Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ways to anger professors

Useful advice for students, from Lynn F. Jacobs and Jeremy S. Hyman:

Nine Ways to Get on Your Professor's Bad Side (U.S. News & World Report)

The only item I'd take exception to is no. 9: "Plagiarize in super obvious ways." True, blatant plagiarism won't endear a student to a professor. But crafty, sly plagiarism is much, much worse, in part because its discovery may call for a significant investment of professorial time. Blatant plagiarism in contrast is merely pathetic, as its perpetrator assumes the professor to be a co-conspirator in cluelessness, someone who won't recognize the details of diction and syntax that so often make plagiarism instantly clear. Jacobs and Hyman's no. 5 — "Seem really stupid" — already covers blatant plagiarism.

A better no. 9: Be honest.

A related post
How to e-mail a professor

comments: 4

Slywy said...

Regarding #6—true story: My mother died the day before my B.A. paper was due. I stayed up all night, in tears, typing it on a Royal Sabre manual typewriter.

I still find typos in it.

Pete said...

They missed my personal favorite:
after the professor has delivered a long, involved and impassioned monologue on a complex topic and then asks if there are any questions, raise your hand and say "Is this going to be on the exam?"

Michael Leddy said...

When a student tells me that he or she has lost someone, I accept it without question. It's unspeakably wrong that so many students' lies have created a general mistrust when it comes to death and missed classes (and everything else).

I haven't heard "Is this going to be . . . ?" in a long time. What would be a good reply, other than a straightforward "You betcha"?

Pete said...

"I wasn't planning to include it, but since you were nice enough to mention it..."