Course information

Professor Chad Rector

Course evaluations from previous semesters.

Classes will be mostly discussion; student participation is a requirement. The premise of this writing seminar is that students will engage in group deliberations about the role of theory and evidence in understanding politics, in order to help improve each other’s writing. Coming to class prepared to discuss the readings is a non-negotiable requirement. Students must have a copy of the assigned text and bring it to each class meeting.

Class policies:

  • Each student must meet with me in my office at least three times during the semester to discuss the research project. I will provide ample opportunity for students to set times for these meetings, and will post specifics about how to come to the meetings prepared. Students who come unprepared will need to meet with me again. I strongly encourage students to meet with me more often, starting early in the semester.
  • Any student who misses 4 or more class sessions will automatically fail the course. Arriving more than 20 minutes late constitutes an absence. There is no such thing as an “excused” absence. If you tell me that you are going to miss a class and I say “okay” or something polite like that, the absence will still count toward one of the 4. If you feel like you have a legitimate reason why you will miss 4 or more class sessions during the semester I suppose you could try talking it through with me.
  • Turn in the assignments by emailing them to me. Assignments are due at midnight at the end of the day. All course assignments are requirements – failure to complete any course assignment will result in automatic failure of the course. In general, I mark papers down by 1 point for each day (or any fraction thereof) late, until about half the points are gone. Any paper may be turned in at any point in the semester for up to half-credit (and will count as complete). For most assignments, any student who initially turned in the assignment on time may redo the assignment later for up to full credit with only a 1-point penalty (this does not apply to the “draft term paper” and “final draft” assignments).
  • I will not accept any assignment that does not have complete, properly-formatted citations. If you submit something without proper citations i will send it back to you and ask you to resubmit it; I may then count the paper as late it comes in substantially later.
  • I do not, in general, grant extensions on major assignments. If you think you have gotten an extension from me but you do not have something in writing from me that specifically says that, then you probably haven’t. Like, if you tell me in person that your paper is going to be late, and I say “okay” or I give you advice on how to complete it, that isn’t me giving you an extension – that’s me saying that I understand that your paper is going to be late. It is only an “extension” (a promise from me that you may turn in a paper late without being penalized) if I have said so, explicitly, in an email message.
  • I may, at my discretion, check any written assignments for plagiarism at any time during or after the semester, using electronic or other means. Students found violating the Marymount principles of Academic Integrity will fail the course and be formally charged through the University’s Academic Integrity process. By accepting the syllabus and enrolling in the course, students acknowledge that they have reviewed the University’s standards of academic integrity.