Saturday, April 9, 2016


Dear Ask a Teacher,

I really, really, REALLY need some help with my History essay.  It’s on the causes and effects of World War I, and it’s due tomorrow!  I just really don’t know what to say about it.  But I need a good grade, or else I might fail for the semester, and that means I won’t get to go to basketball camp because I’ll be in summer school.  I asked my History teacher for some help, but all he did was ask to see my first draft, so I left.  I don’t know what to say in it!  I attached my class notes to this letter.  I figure since there are plenty of teachers around where you are, someone can help me come up with something, right?

Hurting for Help in Hartford

Dear Hurting,

I’d be happy to help you, but the attachment only had a smeary scan of the PowerPoint your teacher printed out for you.  If you could include some of your own notes, that would be great.  I’ll just wait to hear from you.  As a first year teacher, I always go out of my way to help students.

4:50 pm: I still haven’t heard back from you, so let me give you some suggestions. What you need to do first is make a list.  Put the causes of the war on one side of the paper, and then put the effects on the right side.  Once you put those down, it’ll be easy to come up with a thesis.  I’ll just read some of these A to Z blog posts while I wait.

6:13: You only have “guy shot” on the right side, and that’s supposed to be for the effects.  Please look at my last note, and list ALL causes (what started the war) and effects (what happened because of the war.)  I’m getting hungry and want to leave to get dinner.

7:21: Okay, Hurting, I’m going home now.  I gave you a sample thesis so it’s up to you.  Next time please prepare sooner and go in to your teacher for help IMMEDIATELY, rather than waiting until the last minute.  It looks like you’re going to have a late night.  And please don’t address me as “Sandy” in your communications anymore.


Ms. Munoz, not Sandra or Sandy