1. Policy Manual
    1. Name of the instructor
    2. Title and number of the course.
    3. Name or titles of all textbooks and materials to be purchased or obtained by the student as requirements for the course.
    4. List of all other materials or reading lists required for the course.
    5. An outline of the subject as the instructor plans to cover it in the course.
      • for 1101, schedule readings from both the reader of essays and the rhetoric of the writing process,
      • for 1101, include a library visit or allow time for a visit to occur (schedule the visit here)
      • and assign due dates of major papers, the first of which must be due at least two weeks prior to the midterm grade deadline.—Chair and Teaching Fellows Coordinator, August 2009
    6. An explanation and description of the grading system used in the course that covers all matters and methods of grading to be used in the course, i.e., tests, papers, participation, etc.
      • Clarity with Course Grade Calculation: Using the stated grading system (#6, 2.10.03 Syllabus for Course Required), any two people outside the course looking at the course items graded by the instructor, combined with any attendance policy that affects a grade (7), and any participation grade (11) should arrive at identical course grades.  
      • Clarity with Participation Grades: If student participation is part of a course grade, this fact should be noted in the course syllabus and students should reasonably expect to be notified of this grade upon request. Good practice suggests we go further: if participation is a graded requirement, there should be a clear explanation in the course syllabus that defines what is expected and how participation will be evaluated. As for any element of a course grade, documentary evidence of participation should guide the assignment of the grade.
      • For 1101, Fellows must assign three formal papers, at least two of which should be drafted and revised (note which ones on the syllabus) and one of which incorporates library research. The first paper is typically a personal narrative and the final essay is usually a research paper. Other possible kinds of essays include, but are not limited to evaluative summaries, interrogative critiques, comparison/contrast papers, persuasive essays, and cause/effect papers. Besides formal papers, you may also want to assign informal writing that prepares for and builds to the formal papers. Students are expected to write at least three formal essays totaling a minimum of 15 pages during the semester, one research project (a minimum of 6-8 pages), and a minimum of 10 pages of informal writing.—Aim & Scope, and Coordinator, November 2012
      • For 1102, Fellows must assign three formal papers, at least two of which should be drafted and revised (note which ones on the syllabus) and one of which incorporates library research. Students are required to write a minimum of 15 pages of formal papers and a minimum of 10 pages of informal writing.—Aim & Scope and Coordinator, November 2012
      • 1101 and 1102 students must experience public presentation and public reaction to finished work. For example, Fellows may have students to read an essay aloud to the class or assign individual or group presentations.—Aim & Scope and Coordinator, August 2011
      • Make sure that students have adequate time to work on the research paper, about 3-4 weeks. Here's an example of the research process for 1101; and here's an example for 1102 that includes a group presentation and individual papers.—Chair, August 2010.
      • In order to develop grading skills as well as curb grade inflation, Fellows will be paired up to create, assign, and grade a major paper in common (but not the final essay) between two of their class sections.—Coordinator, August 2009
    7. A statement of the class or lab attendance policy or rules in the course and the effect that attendance has on grades.
      • Fellows must use a mandatory attendance policy, typically three absences before grade penalty.—Chair, August 2008
      • Although it is recognized that absences will sometimes be necessary, students are expected to attend classes regularly. It is the responsibility of students to be cognizant of their own record of absences and to consult the instructor regarding work missed. The decision to permit students to make up work rests with the instructor. At any time during the semester an instructor has the right to assign a grade of F for excessive absences when a student exceeds the number of allowable absences specified in the instructor’s attendance policy distributed to the student in the instructor’s course syllabus. If a student is representing the University in an official capacity, as verified on a list released from the Office of the Provost, the instructor will not penalize the student for those absences. However, students should consult their instructor before anticipated absences. Students who wish to have their instructors notified of a medical or family emergency necessitating their absence from classes, or who wish to provide documentation in support of a request for excused absences, make-up work, or grades of "W" or "I" due to an emergency, may contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. The Student Affairs staff will inform students about procedures, assist with communication to instructors, receive and file documentation, and advise students regarding their own self-advocacy; however, the final determination of excused absences, make-up classwork, and grading is determined by the instructor.—University Senate, 2010
    8. A brief statement of the major objective of the course.
    9. Instructor's office number, office phone number, and the hours of normal availability.
      • Fellows must hold at least 2 office hours per week.—Chair and Coordinator, August 2008
      • Instructors should respond to student email in a timely manner, the best practice is within 1 or 2 days.
    10. The actual meeting days, times, and place for the class or lab. Laboratories may be incorporated into the course outline or issued a separate outline at the instructor's option.
    11. Prior to mid-semester, you will receive feedback on your academic performance in this course.
      • Again, the first major paper must be due at least two weeks prior to the midterm grade deadline, and students must receive feedback on that paper before midterms.—Coordinator, August 2009
    12. Amendments to the course outline, such as changes to topics, readings, and/or the dates that these are addressed, shall be promptly provided to the students in written or electronic form. Amendments to stated course policies, such as grading and attendance polices, may only be made with prior approval of the department chairperson. A copy of the syllabus (and any later amendments) shall be kept on file in the departmental office. Course syllabi are required for each course taught, graduate or undergraduate, on or off campus. If student participation is part of a course grade, this fact should be noted in the course syllabus and students should reasonably expect to be notified of this grade upon request.
      • Submit your syllabi to the Coordinator by email only and to the Department Administrative Assistant, Melinda Martin, as hard copy or email attachment by the first day of classes.
  2. Required Statements That Must Be Attached to the Syllabus
    1. Religious Observance Policy
      Students are permitted to miss class in observance of religious holidays and other activities observed by a religious group of which the student is a member without academic penalty. Exercising of one's rights under this policy is subject to the GC Honor Code. Students who miss class in observance of a religious holiday or event are required to make up the coursework missed as a result from the absence. The nature of the make-up assignments and the deadline for completion of such assignments are at the sole discretion of the instructor. Failure to follow the prescribed procedures voids all student rights under this policy.
    2. Assistance for Student Needs Related to Disability
      If you have a disability as described by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504, you may be eligible to receive accommodations to assist in programmatic and physical accessibility. Disability Services, a unit of the GCSU Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity, can assist you in formulating a reasonable accommodation plan and in providing support in developing appropriate accommodations to ensure equal access to all GCSU programs and facilities. Course requirements will not be waived, but accommodations may assist you in meeting the requirements. For documentation requirements and for additional information, we recommend that you contact Disability Services located in Maxwell Student Union at 478-445-5931 or 478-445-4233.
    3. Student Opinion Surveys
      Given the technological sophistication of Georgia College students, the student opinion survey is being delivered through an online process. Your constructive feedback plays an indispensable role in shaping quality education at Georgia College. All responses are completely confidential and your name is not stored with your responses in any way. In addition, instructors will not see any results of the opinion survey until after final grades are submitted to the University. An invitation to complete the online opinion survey is distributed to students near the end of the semester. Your participation in this very important process is greatly appreciated.
    4. Academic Honesty
      The integrity of students and their written and oral work is a critical component of the academic process.  The submission of another's work as one's own is plagiarism and will be dealt with using the procedures outlined in the GC Catalog.  Remember that allowing another student to copy one's own work violates standards of academic integrity.
      • Include a definition and policy on self-plagiarism: Submitting the same paper in two classes (recycling or double-dipping) is dishonest.—Coordinator, November 2012.
      • Include a policy on how plagiarism will be dealt with: According to the Honor Code and the Academic Affairs Handbook, GCSU does not tolerate plagiarism. Fellows should fail willfully and substantially plagiarized assignments─and fail the students in the course as well. Here is the procedure for dealing with suspected plagiarism as well as information on originality software.—Coordinator, August 2009.
      • If you use TurnItIn, amend your Academic Honesty policy with the following statement:
        • This course (or section) uses plagiarism prevention technology. Students have the option of submitting papers online through a plagiarism prevention service or allowing the instructor to submit hard copies of these papers. The papers may be retained by the service for the sole purpose of checking for plagiarized content in future student submissions.
    5. Fire Drills
      Fire drills will be conducted annually. In the event of a fire alarm, students will exit the building in a quick and orderly manner through the nearest hallway exit. Learn the floor plan and exits of the building. Do not use elevators. If you encounter heavy smoke, crawl on the floor so as to gain fresh air. Assist disabled persons and others if possible without endangering your own life. Assemble for a head count on the front lawn of main campus or other designated assembly area. For more information on other emergencies, please visit
  3. Departmental Addenda
    1. Late Assigments: Include a policy on how late assignments will be treated.—Coordinator, August 2008
    2. The Writing Center: Include information about the Writing Center.—Coordinator, August 2008
  4. Miscellaneous
    1. Library visitation:
      • All students must participate in the library skills unit offered by the library and must write a short researched and documented essay.—Aim & Scope
      • Teaching Fellows should plan a library visit into their syllabus, or be flexible to allow a visit to happen.—Chair, August 2008
      • For scheduling library classroom sessions, fill out the appropriate form via the Library home page.
      • For classroom sessions that occur from mid August to mid September, before possible research topics have been assigned, Teaching Fellows should clarify with research librarians about what sample topic might be best used. Teaching fellows who bring their classes to the library for the classroom session after mid September should, if possible, have specific sample topics so that the research librarians can tailor their demonstrations to better serve each class/research assignment.
      • It's a good idea to create a library (and perhaps MLA style) assignment to work in conjunction with the visit.
    2. Joint enrollment and Early College students: Be aware that there are a number of high school students in our classes, particularly the 8AM sections. Therefore, we should make our students aware of the college-level discourse and respect we will model for and expect from them.
    3. Conferencing: Teaching Fellows are strongly recommended to hold mandatory individual conferences at some point in the term, for instance before a key paper.—Chair and Coordinator, August 2008
    4. Final Exams: Although final examinations on course content in composition courses are neither mandated nor recommended, final projects or papers must be due at the scheduled time of the final examination and we encourage instructors to use the final exam time for presentations, reflective writing, or reflective discussions on course themes and the writing process.—Chair, August 2008
    5. 1102: English 1102 is a three genre, composition through literature course. In other words, students should develop their college composition skills commenced in English 1101 by learning to analyze and then write about the three fundamental genres of literature: poetry, fiction, and drama. You should spend at least four content weeks on each of the three genres. However, you may add a fourth literary genre such as film or creative nonfiction. If you do add a fourth literary genre, you must 1) spend at least three content weeks on each of the four genres and 2) teach the literary elements of the fourth genre. For instance, if you teach film, you should supplement your textbook with an essay (for instance, Janet Gardner's chapter on film in Writing about Literature) or handout (here's one I created) that teaches students how to analyze and write about film.
    6. Here's a sample syllabus constructed in accordance with the policies above.
    7. Submit your syllabi to both Melinda Martin in A&S 303 (hard copy or electronic) and Alex Blazer (electronic only) by the first day of classes.—Coordinator, August 2009

Syllabus Checklist

Make sure that your syllabus contains all of the following information before submitting it to the Department Secretary, Melinda Martin via print or email and the Coordinator of the Teaching Fellows, Alex Blazer, via email. If your syllabus does not meet the requirements, you will be given one week to revise and resubmit it.