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Department of English
Communication Skills Program Policies for Students


While Communication Skills instructors may adapt a syllabus as needed to suit their purposes, there is a core set of policies for students that are the same for all of our courses. The policies found below apply to all Communication Skills courses and can be found on your course syllabus. 

Policy on Original Books:

The Communication Skills Program requires all students to purchase original copies of the textbooks for their courses. Purchasing a photocopy of the book means that you have violated international copyright laws and ignored the principles of Academic Integrity, which all faculty in this Program are committed to upholding.

Participation Policy:

The Communication Skills program defines participation in the writing process as: completing all assignments; completing all free-writing assignments; participating in writing workshops; participating in peer review sessions; participating in student-teacher conferences; and showing evidence of progress.

Attendance Policy:

Attendance is required in all Communication Skills courses.

The table below illustrates the max number of absences for English 102, 203, 204, 206, and 208:


Before Week 10








The tables below illustrate the max number of absences for English 100A and 100B:

English 100A

Total number of Hours

Before Week 10





English 100B

Total number of Hours

Before Week 10





Automatic Withdrawals and Failures Due to Absences: If you miss more than the allowed number of absences by Week 10, your instructor will send your name to the FAS Dean’s office to be withdrawn from the course. If you are enrolled in 15 or more credit hours, you will automatically be dropped from the course. If you are enrolled in fewer than 15 credit hours, you will automatically earn a failing grade of 40 for the course. If you miss more than the total number of allowed absences in a given semester and you accumulate these absences after Week 10, you will automatically earn a failing grade of 40 for the course.

Excused Absences: If you must miss class due to an illness and wish to be excused, you must provide your instructor with a medical report and/or professional opinion issued by a qualified AUB employee, AUBMC doctor, or University Health Services. Students who seek excused absences for university-sanctioned events must provide an official letter from the sponsoring organization notifying your instructor of the absence at least one week before the event. Students are expected to complete assignments on time, actively participate in other class sessions, and to make up work missed as agreed with the faculty member.

Schedule Conflicts: Note that no common exams or labs are to be scheduled that conflict with students enrolled in this class. You are responsible for communicating with all parties involved prior to the date of the conflict. Please note that any student who misses a class to take an exam or attend a lab for another class is not excused and is responsible for arranging for makeup work, should the instructor allow it.

Students are allowed to register for a Communication Skills course a maximum of three times, the third requiring permission of the student’s advisor and the Department of English. Students withdrawn will be counted as having registered for the course one time.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism Policy:

In all writing, ideas and words taken from any source should be documented. Failure to credit ideas or material taken from sources constitutes plagiarism, a violation of the University’s academic regulations, and is subject to disciplinary action.

All writing you do for any course at AUB, including Communication Skills courses, must be your own and must be exclusively for that course, unless the instructor stipulates differently. Please pay special attention to the quotes, paraphrases, and documentation practices you use in your papers (note: if you are referring to work previously submitted in any course, then you must cite yourself).

Academic Honesty means applying the following standards to all submitted work:

  1. Documenting all proprietary information that is received from sources, including books, articles, websites, lectures, interviews, television, radio, and etc.
  2. Putting quotation marks around the words that were originally written or spoken by someone other than oneself.
  3. Clearly indicating ideas by other authors, even if they are paraphrased (written in your own words) or summarized.

Plagiarism: Engaging in any of the following activities constitutes plagiarism:

  1. Submitting a paper written by another student
  2. Requesting or paying someone to complete an assignment for you
  3. Taking material from secondary sources without proper documentation
  4. Copying, word for word, someone else’s writing without putting that passage in quotation marks and identifying the source
  5. Taking someone else’s writing, changing some of the words, and not identifying the source
  6. Taking someone else’s ideas or organization of ideas, putting them into his/her words, and not identifying the source
  7. Having someone else change your writing – a tutor, friend, or relative, for instance – and creating the impression that this writing is your own work.
  8. Purchasing or downloading papers or passages from the Web.
  9. Using facts, data, graphs, charts, photographs, or other information without acknowledging the source with a footnote or reference. Borrowed facts or information obtained in one’s research or reading must be acknowledged unless they are “common knowledge.” Students should check with their teachers regarding what can be viewed as “common knowledge” within a specific field or assignment, but often the student will have to make the final judgment. When in doubt, footnotes or references should be used.

Disciplinary Action: When confronting plagiarism, all instructors in the Communication Skills Program abide by the guidelines stipulated in AUB’s Student Code of Conduct, which states:

It is the responsibility of the faculty to uphold university policies. Thus, the immediate responsibility for dealing with instances of cheating, plagiarism, and other academic violations rests with the faculty member. If a faculty member has good reason to believe that a student has violated academic standards, it is his or her responsibility to discipline the student expeditiously. A faculty member who has good reason to believe that a student has violated academic standards must give a grade of zero on the exam or assignment where the violation occurred. When the instructor has taken the initial disciplinary action, he or she should send a letter to the office of the Dean of the Faculty or School, in which the incident occurred, informing him/her of the incident and the initial action he/she has taken. A copy of the letter will be placed in the student's file, and another copy forwarded to the student's advisor for follow-up.” (10)


Turnitin is an online plagiarism-detection tool accessible via Moodle that many faculty at AUB use. Once your work is uploaded, it will be compared with an extensive database of student and publicly accessible writing. When you upload an assignment to Moodle, your assignment may also automatically be scanned through Turnitin. If your instructor has authorized Turnitin to scan the assignment on Moodle, you must comply or risk losing credit for the assignment. If you have questions about how the software works or how the Turnitin report has been used, please ask your instructor or set up an appointment with the Director of Communication Skills.

Grievance Procedure:

If at any time during the semester you have concerns about the course, an assignment, or your instructor’s assessment of your work, you should first set up a meeting to talk with your instructor about it. If need be, you may request a meeting with the Director of Communication Skills. The goal of any meeting with the Director will be to improve communication between the student and course instructor, and to resolve the issue in such a way that course learning outcomes are achieved. Please note that the instructor for the course is the final decision-maker for any issues that arise.

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