Course policies

Dr. David A. Davis                                                     
Office: 118 Groover Hall
Office Hours: MF 10-11 & 1-2 and by appointment
Phone:  (478) 538-6471

Course Objectives
English 236 is an interdisciplinary course on social interpretation. We will examine a cultural product from multiple perspectives to deepen our understanding of the product, the culture, and ourselves. At the end of the semester, we will have met a set of clear objectives:

Course Requirements & Grading Policies
English 236 is a highly-interactive reading and discussion course. I have designed a grading scheme that encourages you to read each assignment in a timely fashion and to contribute thoughtfully to our collective understanding of the works.

I expect you to attend and participate actively in every class meeting. Attendance constitutes 15% of your course grade. Attendance grades are computed according to the following scale:























Entering class after attendance has been taken will count as a tardy, and three tardies will count as an absence. Missing class for a verifiable family emergency, participation in an university-sanctioned athletic event, or religious holidays will not result in a deduction from your final grade, but it is your responsibility to inform me of your absence.

During the semester I will administer seven reading quizzes, which will collectively constitute 21% of your course grade. You may replace up to two quizzes by writing replacement assignments. The replacement assignment requires that your write a seven hundred word synopsis of the reading assignment due the day of the missed quiz. Replacement assignments should be submitted on the day of the second class meeting after the missed quiz. Any missed quizzes beyond the two replacement assignments will factor into your quiz grade as a zero.

You will each deliver a ten-minute presentation on a topic assigned at beginning of the semester, and you will write a 1000 word blog post about topic to be posted on the course website. The presentation will constitute 12% of your course grade, and the post will count 12% of your course grade. I will critique your presentation and give you a grade after class on the day of your presentation. Your blog post will be due seven days after the presentation.

You will contribute a recipe and a seven hundred word critical analysis to our class cookbook. The recipe constitutes 10% of the course grade.

You will participate in a service-learning project at the Pleasant Hill community garden. You must contribute at least twelve hours of labor to the garden, and you will write a one thousand word reflection describing your experience. The service learning project constitutes 15% of the course grade.

You may exercise the opportunity to rewrite and resubmit the blog post, the recipe, and the reflection after they have been graded. Revised papers should be submitted by 6:00pm on the second day after original papers have been returned. Revised papers should be accompanied by a one paragraph self-critical analysis that explains how the paper has been improved. In cases of revision, the revised grade will be added to the original grade and averaged into the overall paper grade. Keep in mind that revising means more than correcting minor errors. In fact, a cursory revision could result in a lower grade. Papers submitted after the due date will automatically receive an F, but they may be revised to improve the final grade.

You will work in collaborative groups to conduct and transcribe oral history interviews with local foodways practitioners. In addition to the actual interview, you must research both the product and the practitioner, you must complete all necessary documentation, and each member of the group must write a five hundred word description of their contribution to the project. The oral history constitutes 15% of the course grade.

All assignments will be submitted to my email by 6:00 pm on the due date. I will grade the paper electronically in Microsoft Word and return it with embedded comments. Papers will be returned to the initiating address, so be sure to send the paper from your own email account.
The students of the Mercer University abide by an honor code. Cheating, plagiarism, or other acts of academic misconduct will result in prosecution from the honor court, who may censure, suspend, or expel a guilty student. If you ever have any concerns about plagiarism, please consult me, and I will be happy to discuss your situation confidentially.

Class discussions may touch upon sensitive topics and may become animated, butI expect that class discussions will always remain civil and respectful. We are each entitled to hold personal opinions, and we will exchange them honestly and productively. Please maintain decorum and civility. Students who violate the code of conduct may be asked to leave and referred to the Dean of Students.

Students with a documented disability should inform the instructor at the close of the first class meeting or as soon as possible.  If you are not registered with Disability Services, the instructor will refer you to the Student Support Services office for consultation regarding documentation of your disability and eligibility for accommodations under the ADA/504.  In order to receive accommodations, eligible students must provide each instructor with a Faculty Accommodation Form from Disability Services.  Students must return the completed and signed form to the Disability Services office on the 3rd floor of the Connell Student Center.  Students with a documented disability who do not wish to use accommodations are strongly encouraged to register with Disability Services and complete a Faculty Accommodation Form each semester.  For further information please contact Disability Services at 301-2778 or visit the website at

Please refrain from using electronic devices such as phones, PDAs, music players, or laptop computers that distract from class discussion.