Most everything a student needs to know about a course is contained on the syllabus. Professors expect students to refer to their syllabi regularly. Students are responsible for knowing and following the information contained in their syllabi.
Syllabi typically contain the professor’s office location, contact information, and office hours.
Syllabi typically contain a weekly schedule – what topics will be covered in class on what dates as well as what chapters in a textbook or other book will be the basis for each class meeting. Professors provide this information because they expect students to have read the material before coming to class.
Syllabi typically contain policies for the course. It is not uncommon to find an attendance policy outlined on the syllabus. Nor is it uncommon to find policies in regard to whether or not late work will be accepted, or whether or not missed exams can be retaken. Professors expect students to understand and abide by these policies. Different professors have different policies so students must pay close attention to the syllabus they are given for each class.
Syllabi typically contain a list of all major assignments, i.e. papers, oral reports, journals, group projects, etc. that will be due for the course
Syllabi typically contain a detailed account of how assignments will be factored into the students’ final course grade. It is common to find that not every type of assignment is weighted equally in the calculation of the final grade. Sometimes exam grades count more than paper grades. Sometimes quiz grades weigh heavily and sometimes they don’t. Professors provide this information so that students can track their progress at every point in the semester.