Other Information and Policies

The question of plagiarism is tied to cultural understandings of originality and authorship. The 21st-century, American, academic understanding of plagiarism—our understanding!—considers it to be appropriating without acknowledgement words or ideas which are not one’s own. Thus, you could write an essay critical of capitalism without naming Karl Marx; but if you use Marx’s arguments in a way that implies they are original to you, or borrow Marx’s words without indicating that you quote, then you plagiarize.

The nature of Expos courses is to devote particular attention to the use of sources and the process of academic writing; this should work against any incidence of plagiarism in our classroom. Instances of plagiarism may eventuate in an “F” or “0” credit for an assignment, a failing grade for the course, or expulsion from the university—penalties will be determined by the gravity of the particular offense. Please refer to: http://integrity.ou.edu/ for further information (see the “Student” menu).

The Expository Writing Program takes accessibility very seriously, as does OU itself.


I’ve chosen an accessibility-ready template for our course page; please let me know immediately if you have, or foresee, any relevant concerns.

The Writing Center provides a variety of services to help with revision, editing, and writing mechanics (Wagner Hall, Room 280; secondary center in Bizzell Library) . They offer free one-on-one tutorials and a variety of on-line services: . Schedule an appointment (325-2936) during busy times of the semester; otherwise, just drop in (you can request a tutor who has taken Expo)!

Counseling and Testing Services (Goddard Health Center, Room 201, 325-2911) provides trained professionals to help OU students handle personal problems. If you begin feeling depressed, find yourself addicted to a new video game or on-line shopping, or are having trouble managing your time, staying focused on schoolwork, dealing with roommates, or simply declaring a major, CTS can help. Services are confidential and offered to OU students at a very nominal cost. You can also contact the OU Cares program (325-0841) or via e-mail at oucares@ou.edu. Like CTS, all services and appointments are confidential.

Veteran Student Services are available to deal with a wide range of issues faced by veterans returning to university or attending university for the first time.  I should also say that I’ve taught veteran students in summer programs at OU and am part of OU’s “Green Zone” network.

OU’s policy regarding Special Needs Accommodations reads as follows: “The University of Oklahoma is committed to providing reasonable accommodation for all students with disabilities. Any student in this course who has a disability that may prevent him or her from fully demonstrating his or her abilities should contact the instructor personally as soon as possible to discuss accommodations necessary to ensure full participation and facilitate your educational opportunities. Student with disabilities must be registered with the Disability Resource Center prior to receiving accommodations in this course. To register, contact Suzette Dyer at Goddard Health Center: (405) 325-3852 (Voice) or (405) 325-4173 (TDD).”

Note that PTSD is in this sense considered a disability.  If there are themes/subjects whose representation will cause you significant distress, please let me know, as soon as possible, so that I can accommodate you.  I will provide specific warnings about particular texts that involve subject matter that students often find difficult (please see the area of the syllabus entitled “A Note on Language”).

Religious Holidays, University Organizations & Athletics:  “It is the policy of the University to excuse the absences of students that result from religious observances and to provide without penalty for the rescheduling of examinations and additional required class work that may fall on religious holidays..” Athletes must provide advance written notification for athletic events. Contact me in advance of your absence to discuss any due date extensions.

Title IX Resources and Reporting Requirement:  For any concerns regarding gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, or stalking, the University offers a variety of resources. To learn more or to report an incident, please contact the Sexual Misconduct Office at 405/325-2215 (8 to 5, M-F) or smo@ou.edu. Incidents can also be reported confidentially to OU Advocates at 405/615-0013 (phones are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).  Your professors are required to report instances of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or discrimination to the Sexual Misconduct Office. Inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies may be directed to: Bobby J. Mason, University Equal Opportunity Officer and Title IX Coordinator at 405/325-3546 or bjm@ou.edu. For more information, visit http://www.ou.edu/eoo.html.

Adjustments for Pregnancy/Childbirth Related Issues: Should you need modifications or adjustments to your course requirements because of documented pregnancy-related or childbirth-related issues, please contact me, or the Disability Resource Center at 405/325-3852 as soon as possible. Also, see http://www.ou.edu/eoo/faqs/pregnancy-faqs.html for answers to commonly asked questions.