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Business, Economics, and Literature




  • I will ask you to respond in a notebook to our readings, sometimes by giving you queries ahead of time—often, but not always centered on our economic focus—other times by inviting you to come up with questions (and responses) on your own. These notebook responses will serve as a basis for our discussion and are thus due at the beginning of each class. These entries must be typewritten and should (in a reasonable font) be about 2 double-spaced pages in length per week. Make sure you include your name, the date and a title to indicate the assignment covered. I will reserve the right to call on you to read your entry or summarize it. Please be prepared! I will collect your notebooks at pre-announced times during the semester. Please note that you cannot submit them electronically.
  • Please also note that notebooks are not essays. They are evaluated on ideas and substance, not grammatical correctness or “form.” Write genuinely and thoughtfully; I encourage you to take risks! Note as well that I will read all of your entries each time, but please indicate one entry or more (with a big * for example) to which you would like me to respond in detail. Here is a Student Sample Notebook


  • Toward the end of the semester, I will ask you to submit a more formal paper (of about 5-8 pages in length) that will allow you to demonstrate on a larger scale how you see economic models and assumptions operating in our texts. This paper must be typewritten and double-spaced and, naturally, written in good English. In time, we will do an in-class workshop to prepare you for this assignment. Here are some lower-division/general education Student Sample Essays

Attendance and Participation

  • In addition to these writing assignments, you will earn a grade for your attendance and participation in class. Teaching, in my view, is a collective enterprise, with all of us assuming shared responsibility for a productive learning climate. By not showing up (or not showing up on time) you deprive yourself of valuable class discussion, just as you deprive your classmates of your own insights—the centerpiece of our collaborative endeavor a.k.a. teaching and learning. You will be allowed 2 (= two) “freebies,” which are intended to cover such emergencies as the day you were sick, gambling in Las Vegas (to correct the losses in your portfolio), or flying on the Space Shuttle . . . . You get the drift. If you have more than two absences, you jeopardize your good standing in the class and thus your final grade.
  • If you do have to miss class, please contact a peer –not me– to find out what we did and homework for the next class period:

Discussion Pods

  • Finally, I will ask you to get together in groups of 2-3 and take collective responsibility for conducting part of a class discussion about a certain portion of text (or film). You should come prepared to steer our attention in the directions you find most fruitful and rewarding. You should get together once or twice prior to the day you are “on” and have done some research and discussion on the text of your choice. For this occasion, you must also prepare a handout (one sheet, front & back), and perhaps a PowerPoint, that includes useful insights/quotes, sources, web sites, question prompts, observations, images, and additional information relevant to our text/author. An “official” sign-up sheet for these assignments is posted on my door.

Final Exam

  • That will allow you to demonstrate what you have learned this semester. Your total evaluation will be made up as follows:
Notebook 20%
Class Participation 20%
Discussion Pod 20%
Final Essay Question Exam 20%
Concluding Essay 20%

Please note that you will have to fulfill each of these requirements to pass this class and do well in it.

It is your responsibility to become familiar with the standards of academic integrity at WSU. Passing off someone else's work or ideas as your own is grounds for failure.


  • Laptops and notebooks are part of classroom resources, but I expect you to use them judiciously. That means you are focused on class learning, not checking email, surfing, gaming, etc. during class. I reserve the right to ask a student to switch off a laptop/notebook if I feel it is not used appropriately. I do not allow the use of cell phones or handheld devices in class and, in the event of non-compliance, will ask you to leave class for the remaining period. Please turn off your phone during the class hour. Thank you.


  • Plagiarism is a violation of the WSU Student Code. To plagiarize means to pass off someone else’s work as your own or to improperly or insufficiently document your sources. If you plagiarize, you will receive an E for the assignment. If it happens again, you will fail the class, and I will notify university authorities about disciplinary action.
  • WSU subscribes to, an electronic service that verifies the originality of student work. Enrollment in this course may require you to submit some or all of your assignments to, and documents submitted to are retained, anonymously, in their databases. Enrollment in this course constitutes an understanding of an agreement with this policy.

Disability Accommodation

  • PPM 3-34 notes: “When students seek accommodation in a regularly scheduled course, they have the responsibility to make such requests at the Center for Students with Disabilities (SSD, #181 of Student Services Center) before the beginning of the semester in which the accommodation is being requested. When a student fails to make such arrangements, interim accommodations can be made by the instructor, pending the determination of the request for a permanent accommodation." Such accommodations include reading services, provisions in case of mobility impairment, sign language and interpretive assistance, and closed captions for the hearing impaired, among others.

Emergency Closure

  • In the unlikely event of an extended campus closure, we will conduct our course electronically via email and virtual discussion groups. In this case, please make sure that you check your email account regularly for messages and attachments (in Word, PowerPoint, or audio) coming from me and/or your fellow seminar participants. Such messages may function as lecture substitutes, provide directions for reading and writing assignments, and contain other relevant information. Also make sure that your account has adequate storage capacity for transmitting documents. Please let me know by the end of the first week of the semester if you do not have access to a computer and/or the Internet from your home. Thanks.

Core Beliefs

  • According to PPM 6-22 IV, students are to “determine, before the last day to drop courses without penalty, when course requirements conflict with a student's core beliefs. If there is such a conflict, the student should consider dropping the class. A student who finds this solution impracticable may request a resolution from the instructor. This policy does not oblige the instructor to grant the request, except in those cases when a denial would be arbitrary and capricious or illegal. This request must be made to the instructor in writing and the student must deliver a copy of the request to the office of the department head. The student's request must articulate the burden the requirement would place on the student's beliefs."


  • If you prefer an alternate name or gender pronoun, please advise me of your preference and I will happily honor your request.

Recycling Policy

  • Weber State University is dedicated to being a leader in sustainability to ensure present needs are met without compromising the ability for future generations to inherit a healthy planet, society, and economy. Part of this commitment includes sustainable waste management practices with the ultimate goal of becoming a zero-waste campus. In order to achieve this goal, it is up to the WSU community to be informed about the various recycling policies on campus.
  • Please recycle following items on campus: plastics #1 & #2 (rinsed), cardboard, non-glossy paper, & metal cans.
  • *Please look at plastic identification symbol on the bottom of plastic bottles & jugs before recycling.
  • For more information on recycling at WSU, please reference Energy & Sustainability Office website

The Golden Rules

  • Assignments must be typewritten and are due on the date specified—no exceptions.
  • No electronic submissions.
  • For reasons of class integrity, and out of consideration of others, do not come late or leave early. For the same reason, I will not be able to accept late work.
  • Bottom line (repeat): Be there in body and mind!
  • Here is a Netiquette Refresher, if you need to contact me or any of your other instructors via email.

Let's Connect!

mwutz@weber.eduPhone  801-626-7011
Skype  michaelwutz007

LebenslaufCurriculum Vitae
Weber – The Contemporary West
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Mailing Address


Michael Wutz, Brady Presidential Distinguished Professor
Editor, Weber - The Contemporary West
Department of English, 1404 University Circle
Weber State University
Ogden, UT 84404-1404 USA