Improvement in writing is a complex process that requires ongoing practice and feedback from readers. Thus, regular attendance is necessary to your success in this course. Three weeks of unexcused absences constitute grounds for failure of the course. Since illness may occur at some point during the semester, save your unexcused absences for times when you are too sick to attend class. Students whose absences are due to circumstances beyond their control should contact me right away. Nevertheless, we’re in a pandemic, so please contact me about any circumstance that may impact you.

Excused Absences

Students representing TCU in a university-mandated activity that requires missing class should provide official documentation of schedules and make arrangements in advance to turn in any missed work.


Please be on time for class. Students who are tardy (five minutes late or more) are a distraction to the whole class. Often, in-class work cannot be made up.

Synchronous Class Meetings

So that you can give your full attention to the work of this class during our scheduled class meetings, try to keep distractions to a minimum: silence your phone, turn off notifications, and close computer windows that you don’t need. If unexpected Interruptions happen during class, including technical difficulties, turn off your video camera and send me a private chat message or an email. Use the course website to complete work for that class period. You will not be counted absent if you attempt to attend, contact me, and complete the assigned work.

To attend class, first log in to our course website and then log in to our Zoom class using the link provided (People> Zoom). If possible, please participate using video. Seeing each other helps strengthen our sense of connection. I especially encourage you to use your video when participating in small group discussions and peer response. If it makes you more comfortable, consider creating a virtual background. You also have the option of not viewing yourself during the class meeting by clicking on the dots at the top of your image. Your classmates and I can still see you, but you won’t have to look at yourself, making this option most like an in-person class. Even with these options, I understand there may be times when you do not want to be visible. To help maintain our sense of community, please login to Zoom via the web, go to Profile, and upload a photo or image to represent yourself when you have your video camera off.

Further, if you anticipate that you will not consent to your video and/or audio participation being recorded, please contact the instructor immediately so the instructor may work with you to determine how to assess your class participation and assignments that may require collaboration during the class session.


All members of the class are expected to follow rules of common courtesy in all email messages, discussions, and chats. If I deem any of them to be inappropriate or offensive, I will forward the message to the Chair of the department and appropriate action will be taken, not excluding expulsion from the course. The same rules apply online as they do in person. Be respectful of other students. Foul discourse will not be tolerated. Please take a moment and read the basic information about netiquette.

Participating in the virtual realm, including social media sites and shared-access sites sometimes used for educational collaborations, should be done with honor and integrity. Please review TCU’s guidelines on electronic communications (email, text messages, social networks, etc.) from the Student Handbook.


During the semester, we’ll meet individually to discuss your goals and work in the course. When we meet, please be prepared—you will plan the agenda for our time together. When conferences replace class time, missing a conference will count toward your total course absences. If you need to reschedule, contact me ahead of time.