ENGL 334 Science Fiction

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Course Policies

These are the policies that govern our class. You are responsible for knowing the information on this page before contacting me regarding policy questions.

Student Visiting Hours

At the times listed in the sidebar throughout this site, I am in my office and it is your time to come talk to me about anything related (or unrelated) to class. This time is yours, I am not (supposed to be) doing anything else; you will not be interrupting me. If you have questions about class or have other questions I might be able to answer, please drop by.

Email Hours

I am available to answer email from 9:00am until 5:00pm Monday through Friday. Emails arriving outside of that time will be answered at my earliest convenience, but do not count on a quick answer to emails sent late at night or on the weekends.

Office Door

If my door is closed and it is not during office hours, please do not knock. I open my door when I’m available to chat outside of office hours, but close my door if I am working and cannot be disturbed.


Per university policy, I cannot discuss grades via email. Please visit my office hours if you would like to discuss your grade on an assignment.

Grade Values

  • A 90-100
  • B 80-89
  • C 70-79
  • D 60-69
  • F 59 or less

These points will be weighted according to the point breakdown described on the Assignments page, which will determine your overall final grade.


Attendance in class is mandatory and is necessary for you to get what you need out of this course. You may have 2 unexcused absences. Every absence after 2 will result in a 5 point deduction from your attendance grade. I must have documentation (doctor’s notes, schedule for sports, etc) for excused absences. Please talk to me in advance if you have any extenuating circumstances.

Excused Absences

Student Rule 7 covers the cases in which absences will be excused and in which late work will be tolerated. The following conditions will be excused:

  • Participation in an activity appearing on the university authorized activity list. (see List of Authorized and Sponsored Activities)
  • Death or major illness in a student’s immediate family. Immediate family may include: mother, father, sister, brother, grandparents, spouse, child, spouse’s child, spouse’s parents, spouse’s grandparents, stepmother, step-father, step-sister, step-brother, step-grandparents, grandchild, step-grandchild, legal guardian, and others as deemed appropriate by faculty member or student’s academic Dean or designee.
  • Illness of a dependent family member.
  • Participation in legal proceedings or administrative procedures that require a student’s presence.
  • Religious holy day. (See Appendix IV.)
  • Injury or Illness that is too severe or contagious for the student to attend class.
  • Required participation in military duties.
  • Mandatory admission interviews for professional or graduate school which cannot be rescheduled.
  • Mandatory participation as a student-athlete in NCAA-sanctioned competition.
  • In accordance with Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Texas A&M University shall treat pregnancy (childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy and recovery therefrom) and related conditions as a justification for an excused absence for so long a period of time as is deemed medically necessary by the student’s physician. Requests for excused absence related to pregnancy should be directed to the instructor; questions about Title IX should be directed to the University Title IX Coordinator.

Note About Excused Absences

In the event of a chronic illness or other sudden condition that will result in significant time away from class, please inform me of the situation before you return to class, so that we can work out how to handle the situation before it becomes an issue.

Late Work

Under Student Rule 7.4, I am under “under no obligation to provide an opportunity for the student to make up work missed because of an unexcused absence.” However, I do accept late work and will take off 5 points for every day late. A paper that would have received an 85% that was 3 days late will receive a 70%.

Extension Policy

Additionally, if you are falling behind on a project and feel that you are not going to finish on time, email me 24 hours before the assignment is due to request an extension. In this email, propose how many additional days you will need to finish the assignment. Requests for extension that do not contain this information will not be honored.


In the 21st century, it is unreasonable to accept “my computer died” as an excuse for late work. If you are working on assignments on a computer, please back up your work offsite. Sites such as Dropbox and Google Drive provide space for storing copies of your work; even a USB drive can be enough. I have recently started using BackBlaze and found it to be a great and inexpensive online, automated backup. Save multiple times throughout each work session to both your backup and your computer’s copy. In this class, I hold you accountable for making sure your technology is working correctly.

Title IX and Statement on Limits to Confidentiality

Texas A&M University and the College of Liberal Arts are committed to fostering a learning environment that is safe and productive for all. University policies and federal and state laws provide guidance for achieving such an environment. Although class materials are generally considered confidential pursuant to student record policies and laws, University employees – including instructors – cannot maintain confidentiality when it conflicts with their responsibility to report certain issues that jeopardize the health and safety of our community. As the instructor, I must report (per Texas A&M System Regulation 08.01.01) the following information to other University offices if you share it with me, even if you do not want the disclosed information to be shared:

  • Allegations of sexual assault, sexual discrimination, or sexual harassment when they involve TAMU students, faculty, or staff, or third parties visiting campus.

These reports may trigger contact from a campus official who will want to talk with you about the incident that you have shared. In many cases, it will be your decision whether or not you wish to speak with that individual. If you would like to talk about these events in a more confidential setting, you are encouraged to make an appointment with the Student Counseling Service.

Students and faculty can report concerning, non-emergency behavior at http://tellsomebody.tamu.edu.

Academic Integrity

Aggie Honor Code.An Aggie does not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do.” It is the student’s responsibility to know the Aggie Honor Code and to understand what constitutes scholastic dishonesty and to avoid it all costs. Anything (particularly plagiarism and cheating on quizzes or projects) that appears to be a violation of the Aggie Honor Code will be reported to the appropriate authorities. For additional information please visit: http://aggiehonor.tamu.edu/.

Also, the following is a helpful resource for describing kinds and severity of plagiarism. Note this graphic is not from A&M, where rules may differ: http://thevisualcommunicationguy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Infographic_Did-I-Plagiarize1.jpg

Students Needing Support Service

Texas A&M University is committed to providing equitable access to learning opportunities for all students. If you experience barriers to your education due to a disability or think you may have a disability, please contact Disability Resources in the Student Services Building or at (979) 845-1637 or visit http://disability.tamu.edu. Disabilities may include, but are not limited to attentional, learning, mental health, sensory, physical, or chronic health conditions. All students are encouraged to discuss their disability related needs with Disability Resources and their instructors as soon as possible.

University Writing Center

The University Writing Center (UWC), located in 214 Evans Library and 205 West Campus Library, offers one-on-one consultations to writers preparing documents, slides, or oral presentations. UWC consultations are highly recommended but are not required. Help is available for all of the steps of the writing and speechwriting process including assistance with brainstorming ideas, narrowing the topic, creating outlines or drafts, and presenting a speech to an audience. UWC consultants can help you practice your speech with a real audience or develop visual presentation aids like slides and handouts. Consultants can also help you improve your proofreading and editing skills. If you visit the UWC, take a copy of your assignment, a hard copy of your draft or any notes you may have, as well as any material you need help with. To find out more about UWC services or to schedule an appointment, call 458-1455, visit the web page at http://writingcenter.tamu.edu/, or stop by in person.

Diversity Statement

It is my intent that students from all diverse backgrounds and perspectives be well-served by this course, that students’ learning needs be addressed both in and out of class, and that the diversity that students bring to this class be viewed as a resource, strength, and benefit. It is my intent to present materials and activities that are respectful of diversity: gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race, culture, perspective, and other background characteristics. I encourage your suggestions about how to improve the value of diversity in this course.