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How to civilly resolve problems with an unfair professor

legends784legends784 Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
I currently have an first year English professor who to put it nicely is the bane of my freshman year to date. Despite being an introductory (and mandatory) first year writing course I, as a chemical engineer taking the most difficult general chemistry course offered and a sophomore level calculus course, spend considerably more time on English assignments than any other class. Despite this however, that is not what I have a problem with. Do I think it's right that that much work is assigned in a 100 level class? No, but I wouldn't have an issue with it if the grading was fair. Up until this point I have received a B on every paper/assignment I have submitted no matter what it is and how much effort was put into it. As someone who has consistently had 95+ averages in English courses in high school and 5s on the AP exams this was very peculiar to me but I figured she was just a tough grader. This was until I found out that this was not the case for all students in the class, but just some. The ones whom she particularly had an affection with did not suffer this inescapable realm of B's.

The main issue that has finally been the tipping point for me is the last 3 graded assignments. The first of which was the first draft and preface of our first major essay. It was an argumentative research paper on some topic within the realm of writing, I received an 86 on the draft, a friend of mine also received an 86 despite the fact that their paper did not actually contain any essence of an argument but merely reported/summarized the facts of both sides of an issue without taking a side. I thought this was odd considering although mine certainly wasn't perfect it at least followed all the guidelines but figured she just took it easy on them because it was a first draft. The next big assignment (prior to actually finishing essay 1) was to fill out and submit an application to the Internal Review Board for our research topics for essay 2 (another research based paper). I had some issues with the way my computer was saving files to my OneDrive vs my Documents folder and so I ended up accidentally submitting the wrong files to the professor to be graded but I did send the correct ones to the IRB to be reviewed. As it turns out she called me out on it, I explained what happened, resubmitted it late and apologized. Now I know I technically submitted it incorrectly and late and it's her job to be skeptical of students in such cases otherwise people would just walk all over her and hand things in late all the time so I figured I'd lose a couple of points. I ended up getting an 80 because of it even though in the end my application was sent out, approved, my survey distributed, and received more than one third of my responses before my friend's application (which was actually denied originally) had even gotten approaved and he received a grade of a 95.

If that wasn't enough then, the final grades for the first essay (worth 35% of our total average) came back, despite spending 4 hours in the library going over and meticulously correcting EVERY SINGLE comment she made on my last draft of essay 1, I received yet another 86 on the essay. My friend who didn't even have a solid argument in an argumentative paper? A 93. I can't even contest the grade however because she provided NO feedback or comments whatsoever on the final copy nor a rubric to see what she felt I did wrong. I have no way of even knowing if she read the thing.

So now I want your opinions on what you think I should do about this. I'm not looking to go over her head and report her to the head of the department or anything because that never gets anywhere anyway and will just make the rest of the semester hell. As is I still need her to grade my second essay worth 40% of my average. But I do feel I'm being treated very unfairly and would like some way of remedying this before this stupid 100 level English class tanks my GPA.

Replies to: How to civilly resolve problems with an unfair professor

  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 14,742 Senior Member
    edited October 2016
    You are a freshman. Are you going to complain about every professor who doesn't give you an A? You are going to have a long four years.
  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN Registered User Posts: 3,025 Senior Member
    edited October 2016
    I think you are worrying too much about an 86 vs. a 93. Keep moving forward. Pay less attention to what others are doing. The best thing you can do is to not take this professor again in the future. And I don't think "A" writers use the word "realm" that much.
  • legends784legends784 Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    edited October 2016
    Despite sounding exactly like it, I'm not one of those snot nosed freshman that just isn't happy unless I can get straight As all throughout college. The problem is that I have a scholarship that requires I keep a 3.4 or above all 4 years and as I progress in my coursework the classes I take are going to become much much harder. So I really need to get as close to a 4.0 as physically possible now while my classes are still relatively easy so I don't fall below the required overall GPA when my classes become extremely hard.
This discussion has been closed.