Tactful restraint.

Dear Professor ----:

I am writing you this email in regards to a request. I recieved a B in Biology lab for this semester. I wanted to ask that that grade be changed to a B+. I feel this is a resonable request based on my progress and effort put forth in the class and also my perfect attendance. I am going to be applying to medical schools in the near future and a high GPA is a necessity for admission into med schools. The B+ would improve my average and be greatly appreciated. Thank you for considering this request and thank you for a great year.

John Doe

Hi John:
I appreciate that you will be applying to med school and are trying to maintain a good GPA; however, unfortunately, at this point I can not change the grade- the course is closed and the grades are finalized. That being said, I should also tell you that I already did grade on a curve; had I not, your grade would have been a B- (81.4%) instead of the B (84%) that I gave you. I have double checked my calculations and they are correct based on your scores. I have attached a copy of your worksheet which also includes the rubric for how I graded the formal lab report. Your score for the lab report was a 74 out of 100 and that was worth 40% of your grade. You will see that I graded you highly for concepts, but most of the points you lost were for leaving out important details ( in text citations, statistical analysis, important methods, or a paragraph summary of your results). Science is a precise subject; it is not subjective (at this level, anyway), and I really don't have much leeway in scoring. In the future I advise you to pay attention to the details.

I did enjoy having you in class, and I wish you luck in your future studies.

Dr. -----

What I did not write:
Next time you make such a request, you might want to spell check your email.
Oh, and you are a very nice guy and I know you tried- that is why you didn't get a lower grade on your lab report, which you probably deserved. But based on your performance in this introductory biology lab? I would suggest an alternative career. Because you are not going to get in to med school. I say this not to hurt you but to spare you the agony of rejection, and the waste of all that effort for a futile undertaking.
On the other hand, only a med student- or a salesman- would have the gall to request an upgrade, so at least you've got the right attitude.


Kelli said...

Wow! When I started reading this my first thought was, "who has the nerve to actually ask for a better grade?!"