Instructor Policies

(Sections instructed by Owen Williamson only)

(Please print out these simple rules and follow them. More than three rule violations in any one assignment will normally mean an automatic rewrite.)

  1. All formal assignments must be computer printed or submitted electronically. Handwritten work is acceptable only for in-class writing practices. Work submitted electronically must be in a format compatible with MS Word, such as .doc, .rtf, .htm, .pdf or .txt. Work submitted in .wps, .wpd, .sxf, .tex, or other non-compatible formats WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. Work turned in on digital storage media (memory chips, diskettes, floppies, CD-ROM's, Zip disks, tape, etc.) will not be accepted. .If you need to, please use the computer labs in Education 315 and 317. Each room has 25 computers with printer and internet access. The labs are staffed with faculty or trained tutors to provide you with individual assistance. All these services are free of charge. 

  2. No points will be taken off for absences. However, satisfactory attendance is a course requirement. For the purpose of this course, satisfactory and unsatisfactory are respectively defined as follows:
    * The student must come to class prepared. Assigned texts should be brought to class and out-of-class assignments should already be prepared. In class, students are expected be alert, attentive, and focused on the subject at hand. If a student’s preparation is unsatisfactory, her/his attendance will be considered unsatisfactory.
    *The student must be present in the classroom throughout the entire class period. Excessive tardiness or leaving the classroom early will be considered unsatisfactory attendance.
    *When a student has accumulated four instances of unsatisfactory attendance in a MWF class or three in a TR or MW class, he/she will be dropped with a “W’ if the infractions occur prior to the official drop deadline. However, if the unsatisfactory attendance instances happen after the drop deadline, the student will fail the course.

  3. No contractions (don't, isn't, won't, etc.) are allowed on any written assignments for this class, either online, handwritten or computer printed. Contractions are only allowable in situations where informal writing is customary, such as in e-mail communication, or in direct quotes.

  4. No smileys or online-style abbreviations (@, BTW, w/, etc.) are allowed in any writing for this class (except where customary, such as in e-mail messages).

  5. Do not begin sentences with “Well,” “Hey,” "So," "I figure that," "See," or other “chatty” expressions. This is too low a style for college writing.

  6. When writing, never begin your conclusion with “In conclusion,” or “To conclude,” or anything like this. This is a sure sign of an immature writer.

  7. This is an "English" class. For this reason, all work submitted should be written in standard academic English. If you include non-English quotes, please be sure that your audience (normally myself or your fellow classmates) understand the language in question, or provide an English translation in the text.

  8. When referring to a person, use "who," not "that". For example, you might write about "a soldier who was killed in Iraq," but do not say "a soldier that was killed in Iraq." If you use "that" for a person, you are calling him or her a thing, and disrespecting that person.

  9. Do not use "man" or "mankind" to refer to humanity, which obviously includes women as well as men. Do not use "he" to mean someone whose gender is not known (e.g., "when I assign a student a paper, he should write it carefully"). You may use "he/she," "she or he," or something similar. In some classes, the use of the singular "they" to mean a person whose gender is not known IS allowed. (However, be aware that some professors do not allow this.)

  10. "God" is always capitalized if you are a religious believer. Any pronoun used to refer to the divinity is also capitalized. (Example: Believers might write, "Our God is in His heaven, where He reigns forever," or "Laxshmi is our Goddess of wealth and prosperity, and Her powers are great.") If you are a nonbeliever, you have a choice to capitalize or not, as you prefer. Generally writers do not capitalize when referring to divinities in whom they do not believe (Example: "Zeus was the god of lightning and thunder"). If you are a religious believer and fail to capitalize when needed, you are insulting your own faith.

  11. When referring to a number of people or objects, "several" means a few (usually less than twenty), and "many" means a large number. (E.g., "Several people can ride in a van. Many people are alcoholics in the United States.") Do not use "several" when you mean "many."

  12. When talking about a subject, use "about," not "over." (Example: "I wrote a paper about the Civil War," not "I wrote a paper over the Civil War.") Use the word "over" only to mean "above," or "on top of." (Example: "I threw a tarp over my bike.")

  13. When referring to African American people, the word "Black" is capitalized. The reason for this is that in this case, "Black" refers to a nationality or ethnic group, just like "Hispanic," "Romanian," or "Apache." The word "white," when used to refer to "Caucasians" is not capitalized, since "whites" are not a nationality or ethnic collective ("whites" can be American, Mexican, Iraqi, or whatever). When "black" is used to refer to a skin tone, or to the black race in general (all the black people in the world), it is not capitalized, since, just like "white," it does not refer to a nationality or ethnic group, and names of so-called "races" are not capitalized.

  14. The "Spanish" people are the citizens of Spain.  "Mexicans" are the citizens of Mexico. When you refer to people of Spanish-speaking heritage in general, the preferred term is "Hispanic." ("Latino" is also used in some parts of the USA, but very rarely in Texas.) Do not use "white" as the opposite of "Hispanic."

  15. Quoting from other reliable sources in your papers is strongly encouraged.  However, quotes should not exceed 400 words. Whenever you quote anything (words or information) from another source in your writing you must put the words in quotation marks, and say where the words or data came from. If you fail to do this, you may be accused of plagiarism (cheating) and may receive penalties up to and including failing the course or worse. You must clearly indicate within the text (by a citation, reference, or other method) where the information or words came from--just listing the sources at the end of the paper in a Works Cited or Bibliography list IS NOT SUFFICIENT!

  16. UTEP has a strict policy against harassment or discrimination, which will be fully enforced in this class. No racist, sexist, homophobic or other discriminatory language is allowed in class, or in any writing assignment, written communication or online posting for this class.

  17. You have academic freedom in this class, which means that, subject to the limitations above, your work in this class will be judged on the quality of your writing, not on the opinions or standpoints that you express.

  18. For this class, you must have a working UTEP e-mail address at all times, and you will be expected to check it before every class meeting.

  19. No sleeping is allowed in class. For each class which you disrupt by falling asleep or appearing to be asleep (defined as "nodding off" and/or remaining inactive with head down and eyes closed during class time for more than one minute) seven points (out of 100) will be deducted from your final grade, as a penalty for lack of class participation.

    O.W. 2005


    For educational purposes only.


Owen M. Williamson - Education Bldg 211E - phone: (915) 747 7625 - fax: (915) 747 5655
The University of Texas at El Paso - 500 W. University Ave. - El Paso, TX 79968
Important Disclaimer

Creative Commons License
Open Courseware | OCW |This work is dedicated to the Public Domain..