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Areas of Evaluation Language and Ideology

Grades will be calculated use the 4.0 system for each category, and then weighted based on the chart below to determine an overall average for the final course grade. Each grade point represents the minimum threshold for that letter grade. For example, if you average a 3.5, you would end up with a B+, since the 3.7 of an A- was not achieved.

  • Attend all class sessions.
  • The student is responsible for all administrative procedures: adds, drops, withdrawals, etc.
  • In order to achieve a specific letter grade, all requirements within that category must be met (see Appendix for the general evaluation rubric).
  • Grades, including evaluation comments, will be posted in the Blackboard Grading Center, which you can access at any time.


Grade Breakdown English 372
Area of  Evaluation Percent
Project 1: Language and Reality 25%
Project 2: Power of Discourse 25%
Project 3: Ideology and Reality 25%
Scholarly Notes 15%
Scholarly Contribution 10%
Total 100%


A    4.0 (exceptional)

A-  3.7

B+ 3.3

B    3.0 (very good)

B-  2.7

C+ 2.3

C    2.0 (satisfactory)

C-  1.7

D+ 1.3 (unsatisfactory)

D   1.0

D-  0.7 (minimum passing)

F    0.0 (failing)


Areas of Evaluation

The following list gives a general description of each assignment /area of evaluation. Specific requirements, due dates, and evaluation criteria will be provided in an Assignment Prompt for each project and paper, located in the “Assignments” folder on Blackboard.

Projects, 25% each

All three projects should establish a theoretical framework using course texts for their respective units, including additional sources and theories you’ve discovered through your own research. The arguments and analyses you construct must operate within the parameters of those theoretical frameworks; that is, they are informed by the theory, and the theory serves as the basis for the claims and analysis you make. Finally, you should be using specific cultural artifacts—speeches, memes, films, youtube videos, books, Tweets, billboards, performances, and so on—to provide clear examples of your claims, and analyze those artifacts through the theoretical framework you’ve established. Each project’s form and presentation may be creative and unique to your rhetorical purpose, but should also demonstrate critical rigor in its interpretation of artifacts and theory.

While each project must be composed by you alone, you may draw from the notes, sources, and discussions of your group. All projects should use proper citation of sources using the citation method of your choice (but you must be consistent and correct in your usage of that method).

Project 1: Language and Reality: Compose a critical argument that examines specific instances of language and semiotics that shape a particular socio-cultural reality. Recommended word minimum word count: 1500 words

      due: Sunday, Sept. 30, 11:59pm

Project 2: Power of Discourse: Compose a multi-modal presentation (image, text, media, design) that deconstructs a socio-cultural discourse to reveal the multiple “truths” within, and the ideological power such discourses carry and impose.

      due: Sunday, Nov. 11, 11:59pm

Project 3: Ideology and Reality: Compose/perform a personal plan for understanding/(de)constructing the ideological realities that permeate our daily lives. This project can take many forms: a live performance, a vlog, a pamphlet or guide, a podcast, a website…be creative, but also keep it within the framework of ideological criticism.

due: Monday, Dec. 10, 1:15pm


Projects 1 and 2 may be revised for higher credit. To do so, you must first email me ( to request a revision meeting within one week of receiving your project grade. We will meet in my office and discuss a revision strategy, and you will have two weeks from that date to submit your revised project.

Project 3 is also considered the “final exam.” However, you will have an opportunity to receive an extension for revision if you submit it Friday, Dec. 7, 11:59p, and conference with me during the final exam period Monday, Dec. 10, 10:45-1:15p.

All essays are subject to the Late Work policy (see below).

Scholarly Notes 15%

Effective scholars know how to take good notes: annotating texts and research, asking questions, seeking answers and clarification through additional research, and making contextual connections. By doing so, these scholars not only better learn difficult concepts and material, but also develop a wealth of information to draw from when writing their own scholarship.

The texts you will be reading are difficult, and so require active reading and annotation to fully grasp and apply the concepts. Each week you will be required to post your notes on the assigned texts to your research group’s Blackboard page. This sharing of notes and perspectives will give you access to a variety of approaches to understanding the theories posed in the assigned texts. You are encouraged to use the notes you and your group members take to help in the composition of your projects.

Notes should be typed and posted as .doc, .docx, or .pdf files, and should be at minimum 2 pages in length. See Appendix for Evaluation Rubric, but in general good notetaking will include:

  • specific quotes and paraphrases from the text, citing page number
  • questions, ideas, confusion you might have with the concepts (your interaction with the text)
  • connections to your research focus, or other social, cultural, or political examples you see around you
  • additional research (Google, Wikipedia, etc.) that you’ve done to help you understand the concepts

Because active reading and interaction with the texts helps prepare you for class discussions, notes MUST be posted by 5pm each Monday the week readings are due; notes can be revised; late notes are not accepted.

Scholarly Contribution 10%

Critical thinking and writing are a process of idea generation and revision, refining your argument and analysis. Active discussion with your peers helps you better understand difficult concepts in new discourses by creating a community of scholars who learn through the comparison and contrast of varying perspectives, and the pooling of knowledge.

For this reason, you will be evaluated on your scholarly contribution in the following areas:

  • Small and large group classroom and online discussions: are you prepared? Are you actively contributing in constructive ways?
  • Peer revision: each essay will be shared in draft form within your research group, both in class and online. You must provide a copy of your draft on time to your group members, and provide constructive feedback on their drafts.

Since your scholarly contributions are dependent upon attendance, each class session missed (including online discussion forums/activities) will affect your total Scholarly Contribution grade. For example, missing 4 sessions out of a total of 30 would mean you were participating a maximum of 87%, and thus would only qualify you for a max grade of B+ 3.3 in Scholarly Contribution. See Appendix for Evaluation Rubric.

At any time during the course I am happy to discuss your progress in participation.

Late Work Policy

Late work (even a few minutes late) will receive an automatic one letter grade deduction for the first week, two letter grades for the second week, etc. On rare occasions an extension may be granted for instances of verifiable health issues, but must be arranged prior to the assignment due date. Extensions requested after the due date will be denied. Extensions will not be granted for circumstances that are part of the academic experience: heavy course loads, academic projects and film shoots (with the exception of attending an academic conference), employment, Greek life, etc.