September 20, 2005

why TAs suck ass (except ralph)

Here's an e-mail I sent to my physics 419 TA upon receiving a graded paper. He or she doesn't seem qualified to be grading papers written in english. I dunno, I'm just really pissed off at the moment so I feel like posting this to my blog.

Oh, here are the 6 grading deductions I think are bullshit.
[1] comma (g: -0.5)
[2] "de Brahe's"; why do you put a space between an apostrophe and the "s" following it? (g: -1)
[4] it was a made-up concept rather than a mathematical one! (c: -1)
[6] the same exact argument was used before: "The Newtonian model of the universe is derived from Isaac Newton's laws of motion" (c: -1)
[7] remove the semicolon; use a comma (g: -1)
[8] the subject of the modifier "when examining a theory's validity" modifies the wrong
subject, i.e. "testable predictions" (dangling modifiers - section 23D) (g: -1)
change it to something like this: "...which are important when one examines a theory's validity"
###############
Here's my e-mail\
##############

Hi,
I have a few concerns regarding the grading of assignment two. The numbering of my conerns coincides with the grading comments.


[1]
The prepositional phrase is short and there is no danger of misreading the sentence without the comma.

[2]
Apparently turnitin.com doesn't handle pdf files very well. I attached my original document showing no spaces, so hopefully I can get this point back. From now on I will submit my homework in a different format.

[4]
The word epicycle is used in mathematics. It is "a circle whose circumference rolls along the circumference of a fixed circle, thereby generating an epicycloid or a hypocycloid." It is a geometric model which explains the apparent motions of the planets.
quotation taken from www.dictionary.com

[6]
I first introduced the Newtonian model, and then later contrasted it with Brahe's model. I used the same argument again to place importance on Newton's laws. I'm not sure why this warrants a deduction.

[7]
I'm not sure why a comma would be used in this situation. Neither of the phrases are subordinate, and there is no coordinating conjunction joining the phrases. Perhaps if I wrote "data, but it also explains the data" a comma would be necessary.

[8]
The subject of the first clause is "testable predictions" and the verb is "comes." The modifier modifies the subject of the first clause. I'm not sure why this is considered a dangling modifier. However, the verb "comes" should be "come," so there is still a mistake in the sentence.

Posted by mrpibb at September 20, 2005 11:31 AM | TrackBack
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