This study looked at the relationship of explanatory style and self-systems (including self-esteem and self-efficacy) and the motivation (expectations for success and task value) of students who were dissatisfied with their performance in a particular class. One result is the confirmation that situated variables such as self-efficacy provide the strongest explanation of a student's motivation. Another result is that self-esteem seems to play a minimal role in explaining a student's motivation. Results suggest that learning assistance center (LAC) staff should directly ask students about their academic self-efficacy, expectations for success, and perceptions of task value related to specific courses. In addition, LAC staff should try to identify a student's explanation for not doing well in class.