Coursework Confessions

Forgive me Professor, for I have sinned. This is my first coursework confession and these are my sins.

How I wish that my university had a coursework confession booth, where I could sit in a curtained box next to my professor and admit my failings as a student and my misunderstandings of the question I was asked to write 1500 words on.

When lecturers and professors scrawl prude comments in their special academic handwriting that is only 70% legible to us mere students, it is logical that we can get upset and feel ashamed. If only there were a safe place to sit and talk about the issues that was less intimidating than the horrible face-to-face encounter with a professor in their office. With all the anonymous marking, it seems a bit out of place to have to book an appointment to see your lecturer to discuss your coursework, when seeing him walking through Trent building is awkward enough (should I smile? Do I nod? Does he even know who I am?). As an undergraduate student who’s highest academic achievement to date is A levels you automatically feel inferior when knocking on Professor Garrett’s* door, who is known in wider academic circles as the UK expert on the neoclassical elements of Western civilisation post WWII*. To then openly look him in the eye and ask him to expand on his comments is just the substance of nightmares.

Basically, I am writing this, as I would like to find out what exactly my professor meant when the last sentence of his feedback was simply:

It’s dogmatic.

I wasn’t even sure of what dogmatic meant until I came home and looked it up in my dictionary.

Definition of dogmatic highlighted

Basically, I would like to confess my coursework sins, about misunderstanding the question, reading the wrong books and skewing the essay in my own manner. In return for confessing these coursework sins, some constructive criticism would be appreciated alongside some guidance of where else to look for inspiration, as the texts I read and referenced in my essay did appear on the module reading list. Forgiveness would be nice too, as I’m sure that professors dislike giving bad marks as much as we students dislike receiving them.

For these sins and all my sins, I am sorry. Thank you Professor.

*Totally fictitious.


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