Education...has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading.
-- G.M. Trevelyan
Posted 11 December 2012 - 09:28 AM
Take a line from the book and explain how you got your opinion from that. Only the main points though. Say your opinion from the book was that the sky is blue, there had to be certain lines or things in that book that made you form that opinion. Each line should change the base of your opinion as you progress through the story. You take those lines and explain how they formed your opinion of the story. Doesn't even have to be a just line, you can use the theme of the story or a character, or really anything. As long as it's some form of evidence from the story itself.
There is a difference between I believe this book means this, and I believe this book means this because of this.
When in doubt see if there is anybody you can snag a piece of their work and look at it for a bases of what the teacher wants or ask somebody to look at your work if nobody in the class will help. With no reference to see what you are doing, it's hard to give advice.
If all else fails smile, nod your head and laugh because some people are impossible to please.
I, too, disagree with your teacher's generalization. I am happy to give somebody credit if I have used their idea. Even then, though, it wouldn't necessarily be a matter of a quote. I have taken a lot from Carl Jung, for example, but much of it is a synthesis, not a quote. Ironically, he would agree that that would be a righteous use of his teaching - I could even quote him on that .
I doubt that I will ever be the first person to think anything. But not all antecedents are influences, and not all influences are sources. You can quote me on that.
Realistically, one of the things we learn in formal coursework is how to accommodate arbitrary authority. It really is a useful skill. My advice is to give the lady the appearance of compliance. Salt up your papers with Wikiquote - who's to say that Arthur Schlesinger wasn't the root of your belief that Kennedy would have been re-elected in 1964 had he lived? Or whatever the issue is.
Summarize your opinion in a few key words, googlebing the string, and pick something colorful to garnish your word salad. Plus, who knows? Maybe you'll get a kick out of knowing who agrees with you, or hunting down the source of something that is part of the langauge. Have as much fun with it as the situation allows. She won't know the difference.
Then roast the dudette in your end-of-semester evaluation. Mention it to your adviser, too.
"What we have here is failure to communicate."
Donn Pearce (novel and screenplay) and Frank R. Pierson (screenplay); spoken by Captain as portrayed by Strother Martin, Cool Hand Luke
Edited by eight bits, 11 December 2012 - 10:38 AM.
To be blunt, the only real options are to do what you think she wants (what she says she wants but apparently doesn't mean for some reason) and take the bad grade, talk with her more and try to get examples of what exactly she wants, complain to her supervisors, or drop the class.
It makes no sense to cite personal opinions. I'm sure most of my opinions have been thought by people before me, but finding out who did and citing them doesn't make my opinion more valid. I had a literature prof in college like this as well. Besides the fact that she was obviously racist (I was the only white girl in the class and she was blunt about her racial ideas), she made very odd requests when it came to literature discussions and reports. I ended up dropping the class but was told I 'shouldn't worry' about the racist remarks.