professional writing technologies

course policies

spring 2006
ryan moeller, ph.d.

t & th 4:30-5:45

rwst 101


rwst 312e

This syllabus and all the materials under this domain are subject to change at my discretion. However, these documents do represent the general requirements and criteria for the course to the best of my knowledge at the time they are posted.


Attendance in this workshop-style course is mandatory. Since the course will contain a good deal of in-class writing, peer group work, conferences, and workshops, students should not be late and should not miss any classes. The governing rule for attendance in this course should be that you always show up prepared to work. This means that you have read the material for that class and are prepared to discuss it or respond to it. Please do not come to class if you are unprepared, you are significantly late, or you do not plan on working on the course materials that day. All class work missed as a result of tardiness or absence is the studentís responsibility to make up.

In this Tuesday-Thursday class, students who miss more than two full class equivalents will see their grade reduced one full letter grade for each missed class after the second absence. Significant and documented tardiness will become absences when appropriately addressed on an individual basis.


While most mandatory discussions and materials should be covered under class time, individual or small group conferences with the instructor may be scheduled. Students should come to conferences prepared to discuss their work. A missed scheduled conference counts as an absence.

office hours

My office hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:00-4:00 and by appointment in the Ray B. West building, room 312E. My office number is 797-8637 or you may reach me via email at I encourage all of you to attend my office hours throughout the semester as questions arise or just to discuss your writing.

course texts

The required texts for this course are:

Kimball, Miles A. The Web Portfolio Guide: Creating Electronic Portfolios for the Web. New York: Longman. 2003. ISBN: 0-321-09345-3.

Williams, Robin and John Tollett. The Non-Designer's Web Book. 3rd edition. Berkeley, CA: Peachpit. 2000. ISBN: 0-201-71038-2.

I will also be assigning additional readings in class as needed. These will be made available to you in hardcopy format or in electronic format from this page. In order to read electronic documents, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, available free here.

lab fees

As a student enrolled in English 3410, you are eligible to use the computer labs in the Ray B. West building during class and other open lab times. The lab fee for this course supports the purchase of all the hardware/software that is needed for this course, as well as the computer lab consultants and technicians who support your academic work in the English department.


To successfully complete this course, you must attend class and all scheduled conferences, complete all assignments on time, prepare for class, and participate in class activities and discussions. You will not receive a passing grade in this class unless you have completed all major assignments—including your individual components of group projects. To receive full credit, all assignments must be submitted on time, in the proper format (to be explained in class), and with the required supporting materials. Late projects will not be accepted without penalty unless you have made arrangements for an extension at least 48 hours prior to the due date. Late projects will be graded down one grade level per class late. You are required to retain copies of all of your writing throughout the entire semester.

For grading criteria of the different types of assignments, please see the benchmarks page. The following is a breakdown of the final grade:

individual assignments


15 pts.

electronic portfolio

40 pts


15 pts.

group assignments

group project

30 pts.


100 pts.

grammar and mechanics

I assume you have a standard competency in grammar and mechanics and will be able to demonstrate this to the class. You will not pass this course unless you possess such a competency. If your final projects contain multiple mistakes per page-equivalent, you will not receive a passing grade. If you feel that you may need some help in this area, even more than we will cover in class, please contact me so we can make arrangements early in the semester.

writing center

I highly recommend that all students visit the writing center several times for each writing assignment. You should think of the writing center as a facility that will help you become a better writer. The writing center is located in Ray B. West, room 104. Appointments are available on their web site at:

academic dishonesty and plagiarism

You are expected to do your own original work in English 3410. Whenever you borrow graphics, quote passages, or use ideas from others, you are legally and ethically obliged to acknowledge that use, following appropriate conventions for documenting sources. To borrow someone elseís writing without acknowledging that use is an act of academic as well as professional dishonesty, whether you borrow an entire report or a single sentence. An act of plagiarism will usually result in an E for the course and be reported to the proper university administrators. All USU students are responsible for upholding the Student Code of Academic Integrity, available in electronic format at:

In addition to following the basic principles of fair use of othersí work and honesty and forthrightness in crediting the contribution of others to your work, you are expected to adhere to this basic professional principle: treat others with the respect that you would wish them to grant you. "Others" includes the people you work for and with (classmates, instructors, corporations, clients); the people you write to (audiences); and the people you write about. You are also to respect and care for the computer lab resources we have access to. Please follow lab policies.

students with disabilities

Students who require reasonable accommodations in order to fully participate in the course should document the disability with the Disability Resource Center (797-2444) and contact me within the first week of the course. Any request for special consideration relating to attendance, pedagogy, taking of examinations, etc., must be discussed with and approved by me. In cooperation with the Disability Resource Center, course materials can be provided in alternative format, large print, audio, diskette, or Braille.


I will be available in class, during office hours, and by appointment to answer any questions that you may have. Although I welcome your visits any time, I especially encourage every student to visit me at least once during the first two weeks of class.  Please feel free to e-mail me or to call me to arrange an appointment.

As a general rule, please allow me at least 24 hours to acknowledge and/or respond to your queries.