Policy Statement

Professor: Matt King (he, him, his; more on pronouns here and here)
Email: mrking@sbu.edu
Phone: 716.375.2457
Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday 2:30-4:00 and by appointment
Office Location: Plassmann D6
Class Website: https://mattrking.com/courses/w400

Professional and Creative Writing Major Objectives
Students will:

  • Write effective texts in different genres and in multiple media to respond to a variety of professional and creative needs.
  • Construct their own professional identities as writers, readers, and researchers who can make valuable contributions in a variety of professional settings.
  • Interpret cultural, political, and historical situations using specific theories from rhetorical, literary, and writing studies.
  • Display the ethical commitment of writers to improve society.

Course Description
This course will enable students to produce, over the course of a semester, a professional-quality writing project and bring together all the skills developed over the course of the writing major. The nature of this project will depend on the student’s particular interest. In terms of audience and genre, it may be an imaginative or creative project; it may be a project developed for a particular profession, discipline, or organization; or it may be an informative or non-fiction piece intended for a wide audience. In terms of media, the project may be primarily print or digital, but it must have each as a component of a final portfolio, and the final presentation must also involve a public, multi-media presentation.

In all cases, the final product should be a professional quality portfolio of work, suitable for submission for publication, for public or professional use, and for use in applications for professional work and graduate study. (3 credit hours)

Course Goals

  • Demonstrate mastery over a particular broad genre of writing.
  • Demonstrate mastery over a variety of delivery tools: print, digital, performance.
  • Demonstrate mastery of essential research tools.
  • Demonstrate mastery of professional expectations for presentation, rhetoric, and ethics.
  • Demonstrate mastery over collaborative work in a professional writing environment through the workshop process and scheduling of work production.

Course Texts
All readings will be made available online as needed.

Writer Analysis = 15%
Publication Analysis = 15%
Project Work (Proposal, Drafts, Workshop Feedback) = 15%
Final Portfolio = 30%
Final Presentation = 15%
Professional Materials = 10%

+/- Grades. Plus and minus grades will be used in awarding final grades for this course. The letter-to-percentage conversion is given below.

Assignment Grades
A+ = 98.5  A = 95   A- = 91.5
B+ = 88.5  B = 85   B- = 81.5
C+ = 78.5  C = 75   C- = 71.5
D+ = 68.5  D = 65   D- = 61.5
F = 55

Semester Average
A = 93-100 A- = 90-93
B+ = 87-90 B = 83-87 B- = 80-83
C+ = 77-80 C = 73-77 C- = 70-73
D+ = 67-70 D = 63-67 D- = 60-63
F = Less than 60

Late Work.  Given the course’s emphasis on professionalization and workshopping, all work should be submitted on time. Late work can affect your Project Work grade; more importantly, it will affect your ability to fully benefit from the workshopping process and thus develop your writing as successfully as possible.

Attendance.  Again, our emphasis on professionalization will be important here. You should aim to be in class and on time for each class meeting. Absences and tardiness can affect your Project Work grade, as they affect your ability to effectively contribute to our writing workshops. If you miss more than six classes, you will not get credit for the course.

Academic Integrity
The writing you submit for our class should be your own; when you draw on the work of others, you should acknowledge it and include appropriate citations. Instances of plagiarism can result in failed assignments and potentially failure of the course. A list of unacceptable practices and procedures to be followed in prosecuting cases of alleged academic dishonesty can be found here.

Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities who feel they need academic accommodations should contact Adriane Spencer (aspencer@sbu.edu), Director of Disability Support Services Office, 100D Plassmann Hall (Student Success Center), 716-375-2065. Please reach out early in the semester so that they can assist you as soon as possible. Documentation from the Disability Support Services Office is required before I can make accommodations.

Email will serve as an official means of communication for this class, and you should check the email account you have registered with the university regularly. Feel free to email me with your questions and concerns.

Title IX
Title IX makes it clear that violence and harassment based on sex and gender are Civil Rights offenses subject to the same kinds of accountability and the same kinds of support applied to offenses against other protected categories such as race, national origin, etc. If you or someone you know has been harassed or assaulted, you can find the appropriate resources at the Health and Wellness Center or at the Campus Safety Office. For on-campus reporting, see the Title IX Coordinator (Sharon Burke, Director of Human Resources) and Residence Life Staff (RAs, RDs, and other professional staff). The University’s policy and procedures regarding gender-based and sexual misconduct can be found online.

In the event of an emergency, call Campus Safety at 716-375-2525 or contact Nichole Gonzalez, Residential Living and Conduct, 716-375-2572, ngonzale@sbu.edu. Be aware that most university employees are mandated reporters.

Other Concerns
If you have any other concerns that affect your ability to succeed in this course – for example, affording costs related to the class, having regular shelter and food, dealing with mental health issues, etc. – please let me know, and I will do what I can to help.