so frustrated!

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Frost Homestead, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. Frost Homestead

    Frost Homestead eggmonger

    Jul 9, 2011
    Lago Vista, TX
    Grrrr! I'm so frustrated I could just scream!! [​IMG]

    My Ethics professor (online class) refuses to grade my essays reasonably. I'm a straight-A student and I know that my essays are top notch, but she made me re-write the entire essay. So I turned in my re-write and she takes 3 weeks to grade it and still only gives me a 'B'. My first essay also earned a "B". This is a moral philosophy class and many of the subjects we discuss are controversial; I'm beginning to think she's giving me such a hard time because I often go against the grain and argue in opposition to what the majority of the other students argue for.

    I know for a fact that I have the highest grade in the class (we have an online grade book that show our progress opposed to that of the rest of the class) If I can't get an "A" then it is impossible. She grades my paper so strictly that she actually docks points if she thinks I could have arranged my sentence structure differently. [​IMG]

    The rest of the work is relatively easy and I get top scores on all my discussions and quizzes. The thing is, my grade is mostly determined by the essays. I'm afraid I'm not going to get an "A". I'm also very tempted to write her and complain. Not only that but I would also like to see an example of an essay that earned an "A"...GRRRR!!! [​IMG]

    ok rant over [​IMG]

    ps, I'm not fresh out of high school, I'm 30 yrs old and this is my second degree
  2. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    You have my sympathy, but I fear there is no cure for it. Unfortunately, if you give any power to small unimportant people they really take advantage of it.

    I had a humanities teaching assistant who was a self-proclaimed Communist and wouldn't accept any essays that did not reflect his Communist belief system. I wasn't about to write a pro-Communist essay and put my name on it and he wouldn't accept any essays from me. So there went my grade point average.

    Complaining to the professor did no good. He'd turned his teaching responsibilities over to his TA and that was the end of that.

    If your grade point average is really critical, like you are trying to get into Med school, then drop the class and wait until you can take it from a different teacher.

    Note: it is possible that it was a B paper. Just because you skate in high school doesn't mean you can get A's for less than A quality work in college. Suddenly, nobody cares whether you graduate or not. So you have to work.
  3. Frost Homestead

    Frost Homestead eggmonger

    Jul 9, 2011
    Lago Vista, TX
    Your TA seems similar to mine, she's very liberal and did not like my essay about the evils of government coercion/forced charity, which is why she made me re-write it on a different subject. My grade point average is only critical because I care about it really, that and it will help me get into grad school. I actually dropped out of high school and went straight to college. High school was not challenging or rewarding. I work hard and it shows, hence my great GPA. I would never write sub-par work and expect a good grade. I just needed to vent and my husband doesn't want to hear it [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011
  4. MetalSmitten

    MetalSmitten Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2010
    bloomington, indiana
    set up an appointment to talk to the professor, and ask for specific guidelines as to how you are graded.

    for example, some teachers are big sticklers for using certain "formal" writing styles (MLA is one), where even though your papers may be well-written for general purposes, they may not follow the guidelines set forth by the specific system. nitpicking sentence structure makes me think that this may be what's going on. so ask the professor WHY you're being graded harshly, and see if you get an answer that makes sense. if she can't give you a good reason, drop the class - if she's using a strict system, learn the system.
  5. Frost Homestead

    Frost Homestead eggmonger

    Jul 9, 2011
    Lago Vista, TX
    unfortunately I can't drop the class, we only have 3 more weeks left, it's a 16 week course. I don't really think writing her will do any good. These essays require no sources, they are only 1500 words, so there's no MLA or anything like that, but I am used to writing 20+ page research papers so this measly 1.5 page paper should be a breeze [​IMG]
  6. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    I definitely got marked for any perceived changes in sentence structure, and it helped me become a better writer. There were two occasions I disagreed with, so I argued my case. It is really hard to comment on why you are getting the grades you are without seeing your papers. I have no idea how well you support your statements or structure your papers. I have certainly had teachers who graded according to their beliefs (ie. one thought humans had a physical organ called a soul that animals lacked...), but they have been few and far in-between. I've written some papers and arguments that solidly went against the teachers beliefs, but they were argued in a concrete manner that assured I was not docked for it. I would, as someone else suggested, first talk with the teacher about what their specific grading structure is, and what specific changes they would like to see being made. If nothing else, this will give you more input as to whether they have a logical grading system, or if you are being singled out (ps. I have also had profs say that they graded me harder than other people in my class when asked about a paper grade, because they 'expected more from different students'. It's up to you to state whether that is acceptable or not). If that doesn't pan out, but you are sure you are receiving an unfair grade not based upon acceptable criteria, then it is time to go higher up.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011
  7. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    Have you considered chatting with the department chair?
  8. Frost Homestead

    Frost Homestead eggmonger

    Jul 9, 2011
    Lago Vista, TX
    I may end up doing that, I really don't want to re-write my paper again but she did give me that option.
  9. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    For starters the professor isn't supposed to share what others in the class make. That violates a major federal privacy law.
    Secondly, you have the right to see the rubric the professor is using to grade you. Theoretically she can't just arbitrarily assign grades. Ask for a copy of the rubric or for a copy of your graded rubric.
    If the professor cannot answer questions about how she is grading, then go see the chair and the dean. Both positions should have open door policies for student access. If that doesn't work, you have the right to see the provost. Be aware that going to see the chair/dean/provost is going to tick your professor off. You will likely get a rotten grade on the final if it is another paper. But, you do what you have to do.

    Good luck. Sometimes academia stinks.
  10. bgelber

    bgelber Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 24, 2009
    Athens, al
    sometime and I know this from experience teachers will not give A's no matter how well written the paper is. This teacher may be one of those.

    Good Luck.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by