Supervised Teaching of Sociology
How to do well in Prof. Emigh's honors marx class. The hardest part of the class is writing the three papers. This isn't mainly because the subject is hard, though it is; it's mainly because it's difficult to figure out what the teacher wants. The students who do well are those who figure it out early, and those who do poorly are those who figure it out late or never figure it out. 1.First of all, in order to get an A on each paper, you're going to want to go to see the professor during office hours at least twice before you turn it in. Don't freak out. I promise, this will save you more time than it costs you. Now, each of the three papers has 2 components. The first half of the paper is explaining the ideas of a Marxist author. The second half is applying the ideas to something. The first paper you apply it to a song or short story. The second paper you apply it to an image, and the third paper you apply it to something you observed empirically. Now, the first time you see her in office hours (emphasis: office hours, not class.), should be shortly after the assignment is posted. You're going to bring her 2 or 3 ideas you have for the application of the ideas. I can't emphasize how important it is to do this. If you show her a written paper that has an application that she doesn't believe works, she will tell you to write it over, or else give you a really poor grade when you turn it in. You will listen to her quietly and respectfully without arguing with her, and she will tell you whether or not the song or image or whatever will work. Take notes while she's talking. Now, you should know which application you want to do. You will go home and, a minimum of 3 days before the paper is due, write a rough draft. Look at the notes you took in class and during office hours carefully and try to make sure that you mention the key points. Don't give a history during the first half of the paper, just explain each of the key ideas. Also, make each key idea its own paragraph, and put related ideas next to each other. In the paragraph she wants regarding explaining your empirical research, she just wants you to describe the image or whatever, not to describe your research processs. In the paragraph regarding what information you didn't have but needed, she just wants you to explain what information you don't have about the image or song or whatever (e.g. in a picture, one part of it relevant to your paper was too small to see). Now, you will bring her your rough draft a minimum of 1 day before the paper is due, but preferably a few days before. You will not bring it in paper form. You will bring it to her on a flash drive. She has poor eyesight and really prefers to see things in zoom on her computer, and she will sometimes turn you away if she thinks the font is too small for her to read. Plus, she will write comments on what you've written and save it to your flash drive, which saves you the trouble of writing notes. You will agree with her respectfully and not argue about anything. She will tell you what to fix, which ideas aren't key points and which key points you're missing. She will tell you what mistakes you made in your application of the ideas. Now, go over your paper and follow all of her instructions. Did you write contractions such as “didn't”? Use “find and replace” to make them all into “did not.” Did you cite from what page you got every piece of information? Make sure that for basically every other line of the first half of the paper you have a citation and you are citing it according to her syllabus instructions, even if you're citing the same page over and over. Does your intro paragraph ask a question? Did you use the word “puzzle” in it? If not, do so. She really prefers intro paragraphs which do this. Is your paper 1 sentence over 5 pages? Fix this! She will not read it if it's even a little over 5 pages or if she suspects you of having formatted it to make it shorter. It doesn't matter to her if the paper is shorter than 5 pages, but if you do it right then your problem should be making it too long. Again, don't put two ideas in the same paragraph unless you're really having length problems. It's ok if you have short paragraphs. 2. Regarding in-class discussions. What you should do is talk a lot during these discussions. You don't get actual points, but you'll earn her respect, and it's unlikely that she will grade you well on the papers if you're not coming to class or are falling asleep in class. It's not crucial that you have read all of the text before coming to class, but it's crucial that you understand the main ideas and have at least 3 intelligent things to say about it. Just make sure you have a strong opinion about at least one of the discussion questions. I mean, even if you don't really care, come up with a strong opinion. The important thing is figuring out whether you want to write your paper on this marxist author. If you know you don't from the beginning, then it may not be worth investing a lot of energy into understanding this author. If you are pretty sure this is the guy whose ideas you want to write about, then actually read all of it. This is the key question you should be asking yourself: do I fully understand what this author is talking about? If not, don't write a paper on him. Just learn enough to talk a bit in class. If yes, this is likely a guy you should be writing your paper on, and you should know everything about his philosophy. I feel like I should also mention that she is a stickler for having a page number in the text for every point you make in class. Before you say something, skim the text for a page number where the author talks about it, then read out what the author says before you make your point. Also, don't talk about ideas in the hypothetical. Don't make metaphors or analogies. If you do, she will tell you to get back to the text and that you're off-topic. Also, you'll go broke if you print out the pages before every class. It's a lot cheaper to bring your laptop and read the pdfs Even with all of this advice, you will probably get a B on your first paper. It's ok!! Don't freak out and drop the class. Just use the mistakes you made the first time to help on your next paper. She hates giving As, but she will give them if you follow all of the instructions carefully, and she thinks that you really understand the material (as evidenced by clear writing. Clarity, clarity, clarity!) Stay strong! Check out the test bank! It's difficult, but you can do it!
Ortiz has very interesting material to present to the class, and she's very enthusiastic about her lectures. However being too passionate is not always a good thing. I took the GE 20 cluster with her (interracial dynamics) and she had a tendancy to be biased. In the middle of lecture, she can get into debates with students who question her lectures. If you're a Latino/a and/or some other "colored" minority and/or from a lower socioeconomic background, you'll probably love her lectures. But if not, you might feel uncomfortable in her class.