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What to do about an advisor who doesn't really help?

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I turned in my rough draft to him before Winter break and he returned it and wrote some things, like "My introduction is too long, citation needed here, and at the end, that the essay was very informative and easy to read", but this doesn't really help me improve that much. I can't really tell if I did okay/good/bad. I'm meeting with him tomorrow, but I think he intends it to be a meeting with all of his advisees. Sorry, I'm a little panicked because I don't want to turn in a crap EE that I thought was okay and get an E.

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Maybe it really was good and he doesn't see any major errors. Incidentally, I'm meeting with my supervisor about mine tomorrow morning as well. If your meeting is with other peers, just go with it. But ask him fo rone-on-one time if you catch him before hand. Or schedule a different time where you guys have 15-30 minutes to talk about your EE. You've probably already done this, but make a physical list of everything you're not sure about. Read an exemplar EE in your subject to compare and jot down any concerns about format, tone, sources, etc.

Because he said it was informative & easy to read, I'd guess he likes your content and your organization. That's good! Pat yourself on the back. I know you want to go into warrior mode and whip your essay into shape, but maybe it pretty much already is =)

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There is little that they can tell you that you cant improve on your own.

I actually didnt follow the guidelines of my adviser, and yes that caused some problems, but in the end you wouldnt believe they misunderstood my organization of the lab and didnt know what I was talking about despite several attempts to explain it to them.

I wrote the EE. and then went back and revised it.

The best kind of revision I would say is to print out your Essay, and go through it yourself with a pen. Attack it fresh and read paragraph by paragraph, looking for ways to mend things. always keep a green mind about reading it though, asking yourself if someone else would understand that.

It is also very hard to score E, especially by the looks of it from your current comments. You are well on your way to a good grade! :)

and of course, never fail to believe that your work is good enough. it is true, you probably have very little to play with cause your first writing was meaningful. best of luck :( !

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I had a supervisor like that! So you have my sympathies, having no idea if they've actually even read the content is horrible. My EE supervisor handed me back my EE with "spelling mistake on p4, new paragraph p5" as the ENTIRE comment on what I'd slaved over for hours!! I was verryyyy put out.

What I tried doing was asking questions specifically about the content. So I'd be like "right here I don't think what I'm arguing makes sense, do you agree that example works..." and basically breaking down the essay until I figured that either she didn't want to help or it was miraculously perfect, but at least I could be sure she'd considered the contents! The other person doing an EE with the same supervisor got the same sort of response but decided to take it to another teacher who taught a similar subject -- who then proceeded to tell her it was catastrophic, she'd got the whole wrong end of the stick and to start again! :)

So, because there's no point in being complacent just in case it doesn't work out (also it'll make you feel better!) my advice would be to get another teacher to look at it and meanwhile try aggressive questioning!

Of course if there're no alterations it is very likely you've just written a very good essay :( But as you say, it does make you feel worried and so you may as well ask!

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I only saw my EE advisor twice, and once was to submit the final copy of my EE haha.

Honestly I think if you follow the rubric guidelines for an EE in the subject you're doing, you'll be fine. And peer editing is really helpful too, especially if that person is also doing an EE in the same subject since they'll be familiar with the rubric.

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I understand the frustration of having a supervisor that seemingly doesn't do much - on one meeting with my EE supervisor, she had to dig on her desk to find it (buried under a ton of books) and THEN she sat down and read through it.

What other people have said is true though - your supervisor isn't meant to take you by the hand and walk you through everything. Printing it out helped me loads because for some reason I couldn't see my spelling mistakes/verb mistakes whilst it was still on the computer. Reading and re-reading the criteria is also extremely important.

GOod luck!

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