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College advice needed

Discussion in 'Parents Off Topic' started by diamondback688, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. diamondback688

    diamondback688 Approved members

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    I need some advice, please.

    My English Comp professor is blind.

    I had to write a research paper that was worth 20% of my final grade. I turned it in a couple of weeks ago and got it back today.

    Does everyone here know what a parenthetical citation is? If you don't, it is this: (Author's last name, page number)

    (Note: No comma, but I had to separate it somehow)

    Well, I looked over my paper and the first thing I noticed is that she said that I didn't use parenthetical citations for two of the authors on my works cited page.

    I just went through my paper and I highlighted five places where I used parenthetical citations for those two authors.

    Oh, did I mention there is nothing I can do about the grade I received on my paper? My professor said at the beginning of class that we can't contest the grade we received.

    By the way, I got a 50% if anyone was curious.

    Opinions?
     
  2. Dad of Daughters

    Dad of Daughters Approved members

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    Ryan,

    I'd be happy to help, been there done that and have been on both sides of the teacher/student relationship. I have a number of questions though, so I'm going to PM you.
     
  3. BozziesMom

    BozziesMom Approved members

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    I'd ask if I could contest if the mistakes were hers, not yours. If no, I'd let her I'm going to the department head. Do you think if you got credit for the parenthetical citations, you'd pass? I assume 50 doesn't pass?

    If it would pass vs. fail, I'd ask anyway. I would assume that "no contesting" applied to cases where I thought (opinion) I did better than she thought. But if she blatantly missed something and marked it wrong when in fact it appeared in the paper, I'd contest anyway.

    I mean what's going to happen if you do? Worst case? You keep the grade?
     
  4. MamaC

    MamaC Approved members

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    Ryan,

    Approach the professor with your highlighted examples. Don't go in as a challenge but ask for an explanation. It may not help your grade but it may help you in the future in case you have this professor again.

    Regardless of the outcome, you may want to share this with your advisor who can let you know if it is worth pursuing with the head of the English department. I don't know if the fact that you actually have the citations she claims you are missing will/would make any difference in your grade, but to my mind someone higher up should be aware of what appears to me to be a dropped ball on the professor's part.

    That's just what I would advise my college kid to do.
     
  5. diamondback688

    diamondback688 Approved members

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    Maybe. I have no idea.

    A 50% is an 'F'.
    Worst case scenario is I fail the class, I think.
     
  6. momtojess

    momtojess Approved members

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    Perhaps approach her in such a way that you are only wanting to learn from your mistakes, and ask if she could explain how it should have been done; rather then approaching it as she messed up and you want your grade changed.

    maybe if she is can point out where it is incorrect, or the lack here of, she will see what happened, or you will be aware of the error.
     
  7. Ellen

    Ellen Senior Member

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    Is your prof legally blind or was that a figurative statement?

    Do you submit your papers through TurnItIn.Com?

    Are there places in your paper where you missed the citations?
     
  8. ccarrol4

    ccarrol4 Approved members

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    You should look in your student handbook and see if there's a time to appeal grades. I know at my university we have that once each semester. You should also go to your professor during her office hours and point out the highlighted sections so that she'll see that you did indeed site the authors.
     
  9. Lisa P.

    Lisa P. Approved members

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    I suspect you have misunderstood her critique. If you really think she made a mistake, I'd get a bunch of A students or TA's to look at your paper themselves and ask if they see a problem with her evaluation (don't tell them ahead of time what to look for).

    If she said you don't have citations, maybe she didn't mean you don't have citations for them at all but that there were places where you should have cited the authors and did not.

    Do you feel all her critiques were unjustified or unhelpful? 50% is pretty low on a paper, so if you believe she is a genuinely very poor teacher you may want to explore your options for dropping the class, etc. But if you believe she is a decent to good teacher, I'd suggest spending your time and energy working on improving your own skills. I know it's very frustrating to feel marked down for something you didn't do wrong, and teachers do make mistakes. But don't lose the forest for the trees, if you are struggling with composition your effort needs to go into something productive for yourself.

    If it is the grade itself you are worried about, you could ask if there is anything you can do at this point to improve that.

    It takes a while to get your sea legs at school. If you are in a good program, it's going to be a huge difference from anything you've seen before -- that's a good thing. If this was just high school plus one it would be an easier transition, but hardly worth your time.
     
  10. diamondback688

    diamondback688 Approved members

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    Figurative statement.
    No
    Not the citations she is referring to. I do know I forgot to include an author on my works cited page, but I did put a parenthetical citation in for him.

    The class is over. I took the final exam for the class this morning.

    Did I mention that she just plain doesn't like me? She says I ask too many questions.:rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
  11. LizinTX

    LizinTX Approved members

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    Just as it is offensive to us to have others make fun of people with T1D, or make snide "food police" comments. This is offensive to those of us who are either blind or have a loved one who is. Just as it is difficult to get people to understand that people with T1D can eat "just like everyone else" and can do "anything like everyone else". It is actually twice as hard to get the public to understand that people who are blind can do "anything" a sighted person can do--except drive a car and perform surgery.

    If she was blind, this was a hateful thing to say; if she isn't blind, this was just rude.
     
  12. diamondback688

    diamondback688 Approved members

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    I e-mailed my professor today to see if I could arrange a meeting for tomorrow. I just got a response, and she said she wasn't going to be on campus tomorrow.

    But, she did tally up my final grade, and I passed the class with a 'C'. So, that ends that. Not much point in complaining now.

    She said that even if the grade on that paper had been a bit higher, I would've gotten a higher 'C'.
     
  13. BozziesMom

    BozziesMom Approved members

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    Well I'm glad to hear you passed. College can be so frustrating... :) You think you did well, and get a stinky grade, OR you think you didn't do so well and get a surprise A.

    Hopefully next semester will go more smoothly for you.
     

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