How to: Plead for a Better Grade
We’ve all been there. You didn’t realize how little time was left before finals and you don’t know if you’re going to make it out alive. There isn’t enough extra credit to give you peace of mind, and those times that you cut class aren’t going to help you either. You, my friend, are in deep shit. There is still hope, though. You’re just going to have to plead for your grade.
Professors have office hours. Going to see a professor during office hours shows that you actually care about the coursework and you are willing to put in extra time to excel in the course. Therefore, seeing your professor for five minutes after class won’t help the same way that an office visit will.
When visiting your teacher, you need to keep in mind that progessors have heard every and any excuse. I assure you, if you visit your professor and give some sappy story, they’ll be able to see right through it. While you’re in their office, ask some questions about the material because “you have been trying so hard to do well and not getting some of the material is driving you crazy.” Furthermore, make sure that you express that you like this course and you are trying hard to do well. I even recommend telling them that you have a tutor because it shows how hard you’re trying to do well. Take responsibility for bad grades that you’ve had in the past. Nobody likes excuses, especially a professor that has heard dozens every semester.
Follow-up with an e-mail AND stop by the professor’s desk after class the next day. A simple “thanks again for being patient and taking the time to help me” will suffice. If you are desperate, this is where you would sneak in an excuse like “it’s my fault because I was forced to miss class for work one day and have been playing catch-up ever since.” In doing all of this, as gay as it sounds, you’re building a small emotional bond with your professor. You’re not going to be “the kid whose grandfather could have died”, you’re “a good kid, who is responsible and trying very hard”.
Keep in mind: Most professors will not say “I’m going to bump you up because I understand.” However, I assure you that when they approach your name when it is time to submit finals, your score will be rounded up. It may be from an F to a D. Maybe from a D to a C. The point is, it is up to you to do well in class, but if you’re near the border of effing it up, royally…there is still hope…if you play your cards right.
About Cliff Englewood Cliff goes to MSU and is TSB Magazine resident "College Life" contributor with tips and advice to get the most out of your time in college.