Example: if you write an essay or term paper for Government class, and it's full of errors, should your teacher be able to give you a lower grade, even though it's not technically their job to teach you grammar and spelling? Question Who's Online | Find Members | Private Messages
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1,991 hits Rate me! Share Favorite | Flag 9 years ago by birdsong4j

Should teachers in classes other than English, Composition, etc. be able to give students lower marks based on grammar and spelling mistakes?
Example: if you write an essay or term paper for Government class, and it`s full of errors, should your teacher be able to give you a lower grade, even though it`s not technically their job to teach you grammar and spelling?


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9 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Monday 12/17/07 - 4:07:11 PM EST (GMT-5)
Of course. How could anything think otherwise?
9 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Monday 12/17/07 - 4:43:44 PM EST (GMT-5)
Yes, of course.

I generally wouldn't fail any of my students based on their grammar and spelling unless it was so bad that their ideas were unintelligible. But I do mark them down. Why should they earn the same grade as someone who took two seconds to hit spell-check?

9 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Monday 12/17/07 - 5:59:38 PM EST (GMT-5)
On 12/17/2007 4:07:12 PM buddy wrote:
Of course. How could anything think otherwise?

Ditto.
9 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Monday 12/17/07 - 6:21:31 PM EST (GMT-5)
I agree with everyone else here. It may not be the teacher's job to teach spelling and grammar, but it is their job to teach you how to write a clear and concise essay or research paper.

Mispelling words and using improper grammar creates a paper that is confusing and unprofessional. It's also a dead giveaway of how little effort the student actually put into writing it.

9 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Monday 12/17/07 - 6:32:04 PM EST (GMT-5)
Yes, of course. Proper communication cannot be limited to an English or Composition class. Besides that, spell-checking a paper is so quick and easy that not doing it reveals a great degree of carelessness.
9 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Monday 12/17/07 - 7:06:45 PM EST (GMT-5)
Students are in school to learn how to be functioning members of society, it doesn't matter if it is a math teacher, they should always be looking for teachable moments.
9 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Monday 12/17/07 - 7:49:01 PM EST (GMT-5)
While I also agree and am pleased that so many feel this way, I will point out that we're probably a little *more* lenient in English class than some of the teachers I've seen in other fields. For example, I usually have a specific set of grammatical issues that I focus on and include in a rubric, but there are certain rules or rules from later lessons that haven't been taught yet that I will let slide to some degree unless it truly impedes communication.

It makes my job as an English teacher easier when other teachers support strong writing in their classes, but I wish they'd sometimes keep in mind that what I teach is still a work in progress. It's not like they're done learning how to write by the time they arrive in their classes.

9 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Monday 12/17/07 - 10:17:05 PM EST (GMT-5)
I'm not surprised at the answers (especially since everyone who has posted so far has been over 18), but I know there are a lot of high school students who think it's somehow "unfair" of other teachers to mark them down for grammar and spelling. Some think the teacher should give papers back with corrections, but it shouldn't actually affect their grades in any non-English based class.

IRL - I agree it's a work in progress, but if you're teaching high school, for example, students should already have mastered at least the basic rules of grammar unless they have a true learning disability.

I also partly thought of this question because I heard that some teachers are accepting netspeak in papers now. If I ever found out my child's teacher was doing that, I think I'd be complaining to the principal.

9 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Monday 12/17/07 - 10:25:42 PM EST (GMT-5)
Yes. Kids need to learn to f*cking write. I've seen college students that don't know how to use question marks or commas.

9 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Monday 12/17/07 - 10:27:48 PM EST (GMT-5)
Depends on circumstances.. If I lost marks in a math test for spelling words wrong I would complain. If it was a geography/history lesson ~ spelling is just as important as an English lesson and i can see teachers knit-picking on grammar and spelling in those classes.
9 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Monday 12/17/07 - 10:50:59 PM EST (GMT-5)
They can and they should
9 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Monday 12/17/07 - 11:13:22 PM EST (GMT-5)
Absolutely, although one could say that I am biased. I've always had perfect grammar and spelling...in fact, I went to two district spelling bees. People that cannot at least comprehend basic grammar highly annoy me.
9 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Monday 12/17/07 - 11:31:54 PM EST (GMT-5)
On 12/17/2007 11:13:22 PM YoQuieroVaca wrote:
Absolutely, although one could say that I am biased. I've always had perfect grammar and spelling...in fact, I went to two district spelling bees. People that cannot at least comprehend basic grammar highly annoy me.

I don't think any non-retarded person has difficulty comprehending basic grammar, it's writing it themselves that's the problem.
9 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Monday 12/17/07 - 11:51:33 PM EST (GMT-5)
On 12/17/2007 10:27:49 PM surrysounds wrote:
Depends on circumstances.. If I lost marks in a math test for spelling words wrong I would complain.

Fair point. I was thinking more along the lines of actual essays or term papers written for other classes.

9 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Tuesday 12/18/07 - 12:19:12 AM EST (GMT-5)
Of course! To be able to read and write in your own language without error is crucial. These are skills that should be reinforced with a teacher's correcting pen; I believe it is still in their domain to do so.
9 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Tuesday 12/18/07 - 12:52:36 AM EST (GMT-5)
I can understand being slightly more lenient in high school, but if you're a college student and your papers are full of spelling and grammar errors then your professors should be allowed to fail you if they want to.
9 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Tuesday 12/18/07 - 12:57:39 AM EST (GMT-5)
The example on the left in hilarious.
9 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Tuesday 12/18/07 - 2:53:04 AM EST (GMT-5)
of course!
9 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Tuesday 12/18/07 - 11:34:06 AM EST (GMT-5)
On 12/18/2007 12:52:36 AM baba0riley wrote:
I can understand being slightly more lenient in high school, but if you're a college student and your papers are full of spelling and grammar errors then your professors should be allowed to fail you if they want to.

If I were to do that the number of students failing even upper level classes would dramatically increase. I'd say upwards of 80% don't have the ability to effectively communicate complex arguments and abstract ideas while simultaneously utilizing proper grammar and spelling.

9 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Tuesday 12/18/07 - 11:47:13 AM EST (GMT-5)
Certainly. I lose marks in Law for bad English, because you need good grammar etc.

In the same way, I lose marks if I use bad Maths in Physics.

9 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Tuesday 12/18/07 - 12:50:19 PM EST (GMT-5)
On 12/17/2007 10:17:06 PM birdsong4j wrote:
IRL - I agree it's a work in progress, but if you're teaching high school, for example, students should already have mastered at least the basic rules of grammar unless they have a true learning disability.

I don't know... I teach hs and we still have grammar goals in our curriculum. It's not all review, either, so it's not accurate that students should know it all yet. I think some non-English teachers don't realize that when they take off for things they assume incorrectly that kids already should know, or for rules that have changed since they last studied grammar.

I like that they want to support my curriculum, but if they don't actually know what that entails....

9 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Tuesday 12/18/07 - 1:02:21 PM EST (GMT-5)
^ See, I'm much more likely to correct their mistakes (after all they should at the very least be told they are making them) and take off minimal points - enough to let them know it matters and they should care, but unless its horrible not enough to bump them into the failing category.
9 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Tuesday 12/18/07 - 2:38:35 PM EST (GMT-5)
On 12/18/2007 11:34:06 AM catchall wrote:
If I were to do that the number of students failing even upper level classes would dramatically increase. I'd say upwards of 80% don't have the ability to effectively communicate complex arguments and abstract ideas while simultaneously utilizing proper grammar and spelling.

Then maybe they deserve to fail. The best ideas in the world are still worthless if you can't communicate them effectively.


IRL - I'm talking BASIC rules. The difference between simple homophones (too, to, two, etc.), plural vs. possessive (e.g. not writing things like "I love apple's"), proper comma placement, and things like that. The VERY basics. Things I remember learning in elementary school.

9 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Tuesday 12/18/07 - 3:48:37 PM EST (GMT-5)
To a certain degree. A paper has to look proper. Of cource, forcing students to focus on grammar and spelling causes them to think of it while writing everything, and not become sloppy.
9 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Tuesday 12/18/07 - 4:09:54 PM EST (GMT-5)
On 12/17/2007 6:21:31 PM Razzed wrote:
I agree with everyone else here. It may not be the teacher's job to teach spelling and grammar, but it is their job to teach you how to write a clear and concise essay or research paper. Mispelling words and using improper grammar creates a paper that is confusing and unprofessional. It's also a dead giveaway of how little effort the student actually put into writing it.

You took the words right out of my mouth.


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