The devil is in the details: Proofread before you submit Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone:

Have you ever submitted a document for grading, only to have the instructor ask you what in the world you are saying? That probably means that you did not proofread the assignment before you turned it in.

For example, today I read a discussion board posting by one of my graduate students where the individual spelled Friedrich Nietzsche’s name as “Frederick Niche.” Nope, a “niche” is a special segment of the marketplace. For example, I write another blog on being unexpectedly unmarried. My “niche” group is people who have lost their spouse. If you have never been married, you are not in the niche group that I am targeting for my series on being Suddenly Single.

Another student of mine has now written the same discussion board posting incorrectly for the second time. When an instructor gives you feedback, pay attention. We are not doing it for our own health, but for your growth as a student. Like the title for today’s blog, the devil is in the details. You can improve your grades if you just pay attention to the instructions and follow them.  This is not rocket science, unless you are in a class for future rocket scientists. In that case, it is!

If you have questions for your instructor, ask! A question that is not asked will never be answered, I guarantee it. BTW, when you ask, please tell us which class you are taking and the section you are in (if that is relevant), so that we can look at the right syllabus as we answer your query. Like many instructors, I teach a variety of classes each term and it really speeds things up if I don’t have to look up which class you are taking.

I hope this helps. Do post a comment if you have any questions or concerns about the details of an assignment. I would love to hear from you!


Dr. Sheri


Sheri Dean Parmelee has a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Regent University. She writes books on practical tips for people who become unexpectedly unmarried and is working on her second novel in a series of contemporary romance/suspense novels. She teaches at three colleges, working with students from freshmen to graduate students. Her hobbies include running 8 miles a day and reading biographies and fiction.

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