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Department of Literature and Language  

Department Policies

Class Attendance     Gary and Lorena in regalia

Faculty members in the Department of Literature and Language recognize that unexpected occasions may arise when a student must be absent from class. Although such absences are not encouraged, the following policy will prevail:

  •  Three absences will be tolerated in classes that meet three times a week.
  •  Two absences will be allowed in classes that meet twice a week.
  •  One absence only will be permitted for classes that meet once a week.

Students remain responsible for all material covered in missed classes, including reading assignments, announcements and changes of schedules. Should any further unexcused absences occur, however, the instructor has the option of lowering the final course grade by one letter grade for each hour missed. Failure to attend class in a responsible and committed manner may thus be grounds for failure in the course.


Faculty members in the Department of Literature and Language are committed to providing equal opportunities for success to all students. Students with disabilities that may have an impact on class performance should notify the instructor during the first week of class so that necessary accommodations can be made. They should also contact the Office of Disability Services at 253 University Hall, 828.350.4500, for learning support.

Guidelines for Documentation

The Department of Literature and Language uses the conventions of the Modern Language Association, which updated its expectations in 2009. Details for current parenthetical citations and the Works Cited page can be accessed at  


In order to avoid confusion, the UNC Asheville Department of Literature and Language defines plagiarism in this widely accepted fashion: Plagiarism involves the appropriation and use of someone else's ideas or words as one's own. All definitions, terminology, concepts, and patterns of organization taken from an outside source must be identified and documented in any essay or exam students write--whether it be for this department or any other.

When outside reading is undertaken for an assigned paper, all students are responsible for recording accurate notes so that later, should they wish to incorporate some of the ideas or phrasings encountered in the reading, they may properly and adequately identify the source. In identifying such sources, they should follow current MLA guidelines.

Facts of general knowledge (such as the place and date of an author's birth, honors granted during his or her lifetime, the titles and dates of published works, etc.) need not be documented. However, facts which are not in the area of general knowledge must be credited to the source. Ideas, interpretations, terms, and patterns of organization taken from an outside source may be either directly quoted (in which case the exact words should be placed in quotation marks) or paraphrased. Paraphrase is recommended whenever possible in order to avoid a disproportionate amount of direct quotation in the paper. In either case--whether with quoting or paraphrasing--credit must be given to the source.

A good definition of paraphrase is found in the Practical English Handbook: "To paraphrase is to express the sense of a passage entirely in [the student's] own words, selecting and summarizing only information and ideas that will be useful[. . . .] It is the recording of relevant information in the student's own words. It extracts items of information instead of merely recasting the entire passage and line of thought in different words."

The key to avoiding plagiarism is to remember that students are responsible for giving credit to the source of any idea, phrase, term, definition, or pattern of organization they use in their own work.

The Department of Literature and Language considers plagiarism a grave breach of intellectual integrity. Instructors in the department have the authority to give students a failing grade for the course because of a single instance of plagiarism or other form of cheating. At the least, the following minimal steps will be taken:

  • The student will receive the grade of F for the particular work attempted in which plagiarism or cheating is involved;
  • The incident will be reported to the Department Chair;
  • The incident will be reported to the Academic Dean who will determine whether any other punishment should be taken. Additional penalties may be imposed at the Dean's discretion. They may include cancellation of scholarships, suspension, and expulsion.

Last edited by on September 9, 2012