The best professor I've had at UCLA. I'm a south campus student, and was expecting something awful, but this turned out to be one of the best classes I've taken. He taught this class without a TA and he really helped out all students with their writing, formation of thesis and analysis of literature. He grades fairly and pushes students to be better analytical writers--if they want it. Mott's a really likable guy, his office hours usually has students throughout the quarter.
Fall 2022 - Highly recommend taking this class as a GE--if you are willing to put in the work. I don't consider myself the best writer, but I don't think you could go into this class as someone who hates writing. This class definitely wasn't easy, but Mott set it up to work in our favor. First off, love Mott! He has great energy, is hilarious, and was also clear and knowledgeable about everything he did. His office hours were also very helpful; I went in with my essay ideas and he literally told me how I should change it and gave me pieces of evidence he thought would be useful. Attendance at lectures isn't mandatory, but very helpful. The lectures were just time to do group analysis on all the books and I used those to guide my analysis for my essays. It made them A LOT easier. We read 4 books: Pudd'nhead Wilson, Passing, Under the Feet of Jesus, and The Magic Fish. All of them were really interesting to me. I read all of them and did relatively in the class, but I think you could probably get away with only reading 2 or 3 of them since the essays don't cover every single one. I had Michael Meagher as my TA, and he was also really helpful in office hours. Our discussions were mostly relevant to helping us write those essays too. Breakdown of the class: Section grade/passage explications 30% - discussion is mandatory but so easy WAS & Thesis work 20% - in class work, also easy Close Reading Essay (single novel) 15% - pretty hard, but office hours and group work saved me Compare & Contrast Essay (2 novels) 15% - even harder, but same as above Archival project 20% - pretty easy; ~ 3 minute presentation on an object from one of the books we read
Fall 2013 - Love Mott! An excellent lecturer/professor. Visit him in office hours and he'll give excellent constructive feedback on your work, or just shoot the breeze with you. Very understanding and supportive. I learned a lot from this class, and would make the same choice any day.