Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Grad student research paper woes

So - what do you do when you review a paper written by a grad student that looks like it was thrown together just to get something together? The throwing together part should have been done by the end of the summer. And the student complains about the project and to me seems like he's doing this just to jump through the hoops. It's a non-thesis project. And my boss is the advisor and is the one who tried (I think) to spur the student on to get stuff done. But now I'm editing the paper which is work to fulfill a grant that was over in Sept., so we have to get the paper together by the end of Dec. The paper is more like an outline of what to write. And I kept telling the student to keep track of all the data manipulations b/c they'll have to be documented - I doubt he has - it's not in the 'paper.' For every part I'm saying expand on this, and on the front wrote 'great start, I had to rewrite my 1st thesis draft too.' Criminy. If he at least didn't complain about everything it would be an easier pill to swallow that he struggles with writing. So I guess I can't do anything but say expand on this. How do you profs deal with students???


Jennifer said...

Ugh!!I would just fill his draft with lots of red ink as appropriate. I would also talk with your boss about your concerns.

I know I get frustrated with my students, but right now I have all freshmen, so at least they don't know better. But a graduate student, he should know better.

Sally's sister said...

It's filled with red ink, and I just talked to my boss who is talking to him right now.

And how about a wanna be grad student who was accepted on probation, which meant we couldn't give him a GRA, but he still wanted the salary, though he has a poor track record working as an hourly for us. And he hasn't been in the last 2 days and hasn't emailed/called. My boss thinks he won't make it through this semester's classes so the problem will solve itself.

I have more respect for those who are tough on students. My boss is too much of a pushover, though he can spew expletives.

Beth said...

put him on probation at work too?

or let him know that given his track record he will not be rehired next semester unless he shapes up.

Sparkling Squirrel said...

I don't have any grad students, so I don't have anyone for more than a semester at a time. I still get plenty frustrated when a students don't work, but it does not affect me directly (I'm not dependent on them for grants, data, etc.)

Good luck

Tucson Trekker said...

I'm not a prof. All I can say is I feel for you. Sounds like a real drag!!