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Tips for Successful Class Participation


  • Attend class regularly.

For a Tuesday, Thursday class you may miss up to two class sessions—these are freebies.  Beyond that, it counts—no matter the reason—because it’s simply impossible to contribute to the class if you are absent.  I understand you can’t always be here—just come to class when you can and understand that absences affect your grade.

  • Come to class prepared to contribute.

–keep up with the readings

–re-read select difficult passages

–take notes on readings, and/or fill out the theorist worksheet

–post questions or comments on “Class Chat” or jot down ideas to bring up during class

–think about comparisons and contrasts with other readings/theorists

  • What if you are shy?

early in the semester, set a goal of getting your voice heard at least once per

class session.  At first, and for those who have difficulty, do not worry about the

quality of your contribution.  Just say SOMETHING (or raise your hand even if

you don’t have an idea formulated—we will take the time and pause and give you

the chance to get your thoughts together.)

meet with me during office hours or make an appointment.

remember that we all have something to contribute.

  • Show respect for one another.

  • Listen.

Listed carefully to what others are contributing.  We don’t have to always agree with one another, but we should aim for a constructive conversation, rather than a series of isolated comments.  We all have something to learn from one another.

  • Bring your book to class.

Much of our class discussion will be informed by the words of the theorists—so, it helps to have the text in front of us for a quick reference.  Also, if you take notes in your book, then you will have a ready reminder of the key themes.

  • Contribute regularly to “Class Chat.

“Class Chat” is an on-line forum that we will use to get discussion started.  You should post questions and comments by the evening before our class meeting.  You can also comment on other posts, and we can continue discussions after class. “Class Chat” is an integral part of your participation grade.  I expect everyone to contribute on-line.


  • Dominate Discussion
  • Text/Chat/Twitter/Surf/Sleep
  • Come late or take breaks (except in emergencies)


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