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Anthropology Paper Response (???)

  1. Rafini profile image89
    Rafiniposted 6 years ago

    Okay, I don't get it.  I seriously do not understand!

    I'm in college.  I'm a writer.  The written assignment for my Anthropology class was basically a response paper to the film "Ape Genius".  The instructor's comments regarding my paper?  (4.35 out of 5 points)

    It's obvious you understand the concepts but for future papers work on simplifying your sentences rather than using complex sentences to sound more academic.

    wtf??  Word tells me the Flesch-Kincaid reading level is 10.8 - not even college level!  Should I email her and tell her I'm a writer and that's just the way I write my papers? 

    My God!  I never expected to be told, in college, to dumb down!!  And by an instructor even!!!

    1. Rafini profile image89
      Rafiniposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Any opinions out there?

      1. SomewayOuttaHere profile image61
        SomewayOuttaHereposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        .....i don't get it...i could see a prof pointing out to be brief if you were writing some biz paper and being brief and concise was part of it...e.g. writing a strategic plan or something with an understanding you have a variety of readers that you are conveying info to and communication is marked as well.

        ...maybe the prof has taken that angle...however, you are just responding to the prof right?....

        1. Rafini profile image89
          Rafiniposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          right.  just my response to the film & a couple questions the prof handed out for an opinion, basically.

          do you think I should email her and tell her I'm a writer and that's the way I write?

          1. SomewayOuttaHere profile image61
            SomewayOuttaHereposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            ...just ask for clarification and add that that is how you write....next time you see her, speak with her...i'm not sure how many students she has...but she may need to see the paper to be able to respond properly.....it's still a good mark isn't it? (87?)...you could also be asking to ensure you are not losing marks because she wants you to use a different writing style for her class....she's the boss right?...i'm sure she meant no harm....rather she's guiding you? - you'll find out after speaking with her.  And she could turn around after speaking with you and have a different response to the written response to you....who knows...you have to ask....i'd pass on using email though if you can.

            1. Rafini profile image89
              Rafiniposted 6 years agoin reply to this

              yeah, the grade isn't an issue it's the comments that bother me.  (I only added the grade to my post b/c I felt it didn't match her comments) 

              Do professors require a certain writing style for different classes?  I mean, usually I know when to write a response, critical or analytical paper, or whatever, without being told.  But, I've never had to taylor a paper according to teacher specifications before....

              Good idea - I'll talk with her about it, rather than send an email.

              1. SomewayOuttaHere profile image61
                SomewayOuttaHereposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                ...i'm going by my experience with certain business subjects...and of course the writing/speaking was/is academic - (i'm an accountant - pretty dry stuff smile  )however when writing something of a more practical nature like a strat/biz plan then i would(do) change the way i wrote because I understood who my readers were supposed to be....make sense?  I'm not sure why she wouldn't want you using proper terminology etc. if that what she's getting at in her message to you.

                But, you'll soon find out.   

                ...gotta go...it's getting late...good talking to you!

                1. Rafini profile image89
                  Rafiniposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                  That makes sense - write for the audience. The class is Anthropology, not Literature.  Thanks SOH. smile

    2. livewithrichard profile image85
      livewithrichardposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I wouldn't take it too personal. You know the optimal Flesch-Kincaid level is between 7 and 8 for most purposes.  Just keep in mind that it is Anthropology, 101 I'm guessing, and likely that the majority of your fellow students do not have your writing skills, so as a Professor of Anthropology your writing will really stand out of place.  S/he is studying you and now you have an opportunity to show that you can take a critique and adjust.

      Don't think of it as dumbing down, think of it as a challenge to make every word count with shorter and more direct sentences.

      Longer and more complex sentences are often used draw attention away from critical or vague points, most common among legal writers and technical writers. 

      I was once a Liberal Arts, History major, and in pre-law, and yes every instructor I had expected a writing style consistent with each course of study.

      1. Rafini profile image89
        Rafiniposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Okay, thanks Richard.  I hadn't considered that.  Do instructors really do that?  lol  (Sounds weird, but I get it.)

    3. Greek One profile image74
      Greek Oneposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      everyone likes a different writing style... take the 87% and be happy

  2. mypleasurefantasy profile image89
    mypleasurefantasyposted 6 years ago

    I unfortunately am not the professor and can't really give you solid advice. Maybe--just maybe--you may have lost yourself throughout your paper with certain terminology, or maybe even used it wrong...I don't know. It is odd though, I have never seen that response back on a paper. Email her and ask her to further clarify herself...maybe that will lighten the mood you have right now

    1. Rafini profile image89
      Rafiniposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      yeah, it's just confusing, ya know?  I'll speak with her next week about it.  (next class is next Tuesday)

      thanks. smile

  3. Rajab Nsubuga profile image60
    Rajab Nsubugaposted 6 years ago

    I had a similar problem during my under-graduate. I had a module in Hospitality and Hotel Mgt and we were given an assignment to write about our best experiences. So I chose to write about Bed & Breakfast. The instructor returned my paper on grounds that he had never known of any B&B facilities in Uganda. To be precise, my paper was being disregarded on grounds that the instructor never expected anyone to have experienced something he had never.

    Having said that, you are better off that you were awarded marks. Just use the comment for future reference.

    1. Rafini profile image89
      Rafiniposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Future reference - good idea.  Thanks!

  4. Evan G Rogers profile image76
    Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago

    OK, so, it's impossible for me to give you any valid opinions on the paper because I was unable to read it.

    It IS possible that your teacher is just a jerk-nugget who doesn't understand English very well.

    OR

    It might be that you need to work on your writing skills.

    I can't decide which it is without reading the paper, but I know for sure that there's only ONE option that YOU have control over!!!

    Don't get too mad at the teacher, re-read your paper and see if you can understand what you wrote. Then give it to a friend to read.  (or you could send it to me to read, and I could give you feedback).

    If other people agree with your teacher, it is likely you need to learn how to write better. If people can read and understand what you wrote, then your teacher might just be a jerk.

    Either way, good writing skills are very important in any career.

    Lord knows that my writing skills have developed since I was an undergrad. And I know that since high-school things have only gotten better.

    I'm sure I'll go through my hubs one day and say "ugh, what was i thinking... this sentence is horribly written!"

    1. Rafini profile image89
      Rafiniposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks Evan - my request for an opinion was in regard to whether I should email (or otherwise contact) the instructor about simplifying my writing.  I get your drift though, thanks.

  5. prettydarkhorse profile image64
    prettydarkhorseposted 6 years ago

    it is ok rafini, at least your rating is way above. It is just his/her opinion, the way you write it doesn't affect the content which is the most important thing anyway. Maybe that professor is more on the technical side of writing, just using facts, not adding flavor to it. Don't bother with it. Grats..

    1. Rafini profile image89
      Rafiniposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Just facts, sounds like what SomewayOuttaHere said, to write for the audience of a specific instructor/subject.  I honestly hadn't thought of that when deciding to go to school.  I'd thought that when in school you were supposed to push yourself to that next level, no matter what the subject.  Guess I gotta rethink my approach. smile

  6. profile image0
    Sophia Angeliqueposted 6 years ago

    Hmm, I think I would need tao see the paper in order to understand the context of what is being said.

    Have you ever read Jamie Whyte's book, "Crimes Against Logic?"

    It's about people who use so many 'big' words that the sense of the sentence is completely lost.

    Incidentally, the first time I went to study towards a degree, I studied anthropology. My aggregate score was 95%, at times getting 99% for papers, and other times 92%. My language was always very clear. And I am also a writer.

    One uses the best word to make one's meaning clear. What the professor might have meant was that you used so many 'big words' that the meaning was difficult to comprehend.

    Jamie Whyte's book makes excellent reading. He is a past professor at Cambridge in the UK.

    1. Rafini profile image89
      Rafiniposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I know what you mean about people using too many big words - my sister does that in order to sound more intelligent but it sounds rather silly. 

      I'll have to check into the book, it sounds interesting. smile

  7. RDSPhD profile image61
    RDSPhDposted 6 years ago

    haha instructors xD One of my chemistry instructors was injured while proving to us that he can synthesize a compound in 2 hours and not in 4 by heating it a bit more. His words were"nah it's not going to react, its basically inert" xD at least he wasn't injured very badly. Not as bad as my "super-muscular"-instructor in the army who wanted to prove that he could actually fire two rifles, one in each hand - he broke both his arms xD.

    You see, sometimes they're smart, sometimes they overestimate themselves wink

    1. Rafini profile image89
      Rafiniposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      omigosh!  why don't people realize that kind of risk really isn't worth it?  well, at least to me it isn't. wink

  8. Cagsil profile image61
    Cagsilposted 6 years ago

    Yeah Rafini,

    I think your professor just found an excessive amount of words, which probably could have been said much simpler and more accurately.

    I wouldn't take it personal. People are forever telling me I could say things in a specific way, so as to be better understood, but I always get my point across. smile

    1. Rafini profile image89
      Rafiniposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      are you trying to tell me I talk too much??  lol wink


      gee, never been accused of that before. hmm  lol

      1. Cagsil profile image61
        Cagsilposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        In a way. Yeah. smile

        1. Rafini profile image89
          Rafiniposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          lol   

          Oh, um, okay, fine.  I'll just logoff, go to my room and sulk a bit. sad

          (for the paper, though, I wrote 2 pages and the assignment called for 2-4 pages)

          1. Cagsil profile image61
            Cagsilposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            Then that would only mean you did the minimum. Which also means that you probably could have elaborated on some other area, more than you did.

            In short, apparently the professor was looking for more detail than you providing. That's obvious, because of "how" s/he described your work. Sounding more academic.

            You obviously said a lot about what you were writing, but if you had structured your sentences differently, you could have said what you said in 2 pages, inside 1 page? Thus, leaving you room for expansion on other things.

            I hope I explained that enough. wink

            1. Rafini profile image89
              Rafiniposted 6 years agoin reply to this

              Yes, Cagsil, understood. wink  Thank you. smile

              (so more like that rather than a longer response?  lol)

  9. Rafini profile image89
    Rafiniposted 6 years ago

    Okay -

    The problem?  Too many passive sentences!  (damn - I'm not good at recognizing them! lol)  And, I'm writing for Anthropology, not Literature. 
    I need to switch gears...hope I can find the right one...hmm  lol

 
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