The moose’s email

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This is what the moose wrote to me regarding my essay:

“With some hesitation, I gave your paper a B-. It is really on the borderline between a C+ and a B-.  The standard of papers I received in JS2227 was pretty low, with the very notable exception of Geneva, who of course is a real native speaker and comes from a real English-language university with a top-class world reputation. [I did not get the papers written by some of the good students in the course, like Qiu Nan].

Melissa’s paper was somewhere in the middle between the totally useless papers and the reasonably good ones. It was a survey account of the influence of China on Japan in the ancient period, and it reads like a chapter in an introductory textbook. It is not really a research paper in that it only gives widely known facts and has no tight focus, nor does it offer any original analysis or question (or compare) existing scholarship regarding a certain clearly defined historical question. Thus this paper is worth somewhere between a B- and a C.

More faults: (1) no title; (2) definition of “ancient Japan” incorrect;(3) the writing is OK to read, but there are a lot of elementary grammar mistakes, like “did” in place of “had” (before “not adopted”), “root to[Chinese culture]” instead of “root of,” singular/plural subject-object agreement problems (like “the Japanese was” instead of “the Japanese were”; “still mean” instead of “still means”, problems in the use of tenses — like present tense where past tense is needed — and so on).

There are some serious factual problems, such as the ridiculous statement that Confucianism became the dominant school of thought in Japan in the ancient period, and the statement that because of that their government adopted a meritocratic system.

The only reason you squeaked through to a B- is because this university’s grading standards have been dropped, the writing level of students is generally very bad, and because your paper was pretty good in terms of readability and interest, even though it was not really a focused inquiry, contained no analysis or questioning, and proffered no new perspective whatsoever.”

You decide what you think of him and let me know at the comments chat. I’m still amazed at how he can be insulting to me, to the class, to Singapore AND complain about things all at the same time. I feel that he doesn’t teach. A real teacher tells a student where he/she has gone wrong and tries to mould the student into producing better work. A teacher also imparts knowledge, whereas for him, he churns out disorganised facts. Ah well…I’m avoiding his modules like the plague.

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