Bottom of the class?

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Netopalis
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:13 pm

Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby Netopalis » Sat May 08, 2010 12:34 am

My advice is to write well on your exam. Most of your classmates will be writing the same stuff that you write, meaning that you need to differentiate yourself in another way. The way to do this is through clear and concise analytical writing. Make sure that your grammar is good, your words are correctly spelled and your essay is well-organized. A lot of students will try to hammer out a humongous essay covering every topic in the class on every question - this actually loses them points because it shows that they can't (or won't) pick apart the question and focus on the important stuff.

Here's another way to look at it. Most professors grade exams by sitting down with a list of issues and a number of points for each issue. Correctly reason through each issue and you get the points for that issue. If the professor can't see you talking about that issue, though, you don't get the points. This means that you don't want to hide any issues - indeed, you want to make them stand out. Make it obvious that you're talking about them, to make sure that your professor can't miss it. If your professor has to hunt around in a giant wall of text to find where you're talking about Res Ipsa Loquitor, you're probably not doing this very well.

This is just my take on it, though. Of course, this doesn't give you license not to study, this just helps translate your study efforts into exam points.

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rayiner
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Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby rayiner » Sat May 08, 2010 12:47 am

Netopalis wrote:My advice is to write well on your exam. Most of your classmates will be writing the same stuff that you write, meaning that you need to differentiate yourself in another way. The way to do this is through clear and concise analytical writing. Make sure that your grammar is good, your words are correctly spelled and your essay is well-organized. A lot of students will try to hammer out a humongous essay covering every topic in the class on every question - this actually loses them points because it shows that they can't (or won't) pick apart the question and focus on the important stuff.

Here's another way to look at it. Most professors grade exams by sitting down with a list of issues and a number of points for each issue. Correctly reason through each issue and you get the points for that issue. If the professor can't see you talking about that issue, though, you don't get the points. This means that you don't want to hide any issues - indeed, you want to make them stand out. Make it obvious that you're talking about them, to make sure that your professor can't miss it. If your professor has to hunt around in a giant wall of text to find where you're talking about Res Ipsa Loquitor, you're probably not doing this very well.

This is just my take on it, though. Of course, this doesn't give you license not to study, this just helps translate your study efforts into exam points.


Organization and clarity definitely helps, but I don't think grammar or spelling matter. I turn off spellcheck when writing (I used the word "posession" 17 times on the first question of my crimlaw exam) and never go back to correct bad grammar and I did well.

stinger35
Posts: 615
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:37 pm

Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby stinger35 » Sat May 08, 2010 1:21 am

Netopalis wrote:My advice is to write well on your exam. Most of your classmates will be writing the same stuff that you write, meaning that you need to differentiate yourself in another way. The way to do this is through clear and concise analytical writing. Make sure that your grammar is good, your words are correctly spelled and your essay is well-organized. A lot of students will try to hammer out a humongous essay covering every topic in the class on every question - this actually loses them points because it shows that they can't (or won't) pick apart the question and focus on the important stuff.

Here's another way to look at it. Most professors grade exams by sitting down with a list of issues and a number of points for each issue. Correctly reason through each issue and you get the points for that issue. If the professor can't see you talking about that issue, though, you don't get the points. This means that you don't want to hide any issues - indeed, you want to make them stand out. Make it obvious that you're talking about them, to make sure that your professor can't miss it. If your professor has to hunt around in a giant wall of text to find where you're talking about Res Ipsa Loquitor, you're probably not doing this very well.

This is just my take on it, though. Of course, this doesn't give you license not to study, this just helps translate your study efforts into exam points.


Couldn't agree with this more. My professor from last semester told me that other day that he used my exam answers as model examples but said that it made him realize he should show the people who get A's the other students answers to see what they are doing right. (I thought this was the greatest idea ever, but he just moved on without showing me). Anyways, I don't know what other people write on exams. However, I have looked up and seen peoples screens and it just looks like paragraph upon paragraph of writing. I label everything with bold, underlines, italics, etc. I know that this procedural stuff may seem minuscule, but I swear it can make the difference between an A and a B. Also, from what I can tell (this may be far off), EVERYONE KNOWS THE LAW. I mean seriously, I can't remember a single conversation with someone where I was like wow, they don't know the law at all. Everyone knows it, and will be writing it. The key is to writing the law (an applying it) better.

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SwollenMonkey
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Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby SwollenMonkey » Sat May 08, 2010 1:23 am

Posting for future reference. Thanks to all!

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yours
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:18 pm

Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby yours » Sat May 08, 2010 2:00 am

A'nold wrote:
teebone51 wrote:
apper123 wrote:To be completely honest, and I'm dead serious when I say this, I'm a very serious poker player and have been playing successfully for 6 years now. And truthfully a lot of those skills are immensely helpful on a law exam.
I'd be interested in hearing what skills you find applicable to law school exams. Been playing off and on for seven years or so, myself. Any serious player knows that the skills are transferable to a wide variety of contexts-- just curious as to what skills you think apply, and how...
I'm pretty dang good at poker too, fwiw.
lets see your sharkscope or hendon mob page lol.

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mikeytwoshoes
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Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:45 pm

Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby mikeytwoshoes » Sat May 08, 2010 2:03 am

SwollenMonkey wrote:Posting for future reference. Thanks to all!

It's called a tag, and it is counter to strong public policy.

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macattaq
Posts: 441
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:46 pm

Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby macattaq » Sat May 08, 2010 2:17 am

rayiner wrote:
Netopalis wrote:My advice is to write well on your exam. Most of your classmates will be writing the same stuff that you write, meaning that you need to differentiate yourself in another way. The way to do this is through clear and concise analytical writing. Make sure that your grammar is good, your words are correctly spelled and your essay is well-organized. A lot of students will try to hammer out a humongous essay covering every topic in the class on every question - this actually loses them points because it shows that they can't (or won't) pick apart the question and focus on the important stuff.

Here's another way to look at it. Most professors grade exams by sitting down with a list of issues and a number of points for each issue. Correctly reason through each issue and you get the points for that issue. If the professor can't see you talking about that issue, though, you don't get the points. This means that you don't want to hide any issues - indeed, you want to make them stand out. Make it obvious that you're talking about them, to make sure that your professor can't miss it. If your professor has to hunt around in a giant wall of text to find where you're talking about Res Ipsa Loquitor, you're probably not doing this very well.

This is just my take on it, though. Of course, this doesn't give you license not to study, this just helps translate your study efforts into exam points.


Organization and clarity definitely helps, but I don't think grammar or spelling matter. I turn off spellcheck when writing (I used the word "posession" 17 times on the first question of my crimlaw exam) and never go back to correct bad grammar and I did well.


My civpro prof grades for spelling and grammar. There was also not enough time to go back and spellcheck, and I had to edit grammar on the fly. Fortunately, I never have to have him again!!!

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SwollenMonkey
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Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:28 am

Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby SwollenMonkey » Sat May 08, 2010 2:27 am

mikeytwoshoes wrote:
SwollenMonkey wrote:Posting for future reference. Thanks to all!

It's called a tag, and it is counter to strong public policy.


Sounds like you just finished reading GTM.

Netopalis
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:13 pm

Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby Netopalis » Sat May 08, 2010 2:40 am

Whether your professors say that grammar and spelling count or not, they do. It's not so much of a conscious thing. Your professors don't just sit down and say, "My, my, my. Fourteen misplaced commas. Look at that 'its!' Don't you know that an apostrophe goes there? Ignorant fool! F minus minus! Take that, you blackguard!" It's more of a, "Hmm. I'm not exactly sure what you're saying here. You start off describing negligence, but go into a battery claim here. It's obvious that you know that a battery happened here, but I'm not sure that you really understand exactly what that means. And now it's back to negligen-wait. More battery? Does this student understand that these are two separate torts? I don't think I've seen either term defined yet, either."

The point is that bad grammar, organization and spelling distracts from the essay and forces your professor to look for ways to give you points rather than those points flowing naturally from the logical progression of your answer. Don't make your professor work hard - make it clear what you're doing.

Leeroy Jenkins
Posts: 1003
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 10:19 pm

Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Sat May 08, 2010 2:55 am

I think that, in reading an answer, if the professor can't understand what you're trying to say after two read-through due to your horrendous spelling or grammar, he will just ignore it.

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sayan
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 7:05 am

Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby sayan » Sat May 08, 2010 7:20 am

Good tips in here.




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