Thursday, March 6, 2008

Advice: Getting Good Grades in Grad School

How to get good grades in grad school (woot alliteration!)

Granted I am new to this whole "grad school thing" but if I have learned anything this year, I have learned these very simple rules

1. Write very very well. If you don't write well have someone teach you how to write well..

1a. Write very clearly. They love writing "why?" or "what?" or "how so?" in the margins.
1b. Write a lot. Unless there are strict guidelines they'll take it as going "above and beyond." Introducing debates in the secondary literature usually helps increase your length

2. Don't disagree with your professor in any substantive way... in the end, they will always think they are right and you are wrong

3. Pick really specific topics - if no one has done it, your prof will think you are original. If your topic is small, you'll have less secondary lit to cover.

4. Go to office hours, join the stupid clubs. Ok.. I don't really do this but I witness the kiss asses in my program who may have three papers due from last quarter but everyone still seems to love them. It seems to work.. but it will make you a total loser and i might have to punch you in the face

5. Only talk in class when you have something really really smart to say. For the most part, your prof has no idea who you are.

6. Show up and look engaged. There are methods of doodling that actually look like you are taking notes. My favorite methods are practicing my calligraphy, working on my budget and turning the professors comments into nonsensical poetry (thats a fun game, just write down certain phrases he/she says and adding your own words turn it into a poem on how lame the topic is)

7. Be nice to the TA. This quarter I found this exceptionally hard but they just have to think that you like them. Unfortunately, the lazier the professor (ok, or busier) the more powerful the TA. I can't believe we even have TAs in Grad School but I guess the profs are really lazy err busy

ok thats all I have for now.. any additions? disagreements?


The Rooster said...

how do I post so it doesn't say "read more" at the bottom?

Ragoth said...

Post in the "Edit HTML" tab and remove the HTML.