156 votes

I got the following comment from a reputed math journal. What does it mean?

My educated guess is that the reviewer is a native speaker of German and mistranslated some terms into English: The German word Übung translates both to practice and to exercise. In German ...
  • 53k
130 votes
Accepted

How should I deal with very negative feedback from some students?

Could I get some suggestion on how do I manage in such time? Is it normal for a early-age academia? No, this is common for academics of any age. Anonymous evaluations are notoriously a valve for ...
  • 129k
117 votes

How to tell speakers that their English is terrible?

I think that your plan is based on number of possibly wrong premises. And even if they were mostly right, I doubt such a plan could have any reasonable success. Let's see my reasons. I just had a ...
  • 53.1k
86 votes
Accepted

Professor is upset about student comments about her lectures. What should I do?

What should I do? Honestly? I suggest that you sympathize courteously, but do nothing else: She's a grown woman and an experienced academic, she doesn't need you to handle frustrations from student ...
  • 37.7k
82 votes
Accepted

How to respond to an upset student?

I would not intervene unless I felt the student was at risk of harming themselves or others. As you say, college is about more than grades, learning how to handle failure is part of life. Moreover ...
  • 23.5k
69 votes

How should I deal with very negative feedback from some students?

I have a different view on such feedback and here is how I deal with it. First of all, the anonymous comments are a great feedback and they are generally true. Second, students, especially younger ...
65 votes
Accepted

How to reply to students' emails that show anger about their mark?

When dealing with angry students, your number one priority should be to de-escalate the situation and bring it back to a more factual ground. That means you want to: Stay calm. Even if you are ...
  • 129k
64 votes
Accepted

How can I avoid being "the negative one" when giving feedback on statistics?

I would suggest approaching your colleague in a humble and inquisitive way (especially since you're a junior member of the team). If you start the conversation with "your conclusions are wrong and ...
64 votes

Professor using student paper as an example of what not to do in class?

This sort of behavior by a professor is poor pedagogical technique and, in many cultures, poor etiquette. It is not misconduct and it is not rule breaking. If you are a student and a professor acts ...
64 votes
Accepted

What should I do if a paper's theoretical justification isn't right, but the method based on that justification works?

It's appropriate to respond just as you have here: criticize the unfounded motivation and ask that the authors present their paper without it. For example: the authors suggest that humans and other ...
  • 74.1k
62 votes

Meaning of rejection feedback from the Annals of Mathematics

The Annals is the most prestigious journal in mathematics. Unless your paper solves a famous long-standing problem (correctly!), there is no point in sending your paper there. The editor sent the ...
61 votes

Professor is upset about student comments about her lectures. What should I do?

Some comments about the situation first (even though you have not explicitly asked about this): Let me rephrase what you wrote slightly: if the teacher gives the students all relevant infos ...
  • 129k
60 votes
Accepted

How to respond to senior academics after a public 'punching down' session

Don't take it personally, because the criticisms were "along the lines of whether the experiments would be relevant and that they were too experimentally risky" - i.e. they were criticizing ...
  • 107k
58 votes

Should I ask my advisor to please pretend that he is happy with me until the end of my contract?

I would ask for a meeting, but not for the reason you suggest. You may be misinterpreting messages. I'd ask him if he was pleased or not with your work and what you can do to improve it in his opinion....
  • 280k
56 votes

How should I deal with very negative feedback from some students?

In the examples you gave, one stood out as maybe actually useful; I hope to use it as an example for my suggested approach: You do not teach what is in the book. Plus, you ask very difficult ...
  • 74.1k
54 votes

How to react to a student who provides very critical comments about your teaching in a student evaluation survey?

You said, this sudden unfair comparison has gone on my nerve It sounds like this negative feedback has provoked some strong emotion in you, and understandably so. But asking for an explanation ...
  • 107k
53 votes
Accepted

How to tell speakers that their English is terrible?

This might be productive in a direct conversation, if you are able to establish rapport, and if you can steer the conversation in a productive direction. You could start by asking her to clarify some ...
  • 38.7k
53 votes

How do researchers send unsolicited emails asking for feedback on their works?

The real answer is that they don't. I'm sorry, but I can't slice it any other way. You would need all the planets to align in order to receive an answer after such an email. You are asking someone who ...
52 votes

First-time teaching PhD students make course assignment way too demanding for a new lecture

The professor in charge of this course replies my email that he won't discuss with an anonymous email address, and could perhaps set up a meeting including these 2 lectures if I send it with ...
50 votes

Should I acknowledge my parents for their copy editing?

Certainly, do it. You don't have to identify them as your parents, however, just by name. But indicate that it is for copyediting so that it is clear that it is only an ack that is needed. Lucky you ...
  • 280k
49 votes

How do researchers send unsolicited emails asking for feedback on their works?

Essentially, you have three challenges that work against you receiving an answer to this mail: You need to avoid your mail to appear like academic spam. Your email draft is rather good in that sense ...
  • 129k
48 votes

How to tell speakers that their English is terrible?

Don't send the email. Based on my experience, I predict that the anonymous email you are proposing to send almost certainly won't tell the speaker any information she does not already know, only ...
  • 174k
46 votes
Accepted

Is it safe for a student to give negative feedback in student evaluations?

I feel there are two different layers to that - whether, and to what extent, teaching evaluations are actually anonymous, and if they aren't, whether it's still "safe" to give a bad one. Are ...
  • 129k
42 votes

How can I avoid being "the negative one" when giving feedback on statistics?

General feedback rules apply. Here are some of them: There is no need to criticize any person. Stick to facts. Describe things, especially describe what you think about things, e.g. don't write "the ...
  • 36.8k
40 votes

The professor for one of my classes has no direction

Yes, you should raise this with the department, either with the Undergraduate Director or the Chair. The problem is not Prof. Johnson's unfamiliarity with the LMS--as a new faculty member, that is ...
  • 1,158
40 votes
Accepted

How to to deal with advisor's criticism of my writing?

This doesn't answer your question, but I think your real problem isn't your writing, but the way how you and your advisor communicate. What I suggest is that you have a sit-down with your advisor and ...
  • 129k
36 votes

How to respond to an upset student?

It may well be that the student was upset due to frustration with their own performance and had nothing to do with you or with being cut off. Their actions may not reflect unprofessional behavior as ...
  • 280k
35 votes

What to do about students who ask for help too often?

Here is one strategy: Specify the level of changes the student needs to make before they can come back again. Request that the student shows you what changes have been made by comparing the old and ...
  • 31.5k
35 votes

The professor for one of my classes has no direction

He was a one year contract with the university, and was hired a mere two weeks prior to the semester beginning. This situation suggests that the university was unable to hire anyone better prepared ...
33 votes

Should I ask my advisor to please pretend that he is happy with me until the end of my contract?

They laughed at your "please don't kill me" because that's something you would say as a joke/icebreaker. It would be more impolite not to laugh... To me it sounds like you are struggling with English ...
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