Jump to content
Dunenewt

Stupidity

Recommended Posts

Today I got one of my essays back, and I've been marked down because I did not give any academic references to prove the existence of a European Union...how stupid do they think we are??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From what I remember about essays (especially for College, Uni, etc.), it's more the fact that you didn't use references to back up what you state to be a fact; not what the fact itself was.

Still very silly of them, though.  Next thing you know, they'll be wanting a reference that proves the sky is blue. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It happens. It was before university but I got marked down because I wrote the answer was "the Spartans" while the textbook wrote "the Greeks" ::)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It just really annoys me because they assume we know so little, so I seem to get penalised for not referencing trivial things, which brings my mark right down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It was before university but I got marked down because I wrote the answer was "the Spartans" while the textbook wrote "the Greeks" ::)

What exactly was the question?

If it was "Who fought to the death at Thermopylae?" then "The Greeks" IS the right answer, since the Spartans were only 300 out of 1400. ;)

Specifics are everything. Dunenewt, what was the grader's exact comment? What exactly did you write in the essay? How much were you marked down? Is there some appeal you can try? And, most important, is it really worth that sort of bother? Or just something to let off steam and whinge about on a BBS? ;)

(I assume [hope!] you lot are somewhat better, but frankly I am appalled by the lack of common basic knowledge of the world demonstrated by uni students in Japan these days.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it was "Who fought to the death at Thermopylae?" then "The Greeks" IS the right answer, since the Spartans were only 300 out of 1400. ;)

Oh come on... :D

I don't remember the exact question since it's years ago, but the test was covering Greeks and Romans and whoever around. I checked after and my "wrong" answer was written elsewhere in the same textbook

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok I had this problem back in Grade 11 English. The Three witches covenant (3 main members of English Department) found a new way to torment the unfortunate souls that had to take the English class.

The invested the new way for the students to answer multiple choice. There was no explanation how this new way was better than the old way except it was more evil

Here the sample:

3. Question, blla-bla bla

A B C D (circle the right answer here)

a) one version of the answer

b) one version of the answer

c) one version of the answer

d) one version of the answer

So I circled the right answer C but not in the place where the letters A B C D stood in the row but below where each answer version was written out completely.

The result they did not count it as right answer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So I circled the right answer C but not in the place where the letters A B C D stood in the row but below where each answer version was written out completely.

The result they did not count it as right answer

On the same paper, not a separate sheet? That is REAL stupidity. I suppose their idea was it would make grading easier? A separate sheet would have been even more efficient. Yeah, sounds like stupidity combined with criminal laziness.

But, nevertheless, you didn't follow directions. :P

(Egeides, did you protest, showing the teacher/prof/grader the relevant passage in the text?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course.... But as good the teacher was when it came to teaching, he was hilariously bad when he graded. I got bored arguing in circles and thereafter got that in more subtle ways in the following evaluations. I see this as a life lesson for cheap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Teachers aren't automatically right. I've called out my teachers in junior high, high school, and college when I've caught them making errors in either grading or what they taught. And I made sure to have proof of what I said, or if they made a stupid decision that they should have realized was wrong, I made sure to correct them privately and politely, instead of embarrassing them in front of the class.

However, in the case of incorrect formatting in an essay, the teacher was correct to mark you down. I can't count how many times I had to explain to my clients (college students for whom I typed essays and term papers) the importance of references and footnotes. Even though something may be common knowledge, it's still using someone else's work to not acknowledge where you got a fact. Yes, this instance seems ungodly picky. But it will help you to remember to reference your points in the rest of your essays when it counts much more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure when it comes to the issue of plagiarism, there's a difference between common knowledge and ideas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hypatia:  I can't think of essays that are going to count more, as my degree depends on them.

It just really gets on my nerves that dumb students who don't know a thing, get loads of marks for referencing basic ideas, yet cleverer students get marked down for having 'pretentious ideas'.  I keep getting the impression that the lecturer marks me down because our 'politics' are at opposites with each other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hypatia:  I can't think of essays that are going to count more, as my degree depends on them.

It just really gets on my nerves that dumb students who don't know a thing, get loads of marks for referencing basic ideas, yet cleverer students get marked down for having 'pretentious ideas'.  I keep getting the impression that the lecturer marks me down because our 'politics' are at opposites with each other.

That is a big problem. Stupid students, who essentially just copy what they've read in the book, get great marks. Students who think by themselves, and want to write their own piece, with interesting reflections, often get punished for not writing the exact words found in the book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hypatia:  I can't think of essays that are going to count more, as my degree depends on them.

It just really gets on my nerves that dumb students who don't know a thing, get loads of marks for referencing basic ideas, yet cleverer students get marked down for having 'pretentious ideas'.  I keep getting the impression that the lecturer marks me down because our 'politics' are at opposites with each other.

Okay, then... what you need to do is make an appointment to talk to this instructor about your grades. Say you want to review your grades and progress in the class and ask him directly what he thinks you need to do to improve them. Don't accept vague answers. Tell him you would like specifics.

Some institutions have this as a right for the students, to talk to the instructor one-on-one like this. And it should tell you if he's biased, or merely picky. If he's picky, you're going to have to grit your teeth and do the references.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aren't we all missing the point here. remember it is school you are talking about. Don't get me wrong but you are there to learn something. Dumb or smart students alike, school is to guide you and to make you understand what other people thought of. If the ideas you have are so great as a smart student you would have no need to be in school and you'd be writing your own books. And that, let's face it is not the case.

Students are in school to learn what others have done, thought of and is acceptable in their workfield. Not to write a masters degree essay in your first or second year. Those years are for you to show you understand what others have to say about something. And it is arguable that those opinions are right or wrong. They are idea's that work, idea's followed by a lot of people and idea's valuable enough to be taught to others.

Students often confuse insight with arrogance. You often think that kicking into the known ideas as hard as you can screaming from the top of your longs what you think proves your point and even make it more true. First prove you know what the topic is about. (by quoting, references showing profound insight in the current accepted theories) Then, when you have shown your effort in understanding what something is about. expand it with your own insights about it.

As you grow older you're gonna understand that the more you know, the less it is you know. Writing stuff down without referring your sources, data or contact points it never gonna be accepted. Your essay is based upon the references in it. So make them as clear as can be. If there is room for misinterpretation of anything, clear that up. Your in Uni (or whatever) to show you can learn, to show your insight into other ideas and to form your own opinion -read educated guess- about it. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the topic is about the feeling you sometimes get that your teacher is just making up errors because he feels like it. Sometimes you get marked down for no very apparent reason, especially when you see that the teacher is cutting other people slack, but being strict with you.

It's easy to say that one should give reference to absolutely everything, if not just to be sure there's absolutely no ambiguity. However, there are established truths that you shouldn't have to give reference to. We don't have enough information about the specific case the thread starter presented, so we can't really know who's wrong or right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly.

Without knowing what was written by both Dunenewt and the grader, this is all rather ... academic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This reminds me of a joke about a Wikipedia entry. Not sure if it's true or not because it seems to have been corrected.

7 (seven) is the natural number following 6 and preceding 8. [citation needed]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I grade students for a test / essay the grade is relative to the student and the assignment he or she handed in.

Smart students can get a lower rating if they are not turning in papers the best they can. To stimulate them into doing a better job next time or to motivate them to do more research into certain aspects of their work. Because you know they can do better, they get lower marks then someone who is barely managing and did the best they could on an assignment.

This of course depends on the type of education and the type of test they get.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

May I ask where you work, gryphon? School, college, university?

Currently I am employed by the largest photo-retailer chain in the Netherlands. I am responsible for the daily operations of the IT department, future business needs, the communication and guidance between a organisation driven by profit and the IT department just spending their money. That position also includes teaching graduate students and assist them with their assignments.

Before I accepted my current position I worked for the government, it was my choice to go commercial or accept an offer from the Rotterdam University (applied science - IT) as full time teacher. The latter can be something for my future career.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, I just got another piece of work back, and the lecturer commented that he wasn't sure what was my own knowledge, and what should be references, so he's asked me to come see him.  At least that's a bit more positive than the last one.  I have a 1500 word essay about development to write for tomorrow too :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...