Help Me, Help You: What You Should Know Before You Ask for Help
Stange, Meredith A. G.
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I got an email the other day from a student who was having some difficulty writing his arguments. The student wrote that he kept rewriting his arguments in response to my comments but that he still had not been able to get them written satisfactorily. I could tell the student was frustrated and I could also tell that, for the moment, at least, I was the target of that frustration. Essentially, the student was telling me that he had changed things in accordance with my comments, but I still was not happy. Having been teaching for fifteen years, the frustration alone neither surprised nor upset me. However, I certainly know that there are times when it would and that there are colleagues who can and do get irritated by emails like this. So, I created a guide to help provide my students with tips on what they need to know about asking me for help. Although in the past I have given this information solely orally, I now plan to give this information to my students in a handout early in the semester. That way, we have built up a rapport and students are more familiar with me and hopefully recognize that my intent is only to be informative and not critical. Below are some of the tips that I give my students, along with explanations for each.