Introduction to Political Theory

Joshua Dienstag

Introduction to Political Theory

Political Science department

Joshua Dienstag

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from 23 users

Ratings

Bad
Overall 3.6
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 1.6
Easy
Heavy
Workload 1.9
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 4.2
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 3.1
Helpful
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Tags

  • Useful Textbooks
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Often Funny

Grades

Winter 2016
28.6%
23.8%
19.0%
14.3%
9.5%
4.8%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Winter 2014
26.8%
22.3%
17.8%
13.4%
8.9%
4.5%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

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Reviews

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Dec. 23, 2011 Grade Received: N/A

Dienstag is a great lecturer. The reading material is pretty dry but if you are somewhat interested in political theory, it isn't tht bad. The essays are tough but not impossible, as is the final. If you procrastinate and read texts a couple days before an essay is due, this class is not for you. Being a good student and keeping up with the required material is necessary. All in all, Dienstag makes this a really interesting and fun class to take (despite its difficulty and dryness).

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Dec. 17, 2011 Grade Received: N/A

The professor is very knowledge and engaging. He creates excellent metaphors and analogies to concretely explain abstract ideas. He seems standoffish, but is actually quite accessible and even allows for multiple students to ask him questions after lecture. Even during the 1 hour lecture, he pauses to ask for questions.

Althea as TA is excellent. She is knowledge and always ready to help students.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Nov. 25, 2011 Grade Received: N/A

Professor Dienstag is a fantastic lecturer. He is funny, but straight to the point. Also, his interpretations of the books is excellent. He gives you something to think about in every single lectures. For people who don't have a habit of reading a lot (or don't have a habit of reading period) this class might be a problem. The books I read in this class were Aristotle, Plato, Thomas Hobbes, Rousseau and Tocqueville, also a play by Sophocles, too. So if you really have an interest in Political Science and, more specific, those authors up there you should take this class because it will leave you a lot of insight.
I'm a freshman and this is my first quarter in college but I have to say if you have a good work ethics (no procrastination) then the work load is not easy but not impossible to do: 3 5-6 pages Papers, 1 final and 10% participation in the discussion. The paper is not that bad if you have a good TA and understand the book. I went to my TA for the outline for all three of my papers and it turns out okay. Definitely try to keep up the reading at the end of the ten weeks because that's where the books get a lot harder to read as well as understand. The final is one-hour and if you read the book, pay attention to who says what and the characteristic quote, shouldn't be bad.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted June 6, 2010 Grade Received: N/A

Very dry material, the professor is nice, but the grading is HARD. I worked really hard and still ended up with a B+.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Nov. 15, 2009 Grade Received: N/A

Dienstag was a good professor, probably the best you could ask for for PS 10. I think the course could have been pretty dry without someone who was as enthusiastic as he was. However, I disagree with the below poster that the course was "pretty easy." I actually found the workload to be pretty intense; there was quite a bit of dense reading, which you definitely had to do to understand the paper topics, though Dienstag did go over them well in class. It's definitely not an "easy A," but if you do the work and really put effort into your papers, a B+ or higher is certainly attainable (I received an A-). Also, I had Liza for a TA; not sure if she's still a section leader, though. She was good and I learned a lot, but she generally had a reputation of being a more rigorous grader than other TAs. She was very knowledgeable and helpful though, so I wouldn't let that deter you from taking her. Overall an interesting course and very useful, but expect to be challenged.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted June 24, 2009 Grade Received: N/A

Dienstag is a great professor! His lectures are both interesting and extremely helpful! I only missed two lectures, but I listened to the podcasts afterwards because the material he covers in each lecture is very relevant. I found all of the readings interesting, and so long as you do the readings and attend lecture, you'll be completely fine understanding the material. His lectures are very effective in breaking down the texts as well. He makes political theory really interesting. The papers are a little tricky because they're looking for a specific style, but going to your TA's office hours helps tremendously. After the first or second paper, it's much easier to get the hang of it. I highly recommend this class for anyone who enjoys philosophy and analytical thinking. I would also highly recommend it as a prerequisite for the political science major. The papers are way more challenging than the final. Dienstag makes it very clear that so long as you do the readings, the final should be no problem, which it wasn't for me. It's actually a really easy way to boost your grade. I did all of the readings, attended every section, and listened to every lecture and got an A in the class. It's really not a heavy workload either. Basically, it's a fair class; do the work and you'll get a good grade. Overall, a very interesting class. Dienstag is surprisingly funny, extremely intelligent, and very insightful. TAKE THIS CLASS!

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Tags

  • Useful Textbooks
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Often Funny
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