Academic Etiquette

Wise words from the Little Professor on “dealing with professors“. My favourites:

3. If you want to know the assignment for the next day’s reading, please look at the syllabus. That’s why it’s there.


8. Do not ask your professor “Did I miss anything?” or “Will I miss anything?” or “Is there something important we’re going to talk about?” Just don’t.

Actually, I often have a version of #8 right there in my course syllabus…along with the list of books for the class, deadlines for assignments, my office hours, my policies on late assignments and missed classes, my mother’s maiden name, my home phone number…OK, not the last two, but I do work hard to put everything you need to know about the course in the syllabus, so really my basic advice would just be:

Before you ask me anything at all, read your syllabus carefully.

And since it’s posted on WebCT, it doesn’t matter if you left your copy on the bus, or your dog ate it, or you don’t think I gave you a copy last class: you can find it 24/7.

(This posting is dedicated to the anonymous student who complained in my course evaluations last year that whenever s/he asked me a question, I always said “go look in your syllabus.” In case you ever read this, there’s a relevant saying that is something about giving someone a fish vs. teaching them to fish…)

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