I'm a grad student and have been assigned to a group with several other students. This is a semester long group that will work on various projects. From the start, this group has been a disaster. I spent two days fixing grammar mistakes in another group member's paper. Some sentences didn't make sense at all and he obviously didn't proofread it because there were mistakes such as "for the for the". Another student in the group, an international student, told the student that wrote it, "great job". This was prior to me correcting it, but the fact that he complimented him made me think that he didn't read the paper at all. Absolutely no one would think it was a great paper, purely based on how many mistakes it had.

After we submitted the corrected paper, the professor sent it back to us with several notes about how to improve it. The original author told another group member that I should fix it since there were grammar mistakes and I wrote it (corrected it). In reality, his original paper wasn't even at high school level until I fixed it.

Another time we had to give a 20 minute presentation. The rest of the group wanted to go over who would say what in 5 minutes before class. However, with some coercing, I convinced them we should review it the prior day instead.

I have to maintain a B to keep my scholarship and I feel like this group doesn't care about their own grades. They seem like they just want to coast by into graduation. Should I approach the professor about this?

  • 1
    What field is this?
    – Buffy
    Feb 6, 2020 at 17:39
  • 1
    @Buffy I'm going for my MBA.
    – Jeremy
    Feb 6, 2020 at 17:44

1 Answer 1


Generally speaking, a poor way to handle such situations is to divide up the work to individuals and then try to assemble the whole at the end.

If the group is reasonably small (say five or less) try to have regular meetings to brainstorm and outline things for the report. One person (probably the one with the best language skills) takes on the task of editor, or even writer.

Pass drafts around frequently and update them based on feedback.

If the group is larger, then do some division of responsibility, but to sub-groups, not individuals. Have each subgroup work as suggested above (brainstorming...editing...markups). But then, one or two people take on the task of getting everything together. Those two people need to monitor and shepherd the task throughout, making sure that the subgroups are doing their work productively.

It might even be advisable in a long project, to shuffle the groups a bit periodically. Not a radical reshuffle, but just some cross pollination.

You should also expect, and plan for, the fact that not every member will be able to contribute as much as others, or even at all, for various reasons, both legitimate and not. But just as important, don't set it up so that everyone needs to contribute in the same way. Try to draw on individual skills. Some doing research, some writing, some editing, etc.

A team should be a team, not a herd of individuals.

This might be different in a different field, but for an MBA it feels about right.

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