Instructor: Quinn Warnick, Ph.D.
Course Location: 360 Shanks Hall
Class Hours: W 8:00–8:50 a.m.
Dr. Warnick’s Office: 427 Shanks Hall
Office Hours: T 2:00–5:00 p.m., W 9:00 a.m.–noon, or by appointment
Office Phone: 540.231.8321 (Leave a detailed message if I don’t pick up.)
Email: This is the best way to reach me

ENGL 4864 Overview

The purpose of this course is to help you to make a successful transition from undergraduate study to a career or graduate/professional school. Our focus is to develop the specific documents, knowledge, and skills necessary for professional self-presentation. Practically speaking, this course will help you navigate the process of creating your required eportfolio with an eye toward graduate school or employment. You will learn to select, categorize, and document your achievements and accomplishments as you make your ePortfolio both attractive and persuasive.

Course Goals

  • To fulfill the English eportfolio graduation requirement by completing your academic eportfolio and writing a synthesis statement.
  • To sharpen your knowledge of what makes an effective portfolio in the field of professional writing.
  • To create and develop a personal website that will help you accomplish your next professional goal after graduation.

Class Attendance and Participation

Most of our class sessions will be conducted in discussion/workshop format, and many of these workshops cannot be recreated outside of class, so regular attendance and active participation are important. My attendance policy is simple: you may miss two classes (for any reason) without penalty. Each additional absence (for any reason) will lower your course grade by 5%, and four or more absences may result in a failing grade for the course. Because our time in class is limited, promptness is important. Each tardy (arriving more than 5 minutes late) and each instance of leaving early will count as 1/2 of an absence. If you are late for class, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have not been marked absent.

Software and Technology

As you complete assignments for this class, be sure to save all your work, both print and electronic. Do not discard any drafts, notes, papers, or research materials until you receive a final grade for the course. In addition, be sure to save your work regularly in multiple formats (print and electronic) and multiple locations (e.g., computer, Google Drive, flash drive). Computer problems are a part of modern life, and a crashed computer or a lost flash drive is not a valid excuse for a late assignment.

Grading and Evaluation

Your grade in this course will be determined by your performance on fifteen weekly checkpoint assignments, each of which is designed to help you make incremental progress toward completing your ePortfolio and developing a professional online presence. Each of these assignments is worth 10 points, for a total of 150 possible points in the class. Late assignments will receive partial credit.

Final grades will be calculated using the following scale:

  • A : 140-150
  • A- : 135-149
  • B+ : 130-134
  • B : 125-129
  • B- : 120-124
  • C+ : 115–119
  • C : 110–114
  • C- : 105-109
  • D+ : 100–104
  • D : 95–99
  • D- : 90-94
  • F : 0–89

Disability Accommodations

If you need adaptations or accommodations because of a disability (learning disability, attention deficit disorder, psychological, physical, etc.), if you have emergency medical information to share with me, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible. You will first need to provide documentation of your disability to the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office, located in 310 Lavery Hall.

Academic Integrity

The Virginia Tech Honor Code expressly forbids the following:

  1. Cheating — Cheating includes the actual giving or receiving of any unauthorized aid or assistance or the actual giving or receiving of any unfair advantage on any form of academic work, or attempts thereof.
  2. Plagiarism — Plagiarism includes the copying of the language, structure, programming, computer code, ideas, and/or thoughts of another and passing off the same as one’s own original work, or attempts thereof.
  3. Falsification — Falsification includes the statement of any untruth, either verbally or in writing, with respect to any circumstances relevant to one’s academic work, or attempts thereof. Such acts include, but are not limited to, the forgery of official signatures; tampering with official records; fraudulently adding, deleting, or manipulating information on academic work, or fraudulently changing an examination or other academic work after the testing period or due date of the assignment.

In a writing course, violations of the Honor Code typically take the form of plagiarism. I do not tolerate plagiarism in any form, and I am exceptionally skilled at identifying plagiarized work. If you submit plagiarized work in this course, I will report it to the Honor System and withhold your grade until the Honor System has concluded its investigation. In most plagiarism cases, you will receive a 0 on the assignment, and you may also fail the entire course, depending on the severity of the plagiarism.

Plagiarism occurs when a writer, speaker, or designer uses someone else’s language, ideas, images, or other material without fully acknowledging its source by quotations marks, in footnotes or endnotes, and in lists of works cited. In this course, we will draw heavily upon text, images, videos, and other electronic materials found online; the fact that such material is online does not lessen our obligation to give credit where credit is due. Occasionally, students will unintentionally plagiarize material because they have failed to keep track of their sources as they acquire them. You can avoid this problem by keeping detailed records of your research activities in this class.

As a professor, my academic integrity obligates me to report all cases of plagiarism (regardless of the circumstances) to the Honor System. If you have any questions about plagiarism and how it relates to your work, please talk to me before you turn in an assignment. Once plagiarized work has been submitted for a grade, I have no choice but to enforce this policy.