Things you should already know, but...
- You MUST take notes in class! I can't believe I even need to list this.
Although there are lecture notes online, they are not always complete.
- Make frequent backups of your electronic work on diskettes, and
print versions of your drafts. Diskettes and paper are cheap.
We will NOT accept the excuse that your hard drive crashed.
- Check your SMU email account frequently; that is the address given
to us by the registrar, and the one we will use to notify you
of any problems. Work sent to us from non-SMU email addresses might
be marked as SPAM and never reach us.
- If you arrive at class more than 5 minutes late without an excuse, you
may not take that day's reading quiz. If you miss more than half of the
lecture because you arrive late or leave early without an excuse, you do
not get credit for attending that day.
- If you leave us a phone message and want a callback, be sure that
you leave a LOCAL phone number; that will be area code 214, 972 or 469.
We will NOT return a call if is a long-distance toll call.
- Do not wait until the last minute to write a research paper.
The process takes days, if not weeks, when done properly.
- Email yourself a copy of your assignment when you send it to
firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure that the attachment was, in fact,
- All the assignment due dates are on the
syllabus. Do not ask for an extension.
Do not plan to leave town before the final exam.
- Before you decide to blow off a book review, remember that each one
counts for 10% of final grade. Each zero on a book review costs one letter
grade at the end.
- Can you borrow our books or videos for your research papers or
book reports? NO!
- Can you write your final research paper on the same topic as your
midterm paper? NO! But you can write the longer 15-page paper
at midterm and write the shorter 7-page paper at the end of the term.
- This is not required, but it would be a great idea to choose your
two auxiliary reading books for the book reports to support your
- Use the abstract that we ask you to turn in weeks in advance of the
research paper as the introductory paragraph of your research paper.
- Keep a notepad and a dictionary nearby when reading the course books
(especially Sagan). Look up words with which you are unfamiliar.
Write down important information for the reading
quizzes. It will be easier to study your condensed notes than to
reread the entire chapters covered on the quiz. At final exam time,
these notes will be extremely helpful -- you won't have time to reread
- We can not give you a grade of "Incomplete" unless the majority
(got that? 50% or more) of the course requirements have been
completed with passing grades but for some justifiable reason, you
are unable to complete the full requirements of the course. This
is University policy.
- Guard your written work carefully. Do not ever give a copy of the file for any of your papers, book reviews, or anything else to another student. It's possible that the other student will swipe your work and turn it in as his/her own. This has happened at least four times. This holds even if you have completed 3333 and a student in the current term asks you for a paper. The plagiarism detection service will detect the copying, and you will be held responsible for supplying the copied material. This may seem harsh, like denying something to a friend. Just remember that, if your friend steals your work, you are on the hook for supplying it.
- This should be perfectly obvious - but.... Don't burn your ration of unexcused absences before the end of the semester. Doing this will put you in an uncomfortable and risky position. Something can happen, like sleeping too late, that causes you to miss the 7th class. Bad. We've seen this happen more than once.