Course Policies


The Basic Writing courses are populated by a diverse student community. We celebrate our students’ differences and are interested in helping our students discover how these differences contribute to their intellectual lives. We also insist that these differences are treated with respect. No one can learn in an environment in which he or she is not comfortable. If you feel that you have been disrespected in the classroom by a peer, alert your instructor. If you believe that an instructor has treated you unfairly, see the director of the program. In turn, if you think you might have inadvertently been disrespectful to a peer, talk it over with your instructor, who can help you rectify your mistake.


Attendance is mandatory. The work of a writing class—with its group discussions and its collective critique of student work—is impossible to replicate outside of the classroom. If you don’t attend, you can’t learn. Having said that, we do know that things like illnesses and family emergencies come up. We have therefore established a program-wide policy that permits two absences per term. If you miss more than two classes, you risk failing the course and could be advised by your instructor to withdraw. When you do come to class, demonstrate your “presence” by showing up on time, paying attention, and being ready to engage with your classmates and your instructor in the work of the course. Coming more than ten minutes late to class more than twice, chronically checking your phone, or in any way not paying attention during class time may also count as an absence (at your instructor’s discretion).

Late Papers

All papers, including drafts and the smaller assignments leading up to them, must be turned in before the deadline. If your paper is not complete, come to class and apologize to your instructor. Together, the two of you can make a plan for when and how the paper will be submitted. Late papers can severely affect your progress in the course and can also affect your final course grade. Moreover, your portfolio readers will take into consideration all drafts of your work as they determine whether or not you are ready to pass on to your College Writing courses so you’ll want to do your best work on every assignment. If you know that you will be late with a paper—if, for instance, you have three exams on the same day—talk to your instructor well in advance and see what sort of accommodation he or she might be willing to make. Do note that fabricating an excuse to turn in a late assignment is a violation of the university’s academic integrity policy.  

Academic Integrity

By participating in the Basic Writing course, you are declaring that you will do your own work. According to the UCSD Policy on Integrity of Scholarship, you shall not “engage in any activity that involves attempting to receive a grade by means other than honest effort.” According to the policy, you are not allowed to:

  • Complete, in part or in total, any assignment for another person
  • Have any of your course work be completed, in part or in total, by someone else
  • Plagiarize or copy the work of another person or source and submit it as your own work
  • Employ aids excluded by the instructor in undertaking course work or in completing any assignment
  • Alter graded class assignments, then resubmit them for re-grading
  • Submit substantially the same material in more than one course without prior authorization

Be careful when you are using sources—if you paraphrase sloppily or aren’t careful about citing the sources you are drawing from, you could be called up on charges of violating the University’s Academic Integrity Policy, even if you did not intend to plagiarize.  

We will be covering the University’s Academic Integrity Policy in class. If you have any questions about how to complete this course with integrity, please ask your instructor.  


The papers that you write for this course will not receive letter grades. Instead, you will receive written commentary as to how well your papers demonstrate your ability to meet the course’s nine objectives, as articulated at the beginning of this document. You will learn to assess your own work according to these same criteria. The final portfolio project will be assessed by your instructor and another Basic Writing instructor, also using these criteria, in order to determine whether or not you are ready to pass on to your College Writing Program. Portfolios that demonstrate competency in the nine objectives will be passed with a grade of C or above. If your portfolio passes, you will be able to enroll in your College Writing course. If your portfolio demonstrates that you are not yet ready for College Writing, you will receive a grade of C- or lower for the course. You must re-enroll in an additional ELWR course.  

The criteria for determining your final course grade are more fully articulated on the ELWR 1 and ELWR 2A-2B syllabi.


You may add, drop, or change a Basic Writing section by using TritonLink during the open enrollment period. After the open enrollment period ends (roughly one week after the beginning of classes), all adds, drops, and changes must be approved by the Basic Writing Office. You are responsible for ensuring that the Registrar’s Office has an accurate record of your enrollment.