Required Syllabus Content
In order to promote consistency across sections, we ask all PWR instructors to include the same basic types of information on their syllabus that fall roughly into three categories: course information; schedule; and PWR policies.
You should include the following course information on your syllabus:
- Logistical information about the course (PWR course number, section number, course title, meeting times and days, class location)
- Information about the instructor (your name, office location, office hours, phone number, and email address)
- A course description, either identical to the one posted on the PWR online catalog or a slightly modified version designed specifically for your syllabus (but with the same focus and spirit of the online version)
- A description of learning objectives for your course, drawing on the official PWR 1 and PWR 2 learning objectives
- The PWR commitment to students. This material can be cut and pasted verbatim into your syllabus OR you may adapt the language and integrate the information at appropriate places in your syllabus. In whatever form, the content of the commitment (the number of conferences, promise of written feedback, etc.) must be included. Please include a link to the official PWR Commitment if you do not include it verbatim in your syllabus.
- a list of major writing assignments, with brief summaries, due dates, grading weight, and word count for each
- the fact that students must submit a draft and revision for all major assignments in order to pass the course
- a description of evaluation procedures based on the PWR Evaluation Criteria and weighted evaluation percentages for each assignment (note that PWR does not grade on attendance or participation; we expect students to be present in every class). If you are going to assign a grade for a category such as “informal work” or “informal activities” (to supplement the major assignments), you need to include in your syllabus a description for the type of work that falls under that category and how it will be collected and weighted in relation to the major assignments.
- late or missing work policy as well as a reminder that PWR policy requires that students complete all major assignments, including drafts, in order to pass the course (please note: you can only enforce policies on late or missing work that are included in your syllabus and assignment sheets). For instance, some instructors put as policy that they will not accept work that is more than 5 days late; others also note grading penalties for each day late.
- procedure for submission of assignments
- reference to the types of readings you'll do in the class and how readings will be distributed (in a course reader, through Canvas, etc.)
You should also provide a detailed schedule for the quarter. Note that if you are providing your detailed schedule through Canvas or a different online site, you should include at least an outline of major dates and deadlines on your paper syllabus. Below are some elements to include in your detailed schedule:
- assignment due dates for both drafts and revisions
- class topics and activities for each day (including writing or speaking exercises, peer review workshops, class evaluations, etc.)
- reading assignments and focusing questions for reading
- a note about which days you plan to hold conferences
- extra events (guest speakers, outside events or lectures, etc.)
- any university holidays
- your library workshop date for PWR 1, and OCT meetings and dress rehearsals for PWR 2.
See also Course Schedule Planning
Program and University Policies
All instructors are required to distribute or provide students access to Program and University policies. You can distribute these policies to your class in one of two ways:
- A separate handout or electronic distribution: print them directly from the PWR Policies portion of the PWR website or email the website link (https://pwr.sites.stanford.edu/pwr-policies) to your students.
- Integrated into your syllabus: Many instructors copy this information from the PWR website and paste it into their own official course syllabus.
Students must be informed of the following:
- Program and university policies on the Honor Code, intellectual property, disability resources, etc.
- Program policies on attendance, promptness, conferences, submission of work, dual submissions, grade disputes, and more
- Student resources, such as the Hume Center for Writing and Speaking