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Every First-Year Writing class will differ, based on the course objectives, the instructor's strategy for facilitating those objectives, and the interests and needs of the class community. Your course syllabus will contain all of the information, policies, and expectations that pertain to your particular course. However, the following standard policies are upheld in all FYW courses:

Attendance Policy

Policy on Late Work

Portfolio & Final Grade Policies

Academic Integrity Policy

Turnitin Policy

Classroom Behavior Policy (University policy - link to pdf)

Rowan Success Network Policy

Accommodation Policy





Your attendance is incredibly important to your success in FYW courses. A writing class is a community and most classes will include collaborative work that cannot be replicated. Therefore, it is important to attend class (don’t schedule things like dentist or advising appointments during your class time) and to engage in the course.

The official First-Year Writing Program policy is that there is a six-absence limit for our courses. We view six absences as significant and concerning; being absent that frequently (whether excused or unexcused) compromises the learning experience of the course. Therefore, unless you have extenuating circumstances and you and your instructor have discussed potential accommodations, you will fail the course if you are absent more than six times. 


Absences should be used with discretion because you never know when you will suddenly have to miss class. 


Per the university’s own attendance policy (see link below), absences for the following reasons should always be considered excused:

  • religious observances

  • official University activities

  • illness 

  • death of a family member or loved one 

  • inclement weather


However, an evolving pandemic and just life itself means that students might face additional obstacles to attendance. If you are facing challenges to attending class, you should consult your instructor as soon as possible so you can work together on solutions and how best to accommodate you reasonably. An excused absence means you can make up the work from that day without penalty; however, excused absences still count toward the absence limit of the course.


If you are not engaging in class, are falling behind in your work, and/or are not routinely attending class, your instructor will be reaching out to you and your advisor through the Rowan Success Network (RSN) so that you can discuss together what is preventing you from fully engaging in the course and explore solutions. If you are unable to engage in the course during the semester, your advisor and/or instructor might counsel you to withdraw. 

Rowan University Attendance Policy




If you encounter a problem completing an assignment by the due date, you must contact your instructor. Handing work in late will impact your non-portfolio grade in the course, the only exceptions being for excused absences.

Late Work


  • It is the Rowan First-Year Writing Program’s policy that you must have a passing (D- or higher) final course portfolio to be eligible to pass the course. A failing course portfolio will earn a failing grade (F) for the course, regardless of your grade(s) on your non-portfolio work.

  • You must include one draft with instructor comments per portfolio essay/project in order to have a passing portfolio.

Portfolo and Final Grade Policy





One of the goals for this course is to increase your awareness of the ethical ramifications of writing and your ability to write ethically and responsibly. Appropriately using sources and the ideas of others is one of the learning goals of the First-Year Writing Program, and your instructors aim to support you in this learning process. However, it is ultimately your responsibility to submit ethical writing, including in drafts. If you have any questions about the use of sources and citations in your work, or when/how you are allowed to reuse your own writing, you should contact your instructor prior to turning in an assignment.


In order for Rowan to uphold its commitment to academic integrity, your instructor needs to report suspected acts of plagiarism and academic misconduct. A link to the university’s policy—which includes a description of the process for reports of academic integrity violations, types of infractions, and possible sanctions—can be found below, and it is your responsibility to read and familiarize yourself with it. Of particular interest to this course are the following two academic integrity concepts:


  • Plagiarism, whether the intentional act of passing off someone else's words or ideas as your own or the unintentional act where sources for material are not acknowledged due to a lack of familiarity with citation forms, is a serious violation of the principles of academic honesty. Acts of plagiarism include parts of as well as the whole of assignment. Students who submit plagiarized work will be subject to the process and penalties of Rowan’s academic integrity policy.

  • Academic misconduct includes the recycling of your work from other courses (including other sections of this course and other composition courses) without permission, as well as unauthorized assistance with your work, such as having someone write your assignments for you or submitting the same work as another person. A full list of activities that are considered misconduct is in the university’s policy, and these activities are also subject to the process and penalties of Rowan’s academic integrity policy.


University Academic Integrity Policy

Academic Integrity


Rowan University has a licensing agreement with Turnitin, an online service to help prevent student plagiarism. This service checks submitted documents against a large archive of electronic texts, including web content, newspapers, magazines, journals, books and student papers. This comparison results in an “Originality Report” showing matches to existing documents and providing a percentage score reflecting the proportion of the content that is “original,” meaning that similar wording does not appear in the texts that were compared to the submitted document. 


Proper paraphrasing and summarizing of source material, along with proper methods of citing sources, is a focus of First-Year Writing courses. Applying these skills takes care and practice. Turnitin is a very efficient tool for checking whether sources are being used appropriately and for calling attention to improper presentation or citation of source material. Some FYW courses will ask you to submit your work to Turnitin (through the course Blackboard site). You will be allowed to view your Originality Reports, evaluate your use of sources, and revise and resubmit your papers if necessary before they are viewed after the assignment due date. 


If your work is submitted to Turnitin, it will be stored in the Turnitin database. You have the rights to: 1) remove personal identifiers from your work so that it is not part of the Turnitin database, and 2) refuse to submit your work to Turnitin.  Availing yourself of these rights will not negatively impact your success in the course. If you do not wish to use Turnitin you must notify your instructor by email within the first two weeks of the semester. If you object to the use of Turnitin, your instructor will use other procedures to assess originality if deemed necessary.  The full university policy is available at



The Rowan Success Network powered by Starfish® is designed to make it easier for you to connect with the resources you need to be successful at Rowan. Throughout the term, you may receive email from the Rowan Success Network team (Starfish®) regarding your course grades or academic performance. Please pay attention to these emails and consider taking the recommended actions. Utilize the scheduling tools to make appointments at your convenience and keep an eye on your reminders and flags to track your progress and get help when needed. Additional information about RSN may be found at

Accomodation Policy



Not all students learn the same way. The federal government, through the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, tries to ensure that all students have a fair chance at being successful. If you have a documented disability that may have an impact upon your work in this class, please contact your instructor.


If you had a 504 plan or an IEP in high school, then you may qualify for services in college. Students must provide documentation of disability to the Academic Success Center in order to receive official University services and accommodations. The Academic Success Center can be reached at 856.256.4234. The center is located on the 3rd floor of Savitz Hall (map). The staff is available to answer questions regarding accommodations or assist you in your pursuit of accommodations. We look forward to working with you to meet your learning goals.

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