alicrimson wrote:Thanks for clearing this up. I know at LEEWS my man, Miller, was talking about this and I was kind of unsure because, like you said, it feels like a waste of time. When you talk about these seemingly silly arguments, do you just dedicate a sentence or two? IE: It could be argued its x; however, to have x you need abc and the facts in the case at present are lmnop. The facts do not fit with the necessary abc because blahblahblah. As such, this is a weaker argument. Or what do you do? I greatly appreciate your input.
This is why typing speed is such a great advantage. You don't really know (and even if you get to know your professor, you can't really predict) where the professor will draw the line regarding giving out "analysis" points, especially on one unique subject. One professor will consider superfluous what another considers attention to detail. You can never loose points for typing too much, but you also don't want to take away time from analyzing more important issues.
If you type really fast, you can overcome the uncertainty, and have your cake and eat it too. I'm barely able to produce 3,000 words on a 3-hour exam, so my grades are usually based solely on getting into the professor's head. As a result, despite knowing the material cold, my grades are scattered all over the place. But many of the top students (the ones that can consistently get good grades) can produce upwards of 7,000 or 8,000 words in the same time period.
As one very, very top student articulated: "you get 1 point for any word you write, such as 'aardvark,' or 'beehive,' you get 3 points for any word you write that is related to law, and you get 5 points for any word you write that is related to the actual problem." He said this tongue-in-cheek of course, but he liked to brag (not in a bad way) about stuff like reading the professor's research papers they wrote (even ones that had nothing to do with the class) and regurgitating their own ideas back to them on an exam, working their research ideas into the fact pattern somehow. And of course, the professors would write "Brilliant!" and award him many points. The bottom line is that you can't try to answer these problems fairly and objectively. You really have to try and kiss your professor's ass in your response. They all say they try not to let their egos be a part of it, but it's only natural that they give in to stuff like that. Some are better and more objective than others.
It's also important to find out how points are awarded. Some professors have specific checklists that list every possible argument and counter-argument, and those are the only things you get points for. You either make them or you don't. I only had one professor that did this, and it was one of my best exams. But the majority of professors use the "tally mark" approach, where they simply give you a tally mark for everything you write that they think has value, and the person with the most tally marks at the end of the exam wins. And they don't have any standards for what gets a tally mark: it's a completely subjective judgement. These are the ones where superfluous analysis and ego-stroking is most likely to work, but as usual, it still depends on the professor.