Biweekly Assignments -- Prof. Furr
1. All work must be submitted by e-mail.
No "work on paper" will be accepted.
2. Your assignments are due by 8 p.m. the evening before the class
for which they are assigned.
This gives you time to read, on email, the assignments written by your fellow group
members, and for them to read yours. This should help you think about the assignment, and
will help create the potential for good group discussions.
3. Assignments received by me (and your group)
- on time;
- on topic; and
- of the required length,
will get a grade of 'A', regardless of content.
This is not because content is not important. It is very important, of course!
But the main purpose of the biweekly assignments is to
guarantee stimulating in-class discussions.
- Doing them guarantees that each student has not only read the work, but has read and
thought about the passages assigned for analysis. This makes thoughtful in-class
Consequently, assignments cannot be "made up", regardless of the
reason they are missed.
- Their purpose is to enrich in-class discussion. Therefore, doing the bi-weekly
assignments late makes no sense. You are responsible for emailing in an as signment on
time, on topic, and of the required length, even if you have missed a class, and no matter
what the reason is.
You are responsible for assignments even if you are ill.
- Naturally, if you are seriously ill, or ill for a long period of time, this will
seriously affect your grade. But the course takes place in the classroom. If you are
not in the classroom, you aren't taking the course. If you miss a lot of classes, no
matter what the reason is, your grade will suffer severely, because you are missing the
4. During the first two weeks of class only, assignments which I
receive late but no more than 24 hours late, will receive a grade of 'C', provided that
they are on topic and of the required length. If they are either off-topic, in my
judgment, or too short , they will receive a grade of 'F'.
5. Assignments which I receive on time but are either not on topic (in my
judgment) or too short will be returned to you to be redone.
- If I receive the redone assignment on time, on topic; and of the required length, you
will get a grade of 'A', just as t hough you had only sent it in one time. I will not
penalize you for sending in an inadequate assignment first.
But I will not guarantee to get to your assignment in time for you to redo it on time,
either. So it's by far best to do it right the first time .
6. Length. There are two ways to measure the length of your
- All modern Word Processing programs have a 'word count' function. In MS Word 2000 it is
under the 'Tools" pulldown menu.
- Either write your assignment on the Word Processing program itself, or copy and paste it
from where you do write it into the Word Processing program, in order to get a word count.
This is what I do when I think an assignment is too short.
- You can count the words, or estimate them closely -- average the number of words in a
line by counting several consecutive lines carefully, then multiplying number of words per
line by number of lines.
7. Assignments which I receive dated after the class has begun will receive a
grade of 'F' for that assignment, regardless of the reason they were late.
- (but see #2 above for the first two weeks of class).
8. Format for Biweekly Assignments:
- Plain text only, in the 'message area' of an email message.
- No attachments can be read or will be accepted.
- Copying-and-pasting your text from your Word Processing program --
where you will write, rewrite, spell- and grammar-check it, and check it for length --
into the message area of an email message, works very well. BUT follow the
directions on the "plain-text" page.
- Nothing but the assignment in the message area. No "name,
Professor, Date, title, works cited, etc." in message area.
- Single-space your assignments
- Divide into paragraphs of no more than four, and normally three, sentences.
Looong paragraphs are very hard to read!
- BLANK LINE BETWEEN PARAGRAPHS.
- Please use proper subject line - no year.
- Do not "reply." that puts "Re:" first in the subject line,
instead of your last name.
9. Policy on the biweekly
- I don't promise to email back HW that's
unacceptable. I try to do it as much as I can, but only during the first 2 weeks of
- If I find HW that is off-topic, I will return
- But if it is too short, late, or not in
proper format, I won't - except during the first two weeks of class.
Why? Because YOU can tell if your HW is too short, late, or not in proper format..
- The only thing you might not be able to tell
is if your HW is not on topic. That isn't common. But if it happens, I will inform
But I do NOT promise to inform you in time for you to do it over again for credit.
So, be sure to stick to the topic.
- Unless you specifically ask me for
"feedback" -- a response -- to your biweekly assignment, I won't give you any.
- I receive 150 or so of these biweekly
assignments a week. I cant respond individually to them all
- There's no need ror me to respond to them.
Their purpose is to facilitate small-group discussions -- to make sure you have done the
- Remember: If your assignment is "on
time, on topic, and of at least the required length", you will get an "A"
for it, regardless of whether I "agree" with it, etc. This is to encourage you
to develop your own ideas and not worry about "what the professor thinks." This
course is not about my opinions.
- If you want "feedback", just type
"Feedback please" on the Subject line after the assignment date.
- Please do NOT do this more than once every 2
weeks! You don't have to do it at all!
If your HW is late, too short, not
on topic, or not in proper format, you just get no credit for it. - except during the
first two weeks of class.
Biweekly Assignments and Your Final Grade for the Course
You will have many biweekly assignments in this course. When I average them as a
component of your final grade at the end of the semester, I will drop the lowest one or
two grades. And even if you receive more than 2 or 3 'C's or 'F's, your 'A' grades can
pull your total grade for the biweekly assignment up.
The result is that your grade for biweekly assignment measures your consistency in the
- Consistent work, week after week, is more important than occasional "flashes of
brilliance" or intermittent bouts of hard work interspersed with bouts of neglect.
The other written assignments in the course give you ample opportunity to demonstrate
your ability to do research and longer, more reflective thinking and writing. The biweekly
assignments measure something different, but no less important, since they make meaningful
classroom discussion possible.
http://msuweb.montclair.edu/~/furr/biweeklyassignments | ffurrg AT mail.montclair.edu| last modified 02