Extension, Deadline, and Grading Policy

I have instituted an extension policy for work done during the semester, modeled after a policy established by Professor William Joseph in the Political Science Department at Wellesley College.

All students in my 2000-level survey courses begin the semester with a maximum of five “free” extension days to allocate as needed for the two semester papers.  If you decide to use some of your extension days for an assignment, please notify me in advance of the due date.  If you hand in a copy of your essay to me either during class or during my office hours, I will count that day as the submission date.  If you are unable to hand a copy to me on the day that you finish your essay, then you must time-stamp your essay by submitting it through Blackboard.  Open the Essay Assignment tab, upload your essay using the Attach File option for the particular assignment, and then click on the Submit button at the bottom of the page.  If you submit your essay through Blackboard, you must also bring a copy to class or leave a copy for me in the hanging files outside my office door. 

Since everyone receives the same benefit, I believe this is a fair policy. No essay can come in more than five days late without penalty; if you use all five days for the first essay, the second essay must be submitted on the due date. For essays submitted past the five free extension days, I will begin to dock your essay grade by one-third of a letter grade for each day that the essay is late, unless you have an extraordinary excuse. Thus this policy establishes a clear final deadline for each assignment, and it should help students stay on track in terms of the other assignments for the course.

Please note: There are no extensions for the final take-home essay assignment due on the final exam date scheduled by the Registrar.  Late submissions of final work require formal approval (generally in the form of an incomplete) from the Office of the Dean for Student Affairs.  If you miss the deadline for the final essay without formal approval, I will dock your grade by one letter grade for each day past the deadline.

Grading Policy: Final grades are calculated according to the percentage weights noted on the first page of the course syllabus.  However, to receive a grade of C- or higher (for standard letter grades) or CR (for the CR/D/F option) for the course, a student must receive at least a C- on the final take-home essay. 

The bottom line: 

  • In terms of the workload for this course, it is in your best interest to hand papers in on time. 
  • Each student has a maximum of five extension days, to be used for either or both essays during the regular semester.
  • Both week and weekend days count as extension days.
  • To time stamp your essay, submit it on Blackboard.  Each day officially ends at 11:59.59 pm, so an essay submitted after midnight (12:00.00 am) will count as submitted on the next day. 
  • Late essays submitted past the fifth extension day will be docked by one-third of a letter grade for each day that the essay is late. 
  • You must submit a paper copy of your essay, whether or not you submit a time-stamped copy on Blackboard.  I will not read and grade an essay until I have received a paper copy of the essay.
  • The extension days do not apply to work due after the end of the regular semester (the last day of classes). Your final take-home essay assignment is due on the final exam date assigned by the Registrar.  Late submissions of final essays will be docked by one letter grade per day.  You must submit a paper copy of your final take-home essay by the end of the exam period.