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December 23, 2006

In the Thick of It

I graded twenty-seven papers yesterday and have eight more to go. I thought I had thirty-eight students, but I only received thirty-five final papers. According to my contract, I could have had up to seventy-five students, and right now I'm very grateful that my class was underenrolled. I still can't believe just how little time they give us to grade finals -- seventy-two hours! There is simply no way to give justice to papers in such a short period of time. Unfortunately, however, my students' final papers don't seem to deserve much justice. There are, of course, some excellent ones, but most are just atrocious, and I'm not sure why because previous papers from the same students have been much more thoughtful, engaged, and well-written. I don't know if they were thrown for a loop by the essay questions or if they were simply too busy with other papers and finals to put in a whole lot of effort. What I really wish is that more of them had come to me for help. A few did, and their papers showed the extra effort. Other papers are full of misinformation, devoid of textual evidence, and just poorly written. Many were obviously not even proofread. And when did "dominate" become an adjective?

Posted by eklanche at December 23, 2006 08:52 AM


I sympathize. I was swamped with grading for several days, but at least I had a week to do it. It's such a tedious process and you always feel bad that you don't have time to do the papers justice. However, most undergrads don't really want any feedback, so it's easier to read those quickly. Grading grad papers takes me three times as long because I really feel obliged to give meaningful feedback. Anyhow, I finished yesterday at 5 and was incredibly relieved (and exhausted)!

Posted by: jpstamat at December 23, 2006 07:45 PM

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