Tips for succeeding in class

Simple things you can do to improve your grade


1)      Come to class.  For M-only class, attendance is mandatory.  For M/W classes, attendance is desired.  Not only will excessive absences affect your class participation grade, but instructions for improving your writing and your paper grades will be given in class.


2)      Arrive on time.  Not only will you miss essential information by being tardy, you will disrupt the whole class as you come in late.  At the end of the quarter when I am figuring out class participation grades, I do remember who was prompt and who waltzed in late every day.


3)      Follow directions.  Make sure you understand and complete every portion of each assignment.  Simple omissions can needlessly decrease your grade.


4)      Proofread.  Grammar and mechanics are not my primary concern.  However, sloppiness can decrease your paper grade by a half letter.  This may not seem like much, but it can be the difference between grades at the end of the quarter.  Spend the extra fifteen minutes to show that you care about your work and that you can recognize and fix simple errors.


5)      Think.  You should be able to demonstrate a college-level ability to think.  Develop thesis statements that answer “why” and “how” questions.  Don’t just parrot the thoughts of others; show you can respond to them and come up with ideas of your own.


6)      Start early.  This is a good habit to develop.  It allows you time to revise and proofread before you have to turn your paper in to me.  This is especially important for 103, as I am certain it’s impossible to write a good 11-13 page paper in one night.


7)      Revise.  In 103, you must turn in two drafts of your research paper.  By making significant revisions with each draft, you can improve your paper and improve your grade.  In 102, you have the option to revise your papers for a better grade.  Feel free to use it.


8)      Buy the optional book.  I know money can be tight, but a writing handbook is an essential reference tool.  You will find this to be especially true when you have to prepare your bibliography or works cited pages.  You may find these handbooks on the Internet for less money than they cost in the bookstore.  Try


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