Student Success Strategy #18: But I worked so hard!

You’ve just put in weeks days hours on a big assignment, and you feel exhausted, but you got it done and on time.  You turn it in and expect to see that A when it’s returned to you.

After a week, you get it back.  B.  There’s a big red B on your paper!  How unfair, after all that work you put into it.

What do you do?

“Professor, I don’t understand why I got a B on this paper.  I worked so hard!”

Option A:  Get angry and frustrated and demand to know what in the world that professor was thinking, giving you a grade like that.

Option B:  Ask to meet with your professor to go over her thoughts on your paper, and to ask for her help in future assignments.

Option C:  Do nothing and accept the B.  Don’t risk making the professor angry or defensive.

The best answer is B.  Professors have something in mind when they create assignments, and you need to know what they are looking for.  Did the assignment call for something you forgot?  Were you supposed to add citations, or a closing argument, or follow a strict format?  Did you need a thesis statement and three supporting examples, or did you forget to proofread?  Did you read the syllabus for hints?

Think of it this way:  Would you be happy giving your car mechanic an A grade (and a big check) if they worked very hard, but didn’t fix what was wrong with your car?  No?  But they worked so hard!

Student Success Strategy #18:  But I worked so hard!  So what?   If you want to get a better grade, ask how to do it!

You’ll also impress your professor that you want to learn, not just get by.  And your next grade?  I’m guessing it will be better.


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