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So you are trying to write a letter in which you ask your teacher if you may look at your exam paper? You have not actually seen the exam paper and how the teacher marked it? If so, here is how I would write the letter:
I was very disappointed to see my score on our English exam. I had hoped that I would do better than that.
I would like very much to understand what I did wrong on this exam so that I can do better in the future. To help me with this, would it be possible for me to see my exam paper and your comments on it? I believe that this would help me learn from whatever mistakes I made.
Thank you very much...
I don't think that you need to talk about whether you deserved the low score yet if you have not seen the paper. I think you should write a letter like this that emphasizes wanting to learn. Your teacher will like that. If you still disagree with the score after you see the comments, then you can go from there.
Have you actually discussed this with your english teacher yet? If you have not approached your teacher yet you may actually want to do this first. Maybe your teacher will be happy to show you your score. Your teacher will like the fact that you are concerned about your grade. I would make sure that your teacher knows that your grades are very important to you and you want to do whatever it takes ti improve yourself.
The above responders gave you some very good advice in regards to writing a letter to your english teacher. Just remember to keep it very professional and make sure that your teacher knows that you want to know what you can do to improve yourself.
I think that you have received some excellent points here. I would also like to add that it is important to stress that you are willing to talk about it if a discussion is needed. I think the letter is a great idea. Yet, in order to stress collaboration and camaraderie between teacher and students, I would think it's a good thing to include something about how you would be willing to talk about it in person, and using the exam itself, reconstruct what happened in order to better understand where points were deducted. I think that being able to write the letter in a way that stresses this spirit of collaboration and not reflect anger is going to be critical. You might want to include elements such as, "Ensuring I understand the material is extremely important to my studies now and in the future." I think that outside of this, the primary challenge is going to be writing this letter without coming off as intensely angry or hurt. This is where I believe drafting or writing multiple drafts of the letter is going to be critically important. In each draft, you should make sure you are stressing the collaborative aspect of working with the instructor to better understand the material, and not coming across as angry or hostile about the grade.
The approach suggested to you above is the right one. Here is another suggestion about what to add:
You may want to mention a certain question or two specifically that you feel you answered well--or were troubled about--asking to confer about these as you want to be sure that in the future you will know how to approach your responses. By giving the teacher specific examples of your concern, she/he can prepare his/her responses and feel more comfortable conferring with you. Also, doing this indicates that you are not upset about the entire test or challenging the validity of the exam.
The bottom line is not to make the teacher feel threatened or challenged. Staing that you wish to learn from your mistakes in as many ways as you can is, indeed, the right approach.
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