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Unhelpful feedback

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I got my first piece of work back from my optional history module today and I wasn't impressed. Firstly I was disappointed with the mark, but I hadn't expected a first lol. But I was mainly angry with the feedback.

The tutor started the first sentence of feedback with 'This source analysis demonstrates that you have not worked hard enough'. Oh really? So those three days I spent on this analysis, what do you suggest I was doing? Playing Tetris? She then goes on about the amount of sources I used and how I have bad spelling, sentence structure and how she doesn't like my style of writing. She also says that my arguments were wrong in the context of the entire piece. Now here is my list of arguments back to her feedback:

1) There are over 200 students enrolled on this module, therefore finding books to use is bloody hard so obviously resorting to the internet is somewhat necessary.
2) The online journal resource thingy was taken down for maintenance during one of the days I was working on the analysis which again made it hard and when it was put back online it kept crashing on me.
3) My degree is in literature and creative writing, and you're telling me that I can't spell or construct sentences? Especially given that the majority of my literature work has been put in the highest band for spelling, punctuation and grammar.
4) My department has never had a problem with my style of writing so I fail to see what it is that the history department find so abhorrent about it.
5) Fair enough, I didn't consider the document as a whole. Perhaps if I had known that we were meant to, I would've. The last time I did history was in year nine! They assume that everyone on the course is familiar with how the history department does things. I even asked her if this piece of work was meant to be done how my analysis for literature was done. She said yes but there should be more historical context than looking at the literary side of it. She did not state that I should use the whole document, so I assumed that we need only analyse the extract we had been given, as had been the case when I did an analysis on the Declaration of Independence in my literature module.

:mad: I don't really know what the point of this thread was, I just wanted to rant. I don't think that starting the feedback with a personal opinion is very professional. She said that I could discuss it with her if I wanted, but I know my hot headed-ness on this matter will get the better of me. I was wondering if talking to my advisor might be a better idea?

Thanks for reading this, sorry I went on such a rant.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Could you not speak to another tutor or even the marker about it?

    I'm rubbihs I never read my assignment feed back sheets. I just look at my mark then the feedback gets hidden in a draw :blush:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If there's no value in discussing it, as in, you won't get anything out of it, then don't bother.

    Points 1 & 2 are just excuses. They have no real value in an argument. The rest of your points though are fairly valid, and if marks have been deducted for stuff where you have been largely praised in other classes then I probably would want to know why and where that fits against the marking scheme.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thank you :)

    I know they are excuses but she is saying I don't have enough sources and the sources genuinely weren't easy to get hold of so I had to make do with what I did have.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm in my final year of doing a history module, they really do expect you to go the extra mile in finding sources like going to libraries outside of uni and buying books from shops and what not.

    As for the online journal. You don't have to access it through your university catalogue, you can just go onto the journal website itself and access it from there. That's what I always do when my uni's system fucks up.

    You might have an argument about spelling and punctuation. However, there is a technique in answering history questions and being good at English Lit is neither here not there tbh.

    Sorry to be harsh like but that's the way things work ime.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    At my uni we get graded on our biliography and research as much as we do on our actual argumentation. Having enough of and the right information is as important as what you actually say, cause it shows you've done the work!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you're planning on doing any more history modules, or have further work to do for this one then it would definitely be worth trying to keep your anger in check and going to talk to her about the feedback.

    Structuring analytical arguments of sources and history is very very different to the doing literature stuff. It's apparent from what you're saying in many ways that you're kind of missing the differences between the two at the moment, so if you can go through what the history department look for you could probably gain a lot from it.

    (1) and (2) are just excuses, reasonably good ones, but by giving them you are acknowledging that the sources you used weren't as good as they could have been.

    The spelling thing should be pretty clear cut, either the word is right or wrong, or you've got some from/form kind of slip ups that don't show on a spell check.

    The sentance construction and style looked for by a history marker will be very different to that looked for by an english marker, so that kind of explains that one.

    Starting the feedback with a personal opinion may not be the best plan in the world, but if the work gives out that overall impression then it's well worth the marker stating that.

    By all means rant away, it's good to rant, but also try and learn from it and accept that if you're doing more history stuff you're going to have to adapt your history work to that style rather than the literature style.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Rants are good to let off steam but don't get accustomed to throwing a strop just because you don't agree with their comments.

    As with any feedback, ask them to substantiate their opinions, point out where they felt you demonstrated these not-so-good qualities in your work. If they can't, then the feedback isn't worth the paper it's printed on.

    The first two, as everyone has said, are excuses. Sadly that's life.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks all.

    I have another piece of work and an exam for this module, so hopefully they will go better.

    I don't think I will be doing any more history modules (apart from one in my final year, but it's run by my department anyway.) I'm only on this one because creative writing isn't offered in the second semester and the only modules we could do were history, philosophy, music or a continuation lit unit for a module I hadn't studied.

    I will try to see the marker when I remember where her office is :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My feedback on my essay today just said that I could have been more specific instead of general. But the question was general. I was making sure I was answering the question.

    Meh.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The feedback isn't constructive. She makes it clear that it wasn't up to a standard she would like, but doesn't tell you exactly why or how to go about improving, which is the whole point of feedback. Just saying that she doesn't like your style of writing is just a put down. She doesn't say why she doesn't like it, or what she would prefer...at least, from the information you've gave us.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    She doesn't like the way I phrase things. For example I wrote 'severer' and she prefers 'more severe' apparently, though last time I checked, both versions were correct and acceptable. It's just really niggly things she was picking up on where I've used an acceptable form and she prefers another. It's not like I've gone and made up words, not that that ever stopped Shakespeare:p
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    She doesn't like the way I phrase things. For example I wrote 'severer' and she prefers 'more severe' apparently, though last time I checked, both versions were correct and acceptable. It's just really niggly things she was picking up on where I've used an acceptable form and she prefers another. It's not like I've gone and made up words, not that that ever stopped Shakespeare:p

    Eek! Severer is a no no! :no:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Another thing about sources. If you're having trouble finding anything about the particular topic/event etc then try and find other events or topics similar to it and contextualise your argument by comparing and contrasting.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    She doesn't like the way I phrase things. For example I wrote 'severer' and she prefers 'more severe' apparently, though last time I checked, both versions were correct and acceptable. It's just really niggly things she was picking up on where I've used an acceptable form and she prefers another. It's not like I've gone and made up words, not that that ever stopped Shakespeare:p

    Well, you're not Shakespeare, so you don't get that luxury.

    Severer just makes me think of an axe-wielding zombie. I agree with the teacher.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Mist wrote: »
    Well, you're not Shakespeare, so you don't get that luxury.

    Severer just makes me think of an axe-wielding zombie. I agree with the teacher.

    Axe-wielding zombie? I guess I was close enough, it was a document about how witches copulate with the devil and how they use their magic!

    Anyway, I guess the only thing is to do the next essay and hope the exam goes well (whenever it is!)

    The ironic thing is, my last literature essay was accused of being too historical...
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