Preparing your Syllabi

Arts and Sciences Syllabi Information Page
Academic Calendar

The Syllabus Guidelines page provides all of the resources and information for faculty members to prepare and submit their syllabi.

Department’s Course Guidelines, Learning Outcomes, and Sample Syllabi page

The boilerplate of the policies and legal declarations that must be verbatim in your syllabi can be found here.
Sample blurb for The Writing and Speaking Center

Speaking Center: Speaking Center: Speaking Center is available by Zoom to help all USF students prepare for all kinds of presentations–such as speeches, team presentations, and visual aid demonstrations. Coaches are USF students, selected because of their skill and experience (and excellent grades) in public speaking.They can help you with a variety of aspects of public speaking, including delivery, topic selection, research, and outlining. Speaking Coaches are available for appointments Monday through Friday. For more information on the USF Speaking Center or help making appointments, please check out our home page:

Writing Center: Writing Center Consultants are available by Zoom, Monday through Friday, to give you feedback on any part of your writing process: from getting started, to organizing your draft, to editing your final product. We are happy to meet with you, and we would love to discuss your drafts-in-progress. Please see our website for hours and instructions on how to make a Zoom appointment.

For either Writing or Speaking Center appointments, go to or email There is also a chat feature in the lower left corner of our websites. 

How to submit your syllabi

1) Ensure you have published it in Simple Syllabus.


2) Email your syllabi to your Program Assistant with the following required format saved as a PDF:

File name with the first three letters of syllabus, the last two numbers of the academic year, the semester with first letter capitalized, your last name with first letter capitalized, the course name abbreviation all capitalized, the course number, and the section number. Do not use any periods, dashes, symbols to separate the file name.

A+ file name examples:

F+ file name examples:
My syllabus

Per University policy, your syllabus must contain a statement of your grading policies and the following three items.

1) How each assignment is weighted: value of each assignment can be represented by points, percentages, credit/no credit, letter grades, and/or labor based grading criteria.

2) A grading scale: Scales can be comprised of traditional percentages, letter grades, rubric based, specification based, and/or labor based grading criteria.

3) The criteria for how students’ work will be evaluated: Criteria for evaluating student work should be provided for each major assignment. Such criteria can be included in your syllabus or provided for each assignment (or both).

Grading and evaluation practices signal to our students what is valued most in our classes. The R & L department does not require any specific system of grading, but does strongly encourage practices that are informed by Universal Design for Learning principles and that strive to decolonialize the rhetoric classroom. As you design and implement your grading system consider the following:

  • Does my grading system emphasize the values that inform my teaching?
  • Are all students supported in their learning through my grading and evaluation?
  • Is it clear to students how they achieve their grades on discrete assignments as well as in the course overall (course grade)?
  • Does my grading align with my explicit teaching time? In other words, do I use class time to explicitly address the elements that are graded in student work?
    • For instance if I take off points for punctuation errors do I spend time teaching punctuation in class? And if so, is the point value congruent to the amount of time spent on direct instruction?
  • Does my grading system encourage students to communicate with me? And does it support building professional relationships with me and their fellow classmates?

It may be helpful to consider to basic principles of grading:

  1. Traditional grading is often mysterious and confusing to students (see Mitchell James “Grading Has Always Made Writing Better” from Bad Ideas about Writing)
  2. Working for a grade often impedes learning because extrinsic motivation is far less sustainable and effective than intrinsic motivation. (see Carol Dwek’s Mindset: The New Psychology of Success)

Here are some examples of grading systems that work to encourage student engagement and transparency as well as foster professional behaviors and communication: