Standards & policies

General Assignment Policies & Procedures


Unless explicitly stated otherwise, all submitted work must be typed. Assignment instructions will specify whether an electronic or hard copy is required in each instance, as well as the factors taken into account in grading written assignments. Students may choose to adopt APA 6th edition, Chicago, or MLA style guidelines for citing and referencing sources for written assignments, as long as they follow the guidelines consistently.


Late work will be penalized by one full letter grade for every day beyond the stated due date. The penalty begins immediately after the deadline, so that an assignment turned in later on the same day will still be reduced by one letter grade.

What I expect from your work

Grades will be calculated and assessed according to the criteria stated below. A “C” reflects adequate performance, meeting the minimum terms of the assignment but without exhibiting the degree of technical proficiency and/or critical thinking expected at this stage of your academic career. Good work that satisfies college-level expectations for an assignment earns in the “B” range. An “A” grade is reserved for obviously exceptional work. Your performance will determine your final grade in this course.


Percentage Score Description
A+ 99-100% Exemplary
A 95-98% Excellent
A- 90-94%
B+ 87-89% Very Good
B 84-86% Good
B- 80-83% Satisfactory
C+ 77-79%
C 73-76% Adequate
(Minimum required for credit toward major )
D 60-72% Minimal Pass
F 0-59% Fail


The best ways to contact me are via email (, Twitter (@drgilpin), or by visiting my office hours. You do not need an appointment to stop by during the posted hours. I will also make every effort to be available for meetings at other times if your schedule does not permit you to attend office hours. Since I’m teaching both downtown and in Tempe this semester, you may need to have some flexibility when it comes to the location and timing of meetings.


Please include “MCO435” in the subject line of any emails. You will be expected to use your ASU email for all correspondence. Please keep communication professional.


This  WordPress site hosts the primary location of the syllabus and classroom policies, which will be kept up to date electronically. In the event of a discrepancy between the online syllabus and any PDF or hard copy version, requirements stated in the online syllabus should be considered more correct and accurate. This site also contains all assignments, links to online readings, and other resources for the class. Announcements, changes and updates will be provided via the blog associated with the home page of this site, which you should add to your RSS reader and check frequently for updates.


For this class, Blackboard is used primarily for grade tracking, quizzes, and submitting electronic assignments. Some materials will also be made available for download, particularly those in PDF format not accessible online. The syllabus will note which materials are posted to BlackBoard.


Students in this class will be expected to have and use a Twitter account, and to regularly monitor the #MCO435 hashtag channel for links, questions and answers about assignments, and other relevant conversations. Participation in relevant Twitter discussions will also count towards the overall grade for the semester.

Classroom demeanor

Attendance and Participation

You are expected to attend and actively participate in every class meeting. Missing class will significantly lower your grade, as will frequent late arrivals and leaving early–not due to direct penalty,  but because you will miss valuable content. Quizzes and in-class assignments may be given without prior notice and at any point in the class period. You will not be permitted to make up in-class work, and in all assignments and quizzes you will be expected to exhibit familiarity with  material covered in lectures and class discussions that may not be included in the readings. Treat this class just as you would any professional commitment.

Important notes

  • Students are expected to conduct themselves courteously in class. This means, among other things, refraining from distracting and disruptive behaviors such as texting or talking (to each other or on the phone) during lectures, eating, arriving late or leaving early. Do not move around the classroom during lectures, class discussions, or presentations. You may be asked to leave for any of these reasons at my discretion, and you will not be permitted to make up any in-class assignments or quizzes you might miss as a result;
  • Given the nature of social media, we will frequently be exposed to vulgar language, obscene remarks, and other adult content. Be prepared for this exposure, and to discuss it responsibly and appropriately if necessary;
  • Many of the social media platforms we will be exploring in this class are designed with mobile technology in mind. Although a mobile device (such as a smartphone or other Internet-enabled portable tool) is not necessary to complete the course requirements, it will enhance your ability to gain familiarity with the different forms of social media.

Special Needs

If you are a student with special needs, such as those covered under the Americans With Disabilities Act, please contact me early in the semester, and get in touch with the Disability Resource Center immediately. They can establish your eligibility for special accommodations such as note-taking or alternative testing conditions. Contact them by calling (602) 496-4321 or visit

Cronkite School and ASU Policies

Diversity Principles

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication practices inclusivity in student, staff and faculty populations in order to create an academic environment that embraces diversity of thought and acceptance of all people regardless of race, gender, age, sexual orientation or societal, political, cultural, economic, spiritual or physical differences.

To this end, the school directs efforts to the following four principles:

  • Actively seek out and encourage diverse populations to become productive members of the faculty, staff and the student body.
  • Create and maintain a work, learning and social environment that is cognizant and supportive of a diversity of human differences and beliefs.
  • Incorporate within the formal content of the curriculum and in each course an affirmation of the core journalistic values of accuracy, fairness, ethical behavior and sensitivity when reflecting an increasingly multicultural world.
  • Foster and support a climate in which events and activities of the school reflect diversity of awareness, sensitivity to and support for people of different origins, orientations and abilities.

Academic integrity, plagiarism, and client confidentiality

Academic dishonesty in any form will not be tolerated in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

The crux of our democracy is the ability of citizens to obtain honest, truthful and balanced information, and the credibility and integrity of the individual journalist and communications professional are crucial in that effort.

As the mission of the Cronkite School is to prepare students to become journalists and communication professionals, that credibility and integrity will be fostered within the educational environment of the school. To that end, a zero tolerance policytoward academic dishonesty will be enforced within every course and educational activity offered or sanctioned by the school.

Any allegations of academic dishonesty will automatically be referred to the Standards Committee of the school for review and recommendation to the dean of the school. If any student is found by the committee to have engaged in academic dishonesty in any form – including but not limited to cheating, plagiarizing and fabricating – that student shall receive a grade of XE for the class and will be dismissed from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Reinstatement will not be considered. There will be no exceptions.

Please consult the Cronkite School’s definitions and policy of plagiarism, available online at Make sure you understand it, as you will be required to abide by its terms for your work in this class.

You will also be required to read and electronically sign the Cronkite School Academic Integrity pledge. This assignment will be posted to the class Blackboard site, and must be completed by the date indicated in the syllabus. Although it is worth zero points, you will not be permitted to continue in the course without signing this pledge, per Cronkite School rules.