester and year, course location, and course meeting time
3. Instructor's name
4. Instructor’s office location and office hours, and the phrase “and by appointment.”
You must hold at least 3 office hours per week, and they may not be held during one class meeting period which would prevent students with a class at that time from taking advantage of your office hours. (See standard meeting times below.) When setting your office hours, make sure they span at least two class periods – TW 10-11:30, for example. (Standard class meeting times: MWF 8-9, 9-10, 10-11, 11-12, 12-1, 1-2, 2-3, 3-4, 4-5, and TTH 8-9:30, 9:30-11, 11:-12:30, 12:30-2, 2-3:30, 3:30-5)
We recommend that you not hold all your office hours on the same day.
Office hours may not be held in your study cubicles. We recommend FAC 16, PAR 4th Floor, common spaces such as a designated spot in the Union (outside Starbuck's, for instance), Prufrock's in PCL, or Medici, since it's directly across the street from campus.
5. Overview of the course, including prerequisites, subject matter of each lecture or discussion, and academic/learning goals for the course and how they will be addressed. The “subject matter” of each lecture or discussion, and academic learning/goals may be described in a paragraph that describes the general course content, in individual statements about each day’s course content, or in some combination of the two.
6. Grading policy for the course, including the departmental policy detailing how attendance may affect the final grade (see below), and an explanation of whether plus/minus grading will be assigned for the final grade.
7. Grade breakdown including all graded assignments and the percentages each contributes to the final grade, adding up to 100%. If assigning letter grades, you must include numerical equivalents.
Participation cannot account for more than 10% of any grade, and, if you assign a participation grade, you must be able to justify the grade with quantifiable evidence.
Those using the Learning Record or another such portfolio grading system need not include a grade breakdown with percentages, but you must include a clear explanation of the process by which students' grades will be determined.
8. Schedule and overview of all major course requirements and assignments, along with the dates of exams and assignments that count for more than 20% or more of the final grade.
9. List of required and recommended materials, such as textbooks, image collections, audio and audiovisual materials, supplies, articles, chapters, and excerpts, as appropriate, identified by author, title, and publisher.
The DRW requires that every lower-division RHE course include both a rhetoric and a handbook. First-year 306 instructors must use the approved textbook and handbook included in 398T. Returning instructors may select a textbook and a handbook from the attached list.
10. Final exam date and time, if applicable.
The final exam schedule is listed on the Registrar's Office Course Schedule website: http://registrar.utexas.edu/schedules/. To find yours, select the appropriate semester, and click the "Final Exams" link under "Contents."
11. Class website, if applicable.
12. The departmental statements below regarding attendance, scholastic honesty, students with disabilities, and email accounts.
Rhetoric & Writing has established this attendance policy for all RHE courses. Any questions or appeals concerning this policy must be made directly to the department Associate Chair. You are expected to attend class, to arrive on time, to have prepared assigned reading and writing, and to participate in all in-class editing, revising, and discussion sessions. Should you miss the equivalent of five TTH or MW class sessions or seven MWF sessions this semester, excused or not, you will fail the course. If you find that an unavoidable problem prevents you from attending class, you should contact your instructor as soon as possible, preferably ahead of time, to let him or her know.
You will not be penalized for missing class on religious holy days. A student who misses classes or other required activities, including examinations, for the observance of a religious holy day should inform the instructor, in writing, well in advance of the absence, so that alternative arrangements can be made to complete work. If you know you will have to miss class(es) for this reason, provide your instructor with the date(s) as early as possible. Please note that the University specifies very few other excused absences (e.g., jury duty).
When you must miss a class, you are responsible for getting notes and assignments from a classmate.
Turning in work that is not your own, or any other form of scholastic dishonesty, will result in a major course penalty, possibly failure of the course. This standard applies to all drafts and assignments, and a report of the incident will be submitted to the Office of the Dean of Students and filed in your permanent UT record. Under certain circumstances, the Dean of Students will initiate proceedings to expel you from the University. So, take care to read and understand the Statement on Scholastic Responsibility, which can be found online at http://www.utexas.edu/cola/depts/rhetoric/firstyearwriting/plagiarismcollusion.php. If you have any doubts about your use of sources, ask your instructor for help before handing in the assignment.
STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
Any student with a documented disability who requires academic accommodations should contact Services for Students with Disabilities at 512-471-6259 (voice) or 1-866-329-3986 (video phone) as soon as possible to request an official letter outlining authorized accommodations. More information is available online at http://www.utexas.edu/diversity/ddce/ssd.
Email is an official means of communication at UT-Austin, and your instructor will use this medium to communicate class information. You are therefore required to obtain a UT email account and to check it daily. All students may claim an email address at no cost by going to http://www.utexas.edu/its/services/email/.
The department requires that every lower-division RHE course include both a rhetoric textbook and a handbook. First-year 306 instructors must use the approved textbook and handbook included in 398T. Returning instructors may select a textbook and a handbook from the lists below. AIs teaching RHE 309K, 309S, 310, 312, or 315 must petition Associate Chair Mark Longaker for permission to use texts not listed here.
Rhetorics for RHE 306, 309K, and 309S
A Rhetoric of Argument, Fahnestock and Secor
Writing Arguments, Ramage, Bean, and Johnson
Reading and Writing for Civic Literacy, Lazere
Critical Situations, Crowley and Stancliff
Asking the Right Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking, Browne and Keeley
Having Your Say: Reading and Writing Public Arguments, Charney and Neuwirth
Elements of Reasoning, Corbett and Eberly
Elements of Persuasion, Covino
Good Reasons, Faigley and Selzer
They Say, I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, Graff and Birkenstein
Everything’s an Argument, Lunsford and Ruszkiewicz
Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students, Crowley and Hawhee
Rhetorical Analysis: A Brief Guide for Writers, Longaker and Walker
Writing Analytically, Rosenwasser and Stephen
Rhetorics for RHE 310
Rhetorical Grammar, Kolln
Writing in the Works, Blau and Burak
Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace, Williams
Revising Prose, Lanham
Writing with Style, Trimble
Rhetorics for RHE 312
Writing for the World Wide Web, Vitanza
The Longman Guide to the Web, Faigley
Internet Invention, Ulmer
The CyberReader, Vitanza
On Digital Rhetoric, Gillette
Critical Literacy in A Digital Era: Technology, Rhetoric, and the Public Interest, Warnick
The New Media Reader, Eds. Wardrip-Fruin and Montfort
Rhetorics for RHE 315
Beyond Words: Reading and Writing in a Visual Age, Ruszkiewicz, Anderson, and Friend
Picturing Texts, Faigley, George, Palcik and Selfe
Seeing and Writing, McQuade and McQuade
Handbooks for all Lower-Division Courses
Brief Penguin Handbook, Faigley
SF Express, Ruszkiewicz, Friend, and Hairston
Easy Writer, Lunsford
Those wanting to use something other than the approved textbooks and handbooks should request a variance from the associate chair.
--See a list of standing variances approved by the associate chair
--See an explanation of the procedure for requesting a variance from the associate chair.