Policies & Responsibilities

Course Responsibilities

Reading: Read actively and attentively.  Pay careful attention to the text.  Underline passages of interest, write keywords and questions in the margins, look up words you don’t know.  Bring your notes, responses to reading questions, texts, and questions to seminar.  These will be the basis of much of our in-class discussions and out-of-class writing assignments.  Bring a curious mind to the materials.

Participating: Hearing from our entire class will enrich our shared experience by bringing in a diversity of perspectives.  I will not hesitate to call on non-participants.  Come to class prepared with your readings, notes, and observations to contribute to our learning. Don’t be afraid of getting something wrong in discussion.  Everyone will, and we’ll learn together.  Bring a notebook, and take notes on our class discussion.

Writing: No matter what your chosen goal after college, effective writing will help you get there.  We’ll do a lot of short writing assignments, peer review, and activities to polish your communication of your ideas.  Writing is a key part of critical thinking: writing about an issue helps to clarify your interpretation of what it means and why it is important.

Campus Resources

The Writing Center

The Writing Center provides professional tutors who work with you to help clarify your thinking and improve the communication of your ideas.  They can help at all stages of writing, from planning to drafting to revision.  I encourage you all to take advantage of this wonderful, free resource for any of your writing assignments.
Location: Andrews Library Level 1.
Hours: Sunday 6 to 9pm    Monday – Thursday 9am to 9pm    Friday 9am to 4pm    Saturday: closed
Appointments: Walk-in consultations are accepted, but you are encouraged to schedule an appointment online or by calling extension 2205.

The Learning Center

The Learning Center, which is located in APEX (Gault library) offers a variety of academic support services, programs and 1:1 meetings available to all students. Popular areas of support include time management techniques, class preparation tips and test taking strategies. In addition the Learning Center coordinates peer-tutoring for several academic departments. Students are encouraged to schedule an appointment at the APEX front desk or visiting the Learning Center website for additional options.

An additional support that the Learning Center offers is English Language Learning. Students can receive instruction or support with English grammar, sentence structure, writing, reading comprehension, reading speed, vocabulary, listening comprehension, speaking fluency, pronunciation, and American culture through 1:1 meetings with the Learning Center staff, ELL Peer Tutoring, ELL Writing Studio courses, and other programming offered throughout the year. Students seeking ELL support are encouraged to visit the APEX front desk.

The Learning Center also coordinates accommodations for students with diagnosed disabilities. At the beginning of the semester, students should contact the Learning Center (ext. 2595) to make arrangements for securing appropriate accommodations.  Although the Learning Center will notify professors of students with documented disabilities and the approved accommodations, students are encouraged to speak with professors during the first week of each semester.  If a student does not request accommodations or does not provide documentation to the Learning Center, faculty are under no obligation to provide accommodations.



We will use this Voices website to distribute readings and announcements, to post questions about the reading, and to continue discussions outside of class.

I will respond to brief questions over email, but for larger conversations you should come to office hours. If you cannot make my office hours, see me after class to set up an appointment.  You’re responsible for checking your College of Wooster email once a day.

I use Moodle as a place to collect assignments, keep track of attendance, upload feedback on your work, and record your grades.  Seeing my gradebook entries should let you calculate your grade at any point in the term (don’t count on Moodle accurately calculating your grade for you).


The content of this class is not simply the readings and projects.  It is what takes place in the classroom. Especially in a process-based writing and research seminar like this one, it can be difficult to catch up if you fall behind.

Except in cases that merit an excused absence, attendance is mandatory.  Please be ready to begin at the beginning of the class period.  Please do not be a distraction to the class or the professor. Please do not leave the room while we are in session. Please do not prepare to leave before class is finished.

If you have personal or professional issues that require you to miss class on occasion, please get in touch with me as soon as possible to talk about reasonable accommodations so you don’t fall behind on your work.

Trigger Warnings

As the list of topics suggests, some of the historical events we’re studying this semester are difficult and disturbing. I understand that this can – and indeed, should – be troubling to read and discuss. However, the practice of historical empathy and bearing witness to the lived experiences of others is key what we’re doing as historians, and thus participants in this course will not be able to avoid it. Please carefully review the syllabus, and come talk with me ASAP if you believe that the course material will be too difficult for you to work through.

Laptop Policy

Unless the syllabus indicates that you’ll need laptops or phones for a specific day’s activities, you may not open your laptop or use your phone during seminar.  Screens interrupt discussion, which is the primary focus of our work together.  Students requiring an exception to this policy may arrange one through the Learning Center.

Recording Classroom Activities

No student may record or tape any classroom activity without my express written consent. If a student believes that he/she is disabled and needs to record classroom activities, he/she should contact the Learning Center to request an appropriate accommodation.

Late Work

All assignments are due at the date and time marked in this syllabus. Part of your college education is learning how to manage your time so as to meet the multiple demands of your academic and social commitments. Turning in late work gives you an unfair advantage over your colleagues who worked hard to meet the assigned deadline.

If a deadline approaches and unavoidable issues (sudden illness, family problems) arise that prevent you from completing your work, please communicate with me before the due date.  Late papers will only be accepted by permission of the instructor. Unless I grant a special dispensation, papers will be penalized (a full letter grade for each day they are late).

Academic Integrity

While you are a student at this college, you will be treated as an adult.  You are expected to know and abide by the rules of the institution as described in the Scot’s Key.  Particular attention should be directed to the appropriate use of materials available on-line through the Internet.  It is important that you read and understand the ethical use of information.  Whether intentional or not, improper use of materials can be considered a violation of academic honesty.

If you use the words or ideas of another person without giving them full credit, you are committing plagiarism.  If you borrow words, you must clearly indicate this by placing them in quotation marks and identifying the source in a footnote.  If you paraphrase, you must provide a full citation for the source.  The rules for giving credit are the same whether you’re getting ideas from a printed source, the internet, reference books, online book reviews, or another source.  Failure to properly quote and cite is plagiarism.

Cheating in any of your academic work is a serious breach of the Wooster Ethic and the Code of Academic Integrity and is grounds for an F for the entire course.  In addition, I am required to forward a record of the incident to the Dean for Curriculum and Academic Engagement.  You will be held responsible for your actions.  If you are unsure as to what is permissible, always consult me first.

Title IX

The College of Wooster and its faculty are committed to ensuring a safe and productive educational environment for all students. In order to meet this commitment and to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and guidance from the Office for Civil Rights, the College has developed policies and procedures which prohibit discrimination, sexual harassment/misconduct, and retaliation. Any member of the College community (faculty, staff, students, visitors, and third party vendors) who believes that they have been a victim of sexual harassment/misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, bullying, cyber-bullying, stalking and/or gender-based discrimination is encouraged to file a report with the College’s Title IX Coordinator (Lori Makin-Byrd – lmakin-byrd@wooster.edu; 330-263-2017). Reports can be filed in person, via email, or online at https://www.wooster.edu/offices/title-ix/

In order to ensure student safety and address the well-being of students, the College requires all employees, including faculty members, to report incidents of sexual and gender-based violence shared with them by students to the College’s Title IX Coordinator. Exceptions are situations where students are unlikely to expect that a disclosure would trigger a reporting obligation such as in a class writing assignment. A faculty member reporting to the Title IX Coordinator does NOT mean that the student will be obligated to participate in any formal proceedings; that decision remains at the discretion of the student unless the information indicates that one or more students are at risk of further harassment. Information regarding the College’s non-discrimination policy (including bias-related harassment), sexual assault/sexual misconduct, Title IX, and filing a report can be found at https://www.wooster.edu/offices/title-ix/

Electronic Submissions

Upload formal papers to Moodle as .pdf files by the time indicated on the syllabus.