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Feedback on a strongly worded email? (I hate group work). - Update

The short version of this story is that I'm in a group of three working on a powerpoint presentation evaluating a particular theory of career counselling (thrilling, I know). We are recording the presentation and submitting it online (because yay technology), and will be submitting the assignment tonight as one of our group members is leaving for a conference tomorrow after class. Group member 3 did not want to record her voice on the presentation….no problem, that's fine. We'll do it. No big deal.



Group member 3 has not only neglected all of our deadlines so far (extended from Friday night to Monday evening), but her contributions were woefully inadequate. Way too short, improperly referenced (providing notes about our theory that are actually about another one), and full of extraneous information for a 20-minute presentation (e.g., copy-pasted details about the psychometrics of a scale developed from the theory we're evaluating). We are moving forward with the assignment in the interest of time after completely re-doing her sections. AND DO NOT WANT TO PUT UP WITH THIS BULLSHIT.


So. I've drafted an email we are going to send her and our professor, but I want to make sure it's as diplomatic as possible. I've had similar issues with her in the past and she managed to turn it into quite a shit-show (that I was being a bully, that I wasn't being understanding, didn't give her enough time, yadda yadda)….so I want to proceed with caution, but I also really want this girl to be held accountable. She's been getting away with bs like this for two years in our program because it is exhausting to deal with and we already have to do so much self-advocacy it's just seemed easier for people (professors included) to let things slide.

Anyway. I realize this is boring as hell (sorry guys, I'll have something interesting to share soon, I promise.), but wanted to run my email draft by the hive mind to see if I've missed the mark entirely. (Or if I'm being too harsh, or coming off as a "bully"…or whathaveyou).

I've deleted names/identifying details.

Hi Group Member 3,

We have recorded and submitted the presentation tonight, given that Group Member 2 is leaving for Conference shortly. Unfortunately, we are really disappointed with your contribution and have re-done your slides in order to get the assignment done in a timely manner.

In spite of the fact that you had all of last week, the weekend, and all day Monday to complete your portion of the assignment, your sections were very poorly done in terms of quantity and quality. For example, it is unacceptable to only have one bullet point for an entire evaluation criterion (particularly in light of our group notes on each criterion; we consolidated our notes in an effort to make each section easier for every group member to complete, and you neglected to include any input from other papers). It is also apparent that you did not read the articles in their entirety, as your notes are almost exclusively paraphrased from the abstracts; those that aren't include extraneous details that are not directly relevant to the topic we are addressing. In addition, several of your notes that are intended to refer to Life Design Theory are actually about Career Construction Theory, and pulled almost exclusively from one paper.

We were (and are) both fine with your preference not to speak as part of this presentation, but you neglected to provide a script of any kind for your sections of the assignment.

Given that you have already extended every deadline we've established as a group, we have moved forward with the assignment after re-doing your sections. We are cc'ing Professor on this email so that we can meet as a group and determine the best course of action now that the assignment has been completed.


…I have no idea how to sign this off, but any words of wisdom are appreciated here. I'm off to record the presentation (woop!). GUIDE ME WISE ONES.

…class tomorrow is going to be hella awkward.

ETA: just re-read and noticed my repetition of the phrase "almost exclusively." I'm on it. ;)


UPDATE: first and foremost, thank you all so much for your feedback. Group member #2 was super impressed with the GT support (as was I, but it was right in line with what I've come to expect from this community. You guys are great.)

Although group member #2 and I got together to record and submit the presentation tonight, we decided to give Group Member #3 another chance to edit her input…based on past experience we know full well that she won't do much to improve on what she has, but it makes us feel less like assholes. The assignment technically isn't due until Friday, but Group Member #3 didn't want to present for the recording (no prob), and Group Member #2 is leaving Thursday morning for a conference, so we're recording/submitting the assignment tomorrow after class.


Group Member #2 sent this email:

Hi Group Member #3,

Thanks for sending your slides. Anotherbev and I got together tonight after dinner to finish consolidating and to record the presentation for submission. However, we noticed that your two evaluation slides were really short, and that all of your slides were missing a script.*

Sorry for the delay in sending out this email to you. Anotherbev and I are wondering if you would be able to make any changes you can to your slides by tomorrow at 3pm. Thanks and see you tomorrow in class.

Group Member #3

Upon re-reading it now I'd probably tweak it a little, but I feel like it's pretty okay (??)


TIME WILL TELL WHAT HAPPENS. I'm pretty sure we'll end up submitting the presentation as we've re-done it (i.e., replaced all of her nonsense), but at the very least this gives her an opportunity to improve on her work (and at the most, it gives us a stronger case if she doesn't). If she doesn't improve on what she's already submitted, our draft of a follow-up email cc'ing our professor and to group member #3 will go something like this:

Hi Group Member #3,

Thank you for sending your revised slides. You will note that we made significant revisions. We have submitted the completed presentation as a group project, however, we would like to have an opportunity to discuss our respective contributions with Professor. Please let me know a convenient time to meet for this conversation.


Does that seem as awful as my passive-aggressive diatribe before? I feel like it's reasonable given that we've now given her an opportunity to revise her overly short and script-free input (she agreed to provide a script when she told us she'd rather not speak for the presentation)….but I'm still open to feedback because you guys are very helpful and I am tired/angry.

And now also a little drunk. YAY WINE.

Thanks again, GT. You guys are great. I'll keep you posted on any new developments.

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