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To think my essay should be marked again?

(80 Posts)
muminthecity Mon 23-May-16 22:45:50

I am just reaching the end of my second year as a part time student at university. I have just received a mark for one of my essays (68% - 2% away from a first.) Looking through the comments from my tutor, there are several which criticise my grammar incorrectly. For example, where I have written
Where I have written "One of the ways children learn," the word "ways" has been highlighted, with a comment saying that it needs an apostrophe before the s. This is surely incorrect? There are other examples where the tutor has said I need an apostrophe which are just incorrect.

In another part of the essay I have written 'as well as through interaction with the environment.' She has highlighted the word 'through' and said it should be 'though,' but then the sentence wouldn't make any sense!

These are just a few examples, there are many, many more.

AIBU to contact my tutor about this and ask for the essay to be marked again? Do you think it would make any difference to my mark?

Wolfiefan Mon 23-May-16 22:47:10

Do you actually get marks for grammar or vocabulary choice? If not then I can't see what difference would it make?

muminthecity Mon 23-May-16 22:47:16

Shit, I've messed up my grammar here now blush. I am far more careful when writing essays, honestly! grin

muminthecity Mon 23-May-16 22:49:10

I don't know wolfie. Grammar is mentioned in the marking criteria, it says that in order to get 70% or above you must use correct grammar. Even if it doesn't make a difference though, I do feel I should mention it. There are just so many mistakes!

DoreenLethal Mon 23-May-16 22:49:10

Yes i would.

Iwasbornin1993 Mon 23-May-16 22:49:49

Yes, definitely ask for it to be remarked.

Pettywoman Mon 23-May-16 22:50:10

I would ask. If the marker is that shit at marking grammar, what other mistakes could there be?

Lovewineandchocs Mon 23-May-16 22:50:29

Definitely mention it.

annandale Mon 23-May-16 22:50:54

confused Yes, am pretty worried about those comments, wtaf?

Are they handwritten or typed? Could it possibly be some kind of Autocorrect apocalypse?

I would ask for revised comments, rather than a specific remark tbh. Have they said anything helpful about structure and content, or just about grammar?

YouMakeMyDreams Mon 23-May-16 22:51:05

Yes definitely her corrections are just wrong.

acasualobserver Mon 23-May-16 22:53:59

Yes, it should be re-marked - by someone who isn't terminally stupid. There must be an appeals/complaints procedure - find out what it is and use it.

steppemum Mon 23-May-16 22:55:23

It is pretty poor if she/he is picking you up incorrectly on grammar.
I would note every place in the essay where the marking is incorrect and show it with the list to another more senior tutor. Ask for it to be reviewed as there are so many marking mistakes.

SomersetMaughan Mon 23-May-16 23:00:15

Yes I'd definitely ask for it to be second-marked .
Best of luck.

runningincircles12 Mon 23-May-16 23:00:47

Yes, the apostrophe is incorrect. Maybe arrange a meeting with your lecturer.
Having worked in higher education, it will be very hard for you to challenge the mark as markers have academic discretion. A 68% is a very good mark and I doubt very much you would have got that had your grammar and spelling been poor. Did you get your actual essay back with scribbles on it or just a feedback sheet? If marking and writing on the script, I would highlight and circle spelling and grammar errors if I saw any. However, if I awarded a 68%, poor spelling/grammar would not be something at the forefront of my mind. I would instead base my mark on the argument made and a couple of typos would not prevent me from awarding a first instead of a 2.1. Effectively what I am saying is that even if your lecturer accepts that s/he was wrong about the errors, it is unlikely to have a major impact on the grade awarded.

Of course, my experience is limited to my discipline (law) and maybe in other disciplines (education?), things are different. Book a meeting during your tutor's office hours to start off with and then see where you go from there.

JustABigBearAlan Mon 23-May-16 23:03:30

That's pretty shocking that a university tutor would 'correct' work like that. I'd definitely ask for an explanation at the very least.

MajesticWhine Mon 23-May-16 23:06:20

Shocking at a university. Yes definitely ask for a re-mark. It might make no difference but do it anyway, you can't let that kind of ignorance go unchecked.

theshyretirer Mon 23-May-16 23:08:02

I would first of all question whether errors in spelling and grammar could be used to reduce a mark as you're borderline B/A(if so - ask for it to be second marked as you may have been unfairly penalised).
More generally you should also see whether the other comments match the university's descriptors for a B / 2:2 / 60-69% band eg if the descriptor says "Very good understanding of the subject" but the feedback says "excellent", your feedback or grade should perhaps be adjusted accordingly. If on the other hand the feedback matches that for a "C" - say nothing grin. Like a pp, when I'm marking my grade isn't affected by surface features like SPAG but on eg structure, task achievement, critical thinking, depth of understanding, or reference to a range of appropriate sources. I do highlight typos / grammatical errors etc and I might comment on them if they are noticeable and have a negative effect on the reader but they don't affect my grade.
Whatever, the marker should be aware that they are giving inaccurate feedback so you should raise this issue.

runningincircles12 Mon 23-May-16 23:08:36

Also, if your tutor genuinely thinks that 'ways' should be spelled 'way's', then that's a little bit worrying. Is English their first language?
It depends on what the procedures are at your uni, but at mine, a student cannot simply demand that an essay be second marked if they are unhappy with the grade. Standard procedure is that essays are normally second marked anyway before being returned to the student. They are also subject to scrutiny by external examiners at the summer exam board. Students cannot appeal academic discretion (unhappiness about the mark) but they can appeal if they think that the correct marking procedures were not followed. If a student lodges a complaint, often the work will be blind-marked (ie does not see the original marker's comments or grade) by a different tutor. But do check the regs that apply at your uni.
I still maintain that at the high 2.1/first level, it's unlikely to make a difference as it's more about the argument you are making but I stand to be corrected.

theshyretirer Mon 23-May-16 23:09:22

sorry 2:1 not 2:2. p45

elephantcustard Mon 23-May-16 23:13:40

I feel your pain I'm at the end of second year and recently got 68% for an assignment, I felt either give me 60 or 70 but to be 2% off did sting a bit, at my uni it's quite difficult to get things remarked as you have to have a strong case and I actually couldn't be arsed but either mark it down fully or not at all as I think the GPA goes on % than actual grades...although that could be bollox hey this time next year we will be finished! (After dissertation hell confused)

Naoko Mon 23-May-16 23:13:45

I would, and I did just that, when the same thing happened to me as an undergrad. My first language is not English, and one semester I had a lecturer who was also not a native speaker. His English was actually not very good, he often struggled to understand what anyone was saying to him and could not understand questions we asked him in seminars. Then I got an essay back with a mark in the mid-50s and a comment that said my English was poor, my grammar a mess and my sentences didn't make any sense. It was obvious that the lecturer simply didn't grasp the English language well enough to understand me, rather than there being a problem with my writing - this was in my final year and I'd had several years of consistent compliments on my writing and language. I took the essay to my personal tutor and told him that I wanted it remarked and I was seriously considering a formal complaint, given the poor quality of teaching we'd suffered all semester. Remark occurred without any objection from the department, essay came back at 67% instead, and although I never did formally complain, I didn't need to, as the lecturer didn't come back after that semester.

muminthecity Mon 23-May-16 23:16:20

Thank you for your comments. For those who asked, the essay was submitted online and the comments are typed in little boxes which are visible when you click on the little markers (I hope that makes sense!) The comments on spelling and grammar are written in purple boxes, and all other comments in blue boxes. The essay is littered with purple boxes (almost all are incorrect imo) and there are only a few blue ones, all with positive comments (e.g. 'You have shown that you understand..,' 'good use of readings,' etc.)

It seems from your comments that my mark is unlikely to have been affected, so I won't ask for a new mark, but will point out the errors to my tutor.

FaFoutis Mon 23-May-16 23:18:13

I'm humanities. If an essay is borderline, grammar and expression might push me one way or the other (depending on how good the argument is).
My institution has an appeal process, you need to give good reasons and there's a time limit.
Are the rest of your grades 70+? If so, I would appeal.
Your tutor doesn't sound very impressive, but its a horrible time of year for marking so it could be lack of proper attention.

muminthecity Mon 23-May-16 23:18:44

By the way, there was only one spelling mistake according to her which was the word 'child.' confused I have no idea why she thought that was misspelled!

Storminateapot Mon 23-May-16 23:19:33

It's a tricky one. If you ask to see the tutor and criticise their grammar it's not going to bode well for your future academic relationship. But they are making fundamental mistakes and need to be prevented from making a further fool of themselves. You aren't going mad - they are plain wrong!
Is there a different tutor you could talk to & express 'confusion'?

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