As mentioned in prior posts, I experienced a lot of stress and an episode of depression during my last undergraduate semester. The stress was caused by constant moving and housing insecurity for half the semester (giving me a late start on the paper) and the depression by learning of my professor being in the process of retirement/declining to be my graduate advisor. (I don't have clinical depression.)
I received an A- on a research paper in this class, but it was slipshod work, and (embarrassingly) probably one of the worst undergraduate papers ever written (written in a graduate level course no less). The worst part is that this happened with a professor I admired/loved, but from a practical standpoint, can this ruin my chances of graduate school? I've already graduated and can't afford to take more undergrad. courses. Even if I could, however, how would I get another professor to supervise my research when I've already produced poor work?
Has anyone been admitted to graduate school/succeeded in academia despite a poor research paper? For what it's worth, I'm finally rewriting it, but second chances seem rare in academia.
*I also experienced interpersonal conflict in the department, but my question is purely from an academic standpoint.
Edit- To get a better idea of the quality, here's the feedback I received on it: "Gemini, Your final paper has a clear thesis, includes and utilizes a variety of primary and secondary sources, and is organized coherently. Given that this is your first attempt at using ____ Style formatting, I attach a short summary of how to cite footnotes and create a bibliography. If you decide to do more with this paper in the future, you also would want to provide complete citation information for every note; correct numerous misspellings; and fix other common errors throughout." She also said that I received 28/30 points--a very good result. I interpreted this latter part "a very good result" as indicating that she was lenient with the grade (which I appreciated, but I wanted to impress her).
I know how neurotic/psychotic it must sound describing an A- as one of the worst papers ever written, but this really was horrible work, especially compared to the award-winning dissertation that one of her grad. students wrote. Although it was written during a nervous breakdown (and in around a week's time frame), the circumstances, I worry, mattered less than the results. (Everyone has a reason why their work turns out poorly, but in the end, poor work is poor work.)
*This course was in the specific sub-field/research area that I want to study in grad. school. Normally students perform their best in the favorite classes, but I didn't take the news of her retirement/absence from my life well.
I want to add that if it's unethical to share her feedback, I'll delete it. I only wanted to provide an honest assessment of the quality, and without sharing the entire paper, I wasn't sure how else to do that.
Edit- this isn't a duplicate of How does the admissions process work for Ph.D. programs in the US, particularly for weak or borderline students? because that question doesn't address research. My question was more about getting second chances after mistakes/screw ups than the admission process itself. As such, I'm asking for my post to be reopened.