A not-so-hypothetical question:

Let’s say that you are taking a political science class and you wrote a paper that you considered to be A- material. You get it back and it you actually got a 98 on it. You’re initially thrilled, but then you look and see you got deducted two points for a factual inaccuracy that was not only true but provably so. The professor isn’t there when you get your paper back and before he gets back from appearing on The O’Reilly Factor you get your grade for the course, which is an “A”.

Do you:
(a) Track the professor down, point out his error, and ask for the two points back? After all, that non-error was all that stood between you and a perfect paper.
(b) Realize that you got the best grade you could for the course and that there isn’t any point going through the hassle of tracking him down for the sake of something that doesn’t make a material difference.

Category: Coffeehouse, School

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4 Responses to WWUD? A False Deduction

  1. Peter says:

    I’d have to go for (b). Two points just aren’t worth the effort. Besides, the teacher might think I was acting petty or anal by asking for just two extra points.

  2. Bobvis says:


    Then again, I’m a professor now, so maybe it’s that I hope everyone else would pick b.

    I suppose I might ask if I was genuinely curious about the fact in question. I wouldn’t ask merely to get the grade changed. There isn’t something magical that happens at 100.

  3. Willard Lake says:

    Is the point of the class to be right, or is to get an A?

  4. trumwill says:

    Peter, not wanting to be a pest was one of the motivations for why I didn’t pursue it. That and rank laziness.

    Bob, yeah, if there had been any doubt about it I would have actually been more inclined to ask. But it was one of those things you could look up pretty easily so all I had to do to know the beginning and end of the story was go to the senator’s bio.

    Willard, true enough, though if you’re already right, haven’t you gotten what you needed? 🙂

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