Asking the Professor for a Conference Uncategorized / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone:

Have you ever had a professor who marked down your papers and you couldn’t figure out what was wrong?

When I was in graduate school for my master’s degree, I had one professor who automatically took five points off of every paper, for what she said were “grammar problems.” I asked her what she meant and she just told me that everyone makes mistakes, so she always took off the points.

Poppycock and balderdash! (Forgive me for being redundant here!)

While I am willing to admit to not being perfect, neither am I so flawed that every paper has major mess ups. I went through my documents and, out of the entire semester, I only found one typo. There were no grammar, punctuation, or wording mistakes.

I asked her for a meeting. She refused but gave me a 100 on the next paper, saying that the grade made up for the other errors. (She was obviously not gifted at math, since one paper that was not marked down five points does not bring up five other papers that lost a total of 25 points.)

So, what is a student to do? Ask for a meeting. I was rebuffed by my professor but that doesn’t mean that you will be, as well. Be polite, not rude. Be firm but not unbending. You may actually be wrong, so be gracious. Because you handled the situation nicely, the professor may actually give you some of the points back and may be kinder to you next time.

Best,

Dr. Sheri


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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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