Japanese History: Ancient, Prehistory to 1600
History 172C Marotti is very unique in his style of teaching. The practice of reading and analyzing primary documents (which you will do a lot of) can be tedious, but it also heightened my critical thinking considerably, which is something I am thankful for. Marotti's lectures are basically whole class discussions led by him, and as another poster said, I would definitely recommend attending if you skip on the readings or fail to entirely comprehend them. He takes attendance, so skipping class is just overall a bad call. He tends to empasize main ideas over and over, so keep these crucial themes in mind while writng your papers. Marotti's class was tough both in work load and grading. We always had a four page paper to work on (four of them were assigned throughout the quarter) and our TA was quite conservative about awarding high grades. The daily writing assignments you will turn in are also subject to scrutiny, and it will take some time to learn to write them properly. As for Marotti's office hours, they could sometimes be an interesting experience. At the beginning of the quarter I felt as if every questioned I asked him was countered by him offering me another question. This was discouraging and often left me gun shy going into papers. But I don't believe this was out of lack of concern for student learning, and I did begin to understand Marotti better as the quarter progressed on. I recieved an A- in the class, which I guess I shouldn't complain about since i only did around 50% of the readings, but considering where I stood prior to the final I am now left doubting the grade raising abilities of the extra credit writing assignments. But a small hit to my GPA may very well be a fair price to pay for the new ways of thinking I was exposed to in this class.
I took Hist 172B. I def recommend the class overall because as long as you do the readings, attend lectures and study you'll get an A. Theoretically, you should have no problem getting an A in the class because he gives you one essay question every Friday. So, by the midterm you'll have 5 essay questions to study for. He also writes a couple of terms on the board during every lecture. Midterm consist of 5 IDs and 1 essay. Terms are very straight forward and nothing out of the extraordinary. As far as lectures go, you MUST ATTEND. Missing a class feels like missing a week! He takes attendance randomly.