I recently got a paper returned to me in one of the classes I'm taking at the undergraduate level.
Now, I realize this is college, and professors (especially the ones with tenure) are pretty much allowed to do whatever they want in the classroom in the way of lecturing, grading, etc.
However, I thought the comments written on my paper by this particular professor, who I won't name, were a tiny bit more brutal than necessary to get his point across. I'd lump them in the category of "unconstructive criticism." They are as follows:
"You really have a great deal of work to do on your writing STYLE. Order the book, "Elements of Style," by a guy called Strunk. Read the book and take the advice. You are a fine writer but your style is absolutely atrocious. This needs work."
In other words....
I'm not even defending the paper I wrote. I despise the class, literally could not care less about the subject matter I wrote on, and probably spent a grand total of 2 hours on it.
I just think there has got to be a better, more diplomatic way of letting your student know that you thought their paper was the worst thing you've ever read. Shouldn't respect go both ways in a classroom?
Like I said, maybe the paper really was shit, but never in my entire academic career have I been told so bluntly that the way I write is "atrocious."
Even more curious to me is that, given the comments I received, surely this paper should have been awarded a big, red "F," right?
He gave me an 84. That's a B.
Thank god the end of the semester is only 3 weeks away.