14 February 2007

Group essays are against my religion

Two whole posts in one week! I must not have enough to do (ha!).

I got my first essay back from my Anthropology professor today. She told us on the first day of class that the average grade she gives for the first essay is a D-, so when I got my B I was pretty pleased with myself. She pointed out a few flaws in my argument that I already knew existed so I'll turn in another copy of my essay, get my A and move on with life. I love being above average...*sigh*

Our next essay for this class is a group essay. Now...I hate group work in general. I can see the benefit of it but I still hate it. I prefer to work on my own when it comes to my grade. I should clarify-I can see the benefit for group projects where a little collaboration is a good thing. I don't see the benefit in group essays. Too many minds working on what is supposed to be the product of one, unified voice. What a disaster. It's hard as it is because the class is so huge and I didn't even know the names of my group members when I signed up. Maybe it's just because I'm an English major and I have essay writing euphoria, but this whole project seems like a disaster to me. It's a melding of different writing styles and techniques and levels. I've never seen so many "we's" in an essay before. Or passive verbs. Gah! Fortunately for me I got my grubby little essay writing fingers on the essay before we had to submit it, which will give me ample time to do a sufficient amount of research and correcting of bad usage before the blasted thing is turned in on Friday. I hope my group doesn't mind what I've done to it, but it really is in a sorry state. The things some people find acceptable in writing...it's a huge piece of wordy mess that doesn't actually say anything earth shattering or relevant.

This being said, I hope none of them read my blog. And I hope that people forget to show up to our meeting today so that I won't feel guilty when I massacre the essay tonight with my research skills. Either that or hope they won't care that I've taken over the essay. *shutter*. I'm glad that I have at least some kind of competence when it comes to writing...

UPDATED: We got an A. I believe one person in the group made the comment: "I've never got an A on a paper before!" You're welcome.


Marisa VanSkiver said...

I know exactly what you mean. I have a group essay for Bio, and I pretty much already told them that I'm going to go over it with a fine-tooth comb after I'm done. If it improves their grade too, why should they care? lol

Ben said...

I too loathe group work, at least in school. Academic group work is almost always pathetic. (The one exception was when nobody in my group really cared about the assignment and so we made it a joke. That was fun.) Sure, there's a potential for synergy, but only if you're paired with the right people. That rarely happens.

Saying that, I often wonder if that means I won't be ready to work in groups in real life (in the workplace, primarily, but elsewhere too). And then I scoff at myself for thinking that. Of course I'll be able to do just fine in the real world; academic assignments are not real life. Thankfully I'm in my last semester and have only one or two group projects left in my undergraduate career. :)

Oh, would you mind allowing anonymous comments? That way we non-Blogger people can link to our real websites. (And my Blogger profile seems to have died.) Thanks. :)

Joni said...

Done :)