Andres Villarreal

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Overall Rating 5.0
Easiness 4.0/ 5
Clarity 4.0/ 5
Workload 5.0/ 5
Helpfulness 5.0/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Fall 2022 - I am not a Sociology major (or even a humanities major), but I took SOCIOL 1 as a GE with Professor Villarreal and also enrolled in SOCIOL 89, the companion seminar, out of curiosity. I enjoyed my time in this seminar, and would recommend it to anyone interested in sociology (especially anyone looking to get into it as a career) as a good way to get acquainted with reading research papers in the field of sociology. The general structure of the course was as follows: every week there would be an assigned reading to complete before the scheduled class period, during which Professor Villarreal would briefly summarize the reading in a presentation (and sometimes add in additional information as well) before opening the class up to a discussion. I do not believe attendance was ever explicitly mandated, nor was there a participation grade, but the class is quite small so absences may be noticed. I will say this upfront - there was rarely ever much of a discussion going on in class. I believe part of this is due to the nature of the readings - the technical components are a tad difficult to approach for students new to the field - but most people hardly ever talked and what comments were given usually came in the form of one-offs that would quickly be moved on from (so not really a discussion). I don't fault Professor Villarreal for this, but that was at the very least how it panned out for my class. Conversely, the readings were probably my highlight of the seminar (strangely). Every week, we would typically be given a research paper to read that would be related to whichever unit was then being covered in the main SOCIOL 1 course. The readings were generally either notable studies done by various authors in the field, or Professor Villarreal's own past research. There were 9 readings total, which we would then be asked to write one-page reflections about to be turned in and graded (due 11 am the day before class). Of note, we were only required to submit a total of 6 reflections. The reflections were not solely graded on completion, but I honestly could not say what exactly they were graded on. That being said, the lowest anyone ever got was an 85, and the average grade stabilized around an A/A- by week 3. Regardless, I would personally recommend that anyone taking this course view the reflections as invitations to think more deeply about the content of the readings, rather than as assignments to be graded. That is why I recommend this seminar - the way I see it, the biggest benefit of this seminar is that it will get you reading research papers and thinking about research papers and asking about research papers on a regular basis. That being said, I wouldn't say this course offers much beyond that. The readings do relate to the material covered in the main course, but they are hyper-specific in a way that will not provide any significant benefit for the main course. As such, if you are taking SOCIOL 1 as a GE only (and have no interest in the field of sociology) or are otherwise not exceptionally interested in sociology, I would probably say skip this course.
Easiness N/A/ 5
Clarity N/A/ 5
Workload N/A/ 5
Helpfulness N/A/ 5
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