Grading Scale & Policies

This course will be graded on the following scale:

                    85-100% -> A
                    70- 84% -> B
                    60- 69% -> C
                    50- 59% -> D
                     0- 49% -> F
There will be several homework and in-class assignments over the course of the semester. These will all be equal weight, and contribute a total of 30% to the final grade.

There will be a Mid-Term exam on March 4th. It will take one hour of class, and contribute 10% to the final grade.

Students are required to write a term-paper. The paper is due by 5PM Friday May 1st. It will contribute 30% to the final grade. Students are required to submit a topic outline of their proposed paper on March 25. This will be returned with comments by April 1st. Failure to submit an outline by March 25 will result in a 10% reduction in credit for the term paper.

The Final Exam is Friday May 8 from 2:45--4:45 and will contribute 30% to the final grade.


There will be several assignments over the course of the semester. Some will be homework, some will be in-class. Missed in-class assignments cannot be made up. Homework assignments will generally be due one week after they are passed out (unless otherwise stated on the assignment). In-class assignments are to be done independently unless I explicitly state otherwise. I expect and encourage a certain level of collaboration on homework assignments. However, each student is responsible for turning in their own original work. If I see evidence of clearly copied work I will penalize all concerned parties.

As there will be several writing assignments (including the term-paper discussed below), I will make my policy on plagiarism as clear as possible: All written work submitted is to be in your own words. Quotations from external sources are permitted, and must be properly attributed and referenced. If a student turns in written work that I determine contains plagiarized material, the student will receive a score of 0 for the assignment in the first instance. A second instance of plagiarism will result in a failing grade in the course. I will accept no excuses for plagiarism.

Term Paper

You are all required to submit a term-paper by 5PM Friday May 1st. This paper will be on a topic of your choosing that is relevant to the course material, and is subject to my approval. All students are required to submit a topic-outline for their paper no later than March 25th. Failure to do so will result in a 10% reduction in credit for the paper.

Papers are to be double-spaced, using a legible 12-point font, and standard 1 inch margins. The text of the paper will be between 8 and 12 pages. I will not accept papers that are shorter OR longer than this. Additional pages for a title, table of contents, references, tables and figures do not count against the page limit. Note that the 8-page minimum limit on the text means 8 FULL pages!

All students are encouraged to discuss their papers with me during the semester (beyond the required outline due March 25th). I will gladly help you with whatever technical or stylistic questions you may have.