All your formal writing should be typed, double-spaced, with 1” margins. Please proofread carefully, so that your essay is polished and free of typographical errors. Give every piece of writing a title and include your name as well as the course name and number. Be sure to include a list of works cited with formal writing (essay, published web projects, etc.). Use MLA guidelines (see link on the right) for citing sources and constructing your works cited list. We will discuss my expectations in class, but in general I expect your writing to contain serious thought, analysis, and reflection, not simply summary or description. See Gordon Harvey’s “Elements of the Academic Essay” (in “Documents”) for a detailed explanation of the elements of writing you’ll practice in this course.
A student’s work should be his or her own. But a student’s ideas should also engage the ideas of other thinkers and writers. Communication gives ideas meaning and creates a community of thinkers. This is where citation and plagiarism can become tricky. Plagiarism is, of course, a serious issue. It is important that you establish your own point of view, make it clear what ideas are yours and which come from your sources, and respond to your sources critically. Be sure also to cite all sources appropriately, using MLA style. Finally, if you’re struggling with your ideas, your writing, or your sources, be sure to talk to me. Plagiarism sometimes arises from confusion and sometimes from desperation. I can help you work through problems before they escalate.
See Blog Tutorial on “Respecting Copyright while Blogging” (http://blogs.qc.cuny.edu/blogs/blogtutorials/2005/01/understanding_copyright.html) for a discussion of copyright and citation online.