Assignments & Grading

How you earn points in this class:

There are no quizzes or tests in this class. However, this is a writing intensive course. The majority of your grade is based on 3 weekly writing assignments that you will post to WordPress: an activity post, a blog post, and a comment post. At the end of the semester, you will turn in a summative blog post that will serve as your final project.


For each week of this 7-week course you will create 3 posts. These will always be due at 11:59pm EST on their respective due dates (see below). You will typically have 2 assignments due on Friday and 1 assignment due on Sunday. **Except for the final week, which is shorter, so due dates will be earlier in the week**

Please click on the Schedule tab to see a list of the due dates for your convenience. I suggest you write these down in a calendar you will see often (phone, desktop, etc).

  • The directions for the posts will be provided in the prompt linked in the weekly schedule, which will include the minimum word count for your post. Comments like “great job, you really wrote an excellent post about this topic” are nice, but will not count toward your minimum word count.
  • Do not just “reply” to the prompt–you must create a brand new post. Your posts should be thoughtful, respectful, grammatically correct, and address the points listed in the prompt.
  • Make sure you publish the post properly instead of just saving as a draft.
  • When you submit an activity post or a blog post, make sure you title your post with the name of the assignment (e.g. Week 1 Activity Post).
  • Additionally, make sure you check the box for the appropriate assignment category (e.g. Week 1 Activity Post) under “categories” at the right side of your screen. This will allow me and other students to see your post when they click on that week’s category.
  • I suggest using the Blog Grading list below as a checklist after you submit your post to make sure everything has been done correctly.
Activity Posts (15 points per week)

Activity posts are each worth 15 points. They are due every Friday at 11:59pm EST. To make sure you earn all of the points available, follow the guidelines described on the week’s page and below under the heading “Blog Grading.”

Blog Posts (15 points per week)

Blog posts are each worth 15 points. They are due every Friday at 11:59pm EST. To make sure that you earn all of the points available, follow the guidelines described on the week’s page and below under the heading “Blog Grading.”

Blog Comments (15 points per week)

Each week you will comment on another student’s Blog Post. These comments demonstrate your understanding of the material. They should include questions, another point of view, evidence from outside sources, and insights from the weekly readings. To see your classmates’ blog posts for that week, go to the 3 lines icon at the top right corner of the homepage and under Categories select the category for that week. Comment posts are each worth 15 points. They are due every Sunday at 11:59 PM EST. To make sure that you earn all of the points available, follow the guidelines on the week’s page and below under the heading “Blog Grading.”

Final  Project  (35 points)

At the end of the course, your final project will be a blog post worth 35 points. Additional details about this assignment, including the grading rubric, are posted under the Final Project tab. Throughout the semester, many of your weekly writing assignments will build up to this project. Please take a look at the requirements for this project early in the semester and give yourself enough time to work on it.

Blog Grading

All three types of weekly posts are are worth 15 points. A satisfactory post meets all the criteria listed below, and will receive 15 points. You can assume you have full points for the post UNLESS:

1. You did not do the post/comment before the deadline (- 15 points)
2. You did not “publish” the post and only saved it as a draft. Since I and your classmates will not be able to see your post if you fail to publish it, this counts as if you did not turn it in.  (-15 points)
3. Your post/comment did not adequately address the questions in the prompt (-5 to -15 points)
4. Your post/comment was under the required word length (-5 points)
5. You did not title AND categorize the post with the name of the assignment, e.g. Week 1 Blog Post (-5 points)

Please check this list above before emailing me to ask why you got less than 15 points. There are NO exceptions to the above rules. It is important to properly categorize and publish your posts so that I and other students can read them. I will do my best to submit grades for weekly assignments to D2L by a week after their due date. Please do not worry if you do not see a grade for your assignment if it has been less than a week since you turned it in.

Grade Breakdown

There are 315 possible points you can earn by following the guidelines for the Activity, Blog, and Comment posts. There are an additional 35 points available for the Final Project. This means that there are 350 points possible for the entire course.

Grading Scale

Grading for this course is based on total points. One point on a blog post is the same as one point on a blog comment, etc. Grades will be awarded on a straight scale as follows:

90-100% = 4.0 (315-350pts)

85-89 % = 3.5 (298-314pts)

80-84 % = 3.0 (280-297pts)

75-79% = 2.5 (263-279pts)

70-74% = 2.0 (245-262pts)

65-70% = 1.5 (228-244pts)

60-64% = 1.0 (210-227pts)

<60% = 0.0 (0-209pts)

Submitting Work

All of your weekly assignments will be turned in on WordPress using the blog post/comment functions. Unless I explicitly state otherwise, no assignments should be emailed to me or posted on D2L. If you email me your post instead of publishing it on WP, you will not receive credit as this is an interactive course and other students need to be able to see and respond to it.

If there is one piece of advice I can give you about turning in assignments in an online course, it is to do the assignment in Microsoft Word first and then copy and paste it into the blog form. That way you will always have a backup copy saved on your hard drive and you won’t accidentally lose all your work. After you post, double check the class blog page to make sure your post/comment actually showed up. You are responsible for making sure your assignments are submitted correctly. 

Late Policy

Late posts and comments are NOT ACCEPTED and will receive a grade of zero. Everything on WordPress is timestamped so I will know exactly when something was turned in. I understand that emergencies come up and technology is not infallible. You must email me well before the deadline to troubleshoot any issues. There are no exceptions to this late work policy.

Honors Option

If you would like to pursue an honors option for this course, please email me to let me know as soon as you decide you are interested. Please follow this link to find details about the honors option. In addition, you must email me with your proposed paper topic and receive my approval for your topic by no later than Sunday, July 29th (the end of Week 4). Your honors option project is due on the last day of class, Thursday, August 16th. There will be no exceptions to these deadlines.