How to Get an ‘A’
in My Class
starts the class with a ‘C’ – you determine whether your grade goes up, down,
or stays where it began. Your grade in this class basically depends on two
things – writing and student teaching. I also allow extra credit work if it is
prearranged with me. If your grade is on the borderline (69, 79, 89, etc.),
quality class participation will put me in a generous mood when it comes to
your final quarterly grade.
matters. It shows you (and me) that you’ve understood what you’ve read and
heard. There’s such a thing as bad writing, but there’s also such a thing as
good writing. Try for the latter. You’ll be much happier at the end of the
the end of most weeks, I will pass out a question to be answered. These
questions will be deliberately open-ended so that you have the freedom to
answer them as you see fit. After you answer them, turn them in on Monday for
grading. (Why Monday? Because most other teachers give quizzes, tests, etc. on
- Remember the basics --
introduction, body, conclusion; grammar; spelling; etc.
- Make your main point in
the first paragraph (thesis statement).
- Don’t forget to include
relevant details from readings, lectures, notes, etc. If you want to quote
something (with source), go ahead.
- The paper must be at
least two pages long. Then keep writing until you answer the question.
- I can’t give you an ‘A’
if I fall asleep before I finish your paper. Get me hooked.
- Make frequent backups
of your work as you’re typing. You’ll get more sleep on Sunday nights.
- I don’t accept late
papers (except under extraordinary circumstances).
- Fonts can be no larger
than 12-point. Anything larger tells me you’re padding your paper.
- Double-space your
papers. My eyes aren’t exactly old, but they aren’t getting any younger,
either. Help me out.
- Handwritten papers are
not accepted. Use either a computer or a typewriter. (PCs are available at
the school and most area libraries.)
- I will make lots of
comments on your paper. Please learn from them.
- Learn how to be a good
writer by reading great writers and imitating them.
will have at least one opportunity to teach the class and dazzle us all with
your skills. Your task is to discover what topic most interests you, and then
prepare a 50-minute class about that topic. Your class shouldn’t be a rehash of
what you’ve already learned about the topic, but should involve new research
on your part. Use the Web, the library, etc. Above all, be informative and
want this class to be enjoyable for everyone. If you show up, do the work,
participate in class discussions, and smile, you can’t go wrong.