Policy Statement

Professor: Matt King (he, him, his)
Email: mrking@sbu.edu
Phone: 716.375.2457
Office Hours: Monday 1:30-2:30, Wednesday 1:30-3:30 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.

Project Work (Proposal, Drafts, Workshop Feedback) = 40%
Final Portfolio = 40%
Final Presentation = 20%

+/- 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. Also, give our meeting schedule, missing one class means missing an entire week. You should aim to be in class and on time every week. 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 three classes, you will not get credit for the course.

Academic Integrity
Academic dishonesty is inconsistent with the moral character expected of students in a University committed to the spiritual and intellectual growth of the whole person. It also subverts the academic process by distorting all measurements. A list of unacceptable practices and procedures to be followed in prosecuting cases of alleged academic dishonesty may be found in the Student Handbook and here.

Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities who believe they may need accommodations in this class are encouraged to contact the Disability Support Services Office (Doyle 26, 716-375-2066) as soon as possible to better ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion. Documentation from this office is required before accommodations can be made. Please see the official SBU Student with Disabilities policy here.

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.