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bacca

Understanding what you read

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I am taking classes and the current class is Childrens Literature. We have weekly questions to answer and discuss among the class. My current instructor seems to feel that the only way to accurately discuss is to use direct quotations from text books. She told me that if you have an opinion it came from some place and that where it came from needs to be given credit....I do not agree with this, although my ideas may come from places it normally is a collection of information from so many places over so many years that it would be impossible to give direct quotes...Does anyone have any ideas how to deal with this type of issue? I don't quote anything normally, I take what i read, have an opinion state it I can explain the why etc...but this whole concept of needing to direct quote is killing me, I hate to fail a class because I think the teacher is stupid but I am running out of options other that losing my temper with the woman....any help of how to deal with this would be appreciated.... :unsure2:

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When dealing with popular literature. You should remember. There is nothing new under the sun. If you are giving critical analysis. Brilliant as you might think yourself to be, someone probably. Said it first. So do research and cite. There is nothing wrong with having a similar opinion. Just cite it. easy as pie.

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could it be that your instructor wants you to use quotes from the literature to demonstrate/support your opinion, rather than asking for the quotes that helped create your opinon in the first place?

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I don't need to research she wants a cut and paste answer which goes against everything that makes sense to me! Cassea I agree that it should be easy as pie, I tried but I did specifically what she asked for cut and paste etc and still didn't work...I have no patience for this type of thing, I can at least respect opinions that differ from mine if someone really believes what they say (not always polite about it) but to say that there are no views that can't be quoted isn't true either...everything is open for interpretation I'm just trying to find a way to avoid making a big deal about this...how do you explain your personal opinion without using your personal opinion?

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Most college professors do this. To get you prepped. For writing the thesis. You can't talk about your opinion in a thesis. That isn't how a research paper works. So you have to learn to cite. Even if you don't quote, the idea is still citeable. It sounds like you are. Misinterpreteing what she is really saying.

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Most college professors do this. To get you prepped. For writing the thesis. You can't talk about your opinion in a thesis. That isn't how a research paper works. So you have to learn to cite. Even if you don't quote, the idea is still citeable. It sounds like you are. Misinterpreteing what she is really saying.

One it isn't a thesis or paper or anything even remotely formal it is a discussion that you have in a classroom...What I need to learn is not how to cite I am well aware of how to do so, perhaps you should work on reading comprehension before you post to other people? I appreciate opinions that are helpful or constructive but not those who simply try to put in two cents worth that don't have any point

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I am taking classes and the current class is Childrens Literature. We have weekly questions to answer and discuss among the class. My current instructor seems to feel that the only way to accurately discuss is to use direct quotations from text books. She told me that if you have an opinion it came from some place and that where it came from needs to be given credit....I do not agree with this, although my ideas may come from places it normally is a collection of information from so many places over so many years that it would be impossible to give direct quotes...Does anyone have any ideas how to deal with this type of issue? I don't quote anything normally, I take what i read, have an opinion state it I can explain the why etc...but this whole concept of needing to direct quote is killing me, I hate to fail a class because I think the teacher is stupid but I am running out of options other that losing my temper with the woman....any help of how to deal with this would be appreciated.... :unsure2:

You said this. She's telling you to cite your source. Citations don't necessarily mean quotes. Ideas can be cited and should be cited as well. This is what she's saying to you. You don't understand it. She's stated it clearly. I've explained it. Your haughty attitude is the problem. Not the teacher.

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You said this. She's telling you to cite your source. Citations don't necessarily mean quotes. Ideas can be cited and should be cited as well. This is what she's saying to you. You don't understand it. She's stated it clearly. I've explained it. Your haughty attitude is the problem. Not the teacher.

NO, my haughty attitude is that even when it was cited she didn't like it, you have EXPLAINED nothing...I'm not sure what you think you have explained but you didn't understand what I was asking, perhaps it is a comprehension issue for you, I know what she is asking and i have asked many people how to handle the issue, I don't want to make a bigger issue than necessary, meaning that I normally like to find a way to fix things, even if it means more work for me, you however seem to have an issue with me tonight, if you have nothing helpful or constructive to say other than to try and make yourself feel smart, give it up, it isn't going to work....You can't state that you explained something clearly that I honestly gave very little detail about, I wanted basic opinions not people trying to prove a point...now go sit down before you hurt yourself

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Why don't you just do what she asks. Instead of calling her stupid.

Edited by Cassea

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Why don't you just do what she asks. Instead of calling her stupid.

because I did!!! I did exactly what she asked and she was still not happy, I am one of those annoying people who wants an A in every class, and normally gets it...I work really hard to make sure that I get the grades that I want and at this point I am p***ed off with the instructor because there doesn't seem to be a right way to do it...

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if you did it. She wouldn't have said you didn't. You are not making any sense. What kind of sense does that make? She told you what to do. I repeated it. It seems obvious to me. You say you don't do that. Then you say you do. Then you say she said you didn't. And you call her stupid. This is vrey funny. :)

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highlight your boook when your reading? highlight stuff that it looks like you might have to quote later

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highlight your boook when your reading? highlight stuff that it looks like you might have to quote later

I have things that I can quote, and perhaps it is a personal thing, but I will take the quotes and reword them so that i have to cite where it came from but not have to direct quote with page number etc...but apparently that means I didn't read the text ..... lol I think I need to laugh about this class, it is ruining one of my favorite things :(

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Ah. Maybe she does that. Because people read cliff notes. Not the book. (Not saying you do.)

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because I did!!! I did exactly what she asked and she was still not happy, I am one of those annoying people who wants an A in every class, and normally gets it...I work really hard to make sure that I get the grades that I want and at this point I am p***ed off with the instructor because there doesn't seem to be a right way to do it...

this reminds me of my african lit class in university. we did five novels in that class in one term. not only were they written badly, but my professor's requirements were almost impossible to understand. he wanted something done a certain way and it didn't matter how much you tried to pin him down on it, or ask for examples or tried your best based on what you thought he wanted it, it was always wrong.

i don't think any of us in that class got a decent mark, and as it turned out i had to do a makeup exam to pass. even then it was like getting information from a rock. he wanted me to choose two of the five novels and do a paper on each one base on my impressions of the story as a whole..

i did this and then he still went on and on about how i didn't understand what he wanted from me. i was an A student in every other class (i was taking english as my major with a philosophy class and a sociology class so i was well trained in essay writing) but he claimed i couldn't write a simple essay on a novel.

he did give me a passing grade, but as an A student, the C i received was an insult.

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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.

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Howdy, bacca

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
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Then roast the dudette in your end-of-semester evaluation. Mention it to your adviser, too.

unfortunately we never got to evaluate professors - only instructors.

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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.

Best of luck.

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