Before you fail read the instructions College Life

Hello everyone:
I received an email from a student today. Her note made it very clear that she had not read the announcements or the syllabus before posting her first assignment.

While I am the first to agree that a syllabus will probably never make the Best Seller list with Amazon, there is important information in it that could dramatically affect your grade.

First, she did not know any deadlines. (They are in both the syllabus and in the first announcement for the class, which I have repeatedly asked students to read.) Key: Read it before you write an assignment.

Second, she was unaware that there were any length requirements on discussion board postings. (Those instructions are at the end of the question, so she obviously did not scroll down one more line, where she would have located it.) Key: If you do not meet the minimum length requirements, you might not get credit for doing anything. Key: If you always post brief postings, your teacher gets very annoyed for your wasting her time. You obviously wanted credit; you just felt like doing a poor job. She notices and makes note that you are lazy. Guess what happens to lazy students if they need a curve at the end of the semester because they are “that close” to the next grade?

Finally, she did not want to participate in the Free Feedback Thursday where she would receive free (what a surprise) feedback that she could use to improve her paper and end up with a better grade. She didn’t want to work that hard. (One student told me “I never do re-writes.” His final grade reflected that attitude.)

The take-away here is…well, you are in college, what do you think?


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.


  1. I think that people attend college for different reasons. I am a firm believer, by my own experience, that some folks should not go to college until they are ready. First, let us explore some of the reasons to attend college. Some are told to go by their parents, some go on a scholarship of some sort, and some believe it is the right thing to do. Take me, for example. I am more blessed than I deserve, my school is paid for as a reward for serving over 20 years in the military. If it were not for this reason, I could not further my education. I am also a single mother and in my mid-40’s. I have an obligation to my little son and I plan to fulfill it. The bottom line is that we all have our own personal drives and motivation, or for some, a lack thereof.

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