5 Tips on How To Ask Teachers to Revise Your GradesAfter teaching everything from early childhood to college for the last fifteen plus years, I thought it would be helpful to share some tips on asking your teacher to revise your grade.
1. Read the SyllabusIf the assignment was writing to write a ten page essay and you submitted a 200 word blurb worthy of Facebook, then realize that your best bet is to read the syllabus carefully next time and submitting the right assignment. If the wording was ambiguous, then ask politely if you could resubmit your assignment with the correct requirements, maybe for partial credit.
2. Don't PlagiarizeBelieve it or not, your professor will not believe that you "accidentally" copied the entire Wikipedia entry on Napoleon Bonaparte. If it is a formatting issue, then be sure to read the class requirements on proper citation. Some professors are real sticklers for correct citation, checking every comma, and some just want to make sure that you don't cheat.
3. Treat Your Professor like a Human BeingEmotional entreaties, rude e-mail messages, cursing, belittling your professor, threatening to talk to the head of the department, threatening their job, complaining about how much money you wasted on their class, or threatening to quit school because your teacher is "CRAP" are not ways to talk to any human being, and that includes your instructor.
4. Be Short and ProfessionalThis might be a good way to approach a possible grade revision:
Dear Professor Smith,
I noticed that you gave me a 80% on my last Powerpoint presentation and cited that I did not use good research. You will find that in the Speaker Notes I cited a study by the scientist X, as well as reports by Harvard and Oxford. I would appreciate it if you took a moment and reconsidered my grade for this assignment or allowed me to resubmit a revision.
You will notice that the note is short, addresses the Professor in a professional manner, cites a specific problem with the paper and how the student did address that in the powerpoint. It also gave the professor two options - revising the grade or allowing a revision.