There is an “our” in group, if you don’t mind mixing the letters up College Life / Writing & Grammar

Hi Everyone:

I just finished working with a few classes that were all about teamwork. Happily, some of the teams were superb. Everyone participated fully and contributed as equally as possible. They got a very high grades on their project and they deserved their stellar grades.

Sadly, not all the teams worked out well. Some of the team members were MIA, no-show, no-loads who posted the group project in their own assignment folders, knowing full well that they hadn’t contributed a lick. (I worked on  a team once where one of our members contributed “great job, folks” and “my name is spelled with a ‘ph’ instead of a ‘v’ to a 42-page paper. I won’t be forgetting Stephen very soon, that’s for sure, since he also got an A on the assignment.)

So what’s a student to do???? Stay in touch with your instructor, for one thing.  When someone tells me after the fact that one teammate didn’t do a thing, there’s not much I can do about it. If you tell me this a few weeks into the project, I can try to reach out to the student and get him or her moving. Or not.

The important issue here is to let the instructor know! I ‘fire’ nonproductive group members and stick them on a team by themselves. That way, you can work unhindered by an albatross and the person who is sticking it to you is now stuck on his or her own.

Stay in touch! Let the professor know what’s happening and we will help. Do not suffer in silence, and don’t let a freeloader get away with submitting your work! The word “our” is in “group,” you just have to move the letters around a bit!


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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