Following the directions leads to better grades College Life

Hello everyone:

This may not come as a surprise but following the directions on an assignment really does lead to better grades. Here is a case in point:

My students at an unnamed college had a assignment worth 100 points. Some of the students really applied themselves and did a super job of addressing all of the questions the essay was supposed to respond to.

Two of the students wrote two lines apiece. That was it. Now, folks, do they really think that each sentence was worth 50 points? One hint for college success includes the factoid that the teacher’s questions should not take up more space on the page than your answer did.

If you are asked, for example, “what are the pros and cons” of an issue, you should not have your entire answer be “there are some pros and there are some cons.” No, I am not kidding. Details really do matter.

On this same assignment, several of the students answered in full paragraphs, noting that I am very fond of five-sentence paragraphs. I have made mention of this fact several times during the semester, but these two-sentence-wonder students were too busy looking bored to listen, apparently.

The take-away here is: pay attention to the directions, answer the questions you are being asked in a thorough manner, and listen to verbal instructions in class. Write them down. Do the work and make a better grade.


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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