Policies and Office Hours

Office Hours

You can check my calendar to make an appointment during my office hours. If those times don’t work for you, though, I’m more than happy to arrange a meeting with you outside of my scheduled hours. My office is located in the basement of Buhl Library, 013E.


While I do my best to respond to your emails quickly, don’t expect me to do so on Sundays. Following the wisdom of people like Wendell Berry and Andy Crouch, I endeavor to stay off my computer on Sunday. I’ll often get back online Sunday evening, so I may be able to respond then, but I’d encourage you to carve out time for rest and for God and to stay away from the digital “ecosystem of interruption technologies.”

Attention and Attendance

I used to have a simple attendance policy, but I have now added an attention component (significantly, attendance and attention share the same etymological roots). This is because too often students showed up to class while their attention was directed (generally through smart phones) elsewhere. In order to make the classroom a place where we can best learn, I promise that I will give you and our subject my full attention, and I ask that you do the same. This entails, at a minimum, no laptops or phones unless we determine they are needed for our discussion that day (research consistently shows that you’ll learn better without a laptop). Further, I ask that you treat our texts and your fellow students with respect and that you participate thoughtfully in our conversations.

All students begin the semester with 20 points in this area. Students who have more than three unexcused absences will lose up to five points per additional absence. Other actions that will result in a reduction of points include cell phone visible/used in class, inappropriate use of computers in class, inappropriate or uncivil behavior toward classmates/professor, habitual tardiness, refusal to engage in class discussions, evidence of detachment from the classroom environment (i.e., working on other projects during class, habitual sleeping, etc.), and/or failure to complete assigned non-graded work. The severity of the offense will determine the number of points deducted. If warranted, more than 20 points may be deducted from the total score for the semester.

Academic Integrity    

All Grove City College students must abide by the university’s academic integrity policy; this is designed to help you practice the proper gratitude toward others in the conversations in which you engage. St. Bonaventure’s (1221-1274) definition of an author still holds true:

A man might write the work of others, adding and changing nothing in which case he is simply called a ‘scribe’ (scriptor). Another writes the work of others with additions which are not his own; and he is called a ‘compiler’ (compilator). Another writes both others’ work and his own, but with others’ work in principal place, adding his own for purposes of explanation; and he is called a ‘commentator’ (commentator), rather than an author. But he who writes both his own work and others’ but with his own work in principal place adding others’ for purposes of confirmation; such a man should be called an ‘author’ (auctor).

As you can see, authoring something takes real preparation and craft. An apprenticeship to this craft is what we’ll aim at in our course together.

Below are specific policies regarding ChatGPT and other AI tools, but if you want my argument for what these tools reveal about how we learn and grow in the craft of writing, see this essay.

Here are the formal guidelines regarding plagiarism to which I will hold you responsible:

Grove City College Plagiarism Statement: Preamble

Grove City College is deeply invested in upholding academic integrity and honesty.  Three of the college’s five core values, faithfulness, excellence, and community, directly relate to academic integrity because any violation of academic integrity is a form of theft and deceit that affects the one stolen from, as well as the community of students and faculty at the college.  In addition, cheating is a violation of three of the Ten Commandments: the prohibitions against stealing, lying, and coveting.  However, as the Ten Commandments and the totality of Scripture demonstrate to us, we are fallen creatures who at times do what we ought not do.  

Accordingly, the college has created a policy both to define what cheating is and to describe our process for dealing with allegations of cheating in order to discourage cheating and provide an opportunity for meaningful repentance and restoration when students do cheat.  


As a student of Grove City College, I pledge to do my work faithfully with honesty in accordance with my calling as a student working for Christ’s glory.  

Cheating and Plagiarism may be present in many areas, including (but not limited to) the following: 

  1. Doing Papers, Outside Work.  Work done out of class, which a student submits as his/her own work to a professor, should be his/her own and should not contain that which has been obtained from another, other than properly credited references, sources, and citations. 
  2. Taking Exams, Tests, Quizzes.  Work done on a test, exam, or quiz, which a student submits to a professor, should be his/her own and should not contain that which has been knowingly obtained from another.  By default, no resources are permitted unless explicitly allowed by the instructor.
  3. Preparing for Exams.  A student should not seek to gain an advantage on an exam he/she is about to take by obtaining advanced access to particular questions or advance copies of a professor’s exam, or by giving access to other students.  This includes access to exams from prior semesters.
  4. Group Work.  In courses where group work or teamwork is allowed, the members of the group may collaborate and share resources among themselves, but not with other groups or prior and subsequent classes.  
  5. A student should not cooperate with, aid, or encourage another student’s violation of the above rules, even though he or she receives no direct benefit.  Any student who does so is also guilty of cheating and can have their grade from current or past semesters (if relevant) reduced.    
  6. Instructor-Imposed Limitations.  Faculty may add (via syllabus, assignment instructions, or verbal instructions) additional rules and limitations pertaining to cheating in their particular discipline, class, and assignment.

Special Note: Plagiarism includes

  1. Any direct quotation of another’s words, from simple phrasing to longer passages, without using quotation marks and properly citing the source of those words. 
  2. Any summary or paraphrase of another’s ideas without properly citing the source of those ideas. 
  3. Any information that is not common knowledge—including facts, statistics, graphics, drawings—without proper citation of sources. 
  4. Any cutting and pasting of verbal or graphic materials from another source and representing as one’s own work—including books, databases, web sites, journals, newspapers, etc.—without the proper citation for each of the sources of those materials; this includes any copyrighted artwork, graphics, or photography downloaded from the Internet without proper citation. 
  5. Any wholesale “borrowing,” theft, or purchasing of another’s work and presenting it as one’s own, whether from the Internet or from another source. 
  6. Any presentation of “ghost-written” work including—whether paid for or not—as one’s own original work, including papers, computer code, visual artwork, and other forms of written and non-written work. 
  7. Making one’s work available for copying by others, as well as copying work posted on the Internet or otherwise made available by another. 
  8. Note that any use of ChatGPT or other AI tool to generate content for an assignment, while crediting the output as your own work, constitutes an act of plagiarism and a violation of the college’s academic integrity policy.
  9. Turnitin: For all the WRIT 101 courses, students are required to submit papers through myGCC to Turnitin, an online tool that checks the paper for originality and plagiarism, comparing student papers with print and online resources as well as student work at GCC and other institutions. In class, I will go over how to submit papers to Turnitin and use its features. Papers that incorrectly paraphrase a passage from cited sources, include citation errors, or display other minor originality problems may lose points and/or need to be rewritten or revised, at the discernment of the instructor.

Consequences of Plagiarism in this class: If the professor believes plagiarism has taken place (a violation of the GCC Honesty in Learning Policy), he or she will fill out an online report of the alleged violation which will be automatically sent to the chair of the Student-Faculty Review Committee (SFRC). The professor may then meet with the student who is alleged to have violated the Honesty in Learning Policy. If the professor, following this meeting, still believes the student violated the Policy, then the professor will pursue the matter as specified in the College Bulletin. SPECIAL NOTE: Please talk to me if you have any questions about plagiarism or the potential of plagiarism in your work BEFORE you submit it for a grade.

Accessibility and Accommodations

It is Grove City College’s goal that learning experiences be as accessible as possible.  If you anticipate or experience physical or academic barriers based on a disability, please let me know immediately so that we may discuss options. You are also welcome to contact the disability services office to begin this conversation or to establish accommodations.  The Disability Services Coordinator may be reached at 724-264-4673 or DisabilityServices@gcc.edu<mailto:DisabilityServices@gcc.edu.

If you are experiencing undue personal or academic stress at any time during the semester or need to talk to someone who can help, you should contact the Counseling Center at 724-458-3788 or email Mrs. Hummel, staff assistant, at mhummel@gcc.edu      

Late Assignments

My courses are structured so that no one should be trying to write a major essay for the first time at 11:30 the night it is due.  In fairness to the other students who hand their work in on time, all late assignments are penalized 10% per day.  Assignments are to be posted by midnight of the due date, unless otherwise specified.  However, if you anticipate problems, please talk to me before the assignment is due, and we can make alternate arrangements.  Hardcopy, faxed, or emailed work will not be accepted.