All Ratings and Reviews for Marc Trachtenberg
Prof. Trachtenberg is a great professor since he teaches his class like one big story so it REALLY sinks in... he is so nice and so helpful before his tests it is impossible NOT to do well! One Big piece of advice is go to lecture and TAKE NOTES!!!
I second the previous review. Trachtenberg is truly an amazing professor and definitely one of the best I had at UCLA (and trust me I know, I already graduated). Poli sci can be boring, but never with Prof Trachtenberg because he just puts everything in a totally unique perspective that is completely different from what you've been taught in your high school history/gov classes. I never thought I could enjoy a poli sci class this much. Trachtenberg is a renoknown expert in the field of international politics with a true passion for the subject that you just can't help but catch yourself. Do NOT listen to anyone and I mean anyone who tells you that the paper is sooo difficult that you can't get an A because it's bullshit and if you put in the time and work on your topic, your efforts will be rewarded and I did get an A on mine. Also, Prof Trachtenberg provides really extensive guidelines that direct you to the sources you need to use for your particular topic - could it get any better?! And once you actually start doing the research, you'll just be amazed at how interesting it becomes to analyze the information and you won't even notice how you'll be totally sucked into it.
As far as the exams, they are very and I mean very straightforward, not essays but questions that require a simple minimum to show you know the answer. I would definitely say that the lectures are the most important thing and the readings just go more in depth of what is talked about in class, so taking extensive notes would be highly recommended. This class was amazing and this is the first review that I've ever left about a Professor, so that should tell you something.
There was quite a bit of reading and writing involved for this class, but besides that it was easy. I sometimes had difficulty distinguishing what was worth remembering and what was a tangent in his lectures. Be sure to keep up with the readings, they can be overwhelming if you put it all off. The readings themselves were not that bad, but the reader cost an arm and a leg, $90 when I took it (but no books), so beware. Looking back, this class was definitely worth taking, I learned a lot. It\355s one of those classes where you don\355t know how much you\355ve learned until after the final. I\355d definitely recommend Trachtenberg\355s class. Plus, the TAs for the class did a great job (at least my TA was great).
Prof. Trachtenber is the best instructor I had the pleasure to learn from at UCLA. His lectures are the best. The first and only professor I have taken that actually uses his lecture to supplement the readings. Hence, you get more from his classes if you do the readings and attend class. Also, his lectures have a common sensical straightforwardness to them that are easy to follow. His enthusiasm in the subject matter is second-to-none. The way he deconstructs other scholarly claims is a testament to his intellect and analytical ability. Professor Trachtenberg is very approachable and a real mentor. However, there is one caveat that must be mentioned. His concern for student learning is contingent upon the student. Hence, if you don't come to class and/or fail to see him in office hours, you can expect no sympathy from Prof. Trachtenberg if you do not do well on his exams and/or paper assignments. Your effort is rewarded with his effort. Simple as that. His paper assignments are not difficult, but their importance to a good final grade can not be stressed enough. Failure to get a good grade on the paper assignments results in a corresponding class grade. Just remember that the greatest asset and resource for your paper is Prof. Trachtenberg. His exams are piece of cake. No need to memorize obscure facts. If you attend class regularly, the exams will be the least of your worries. All-in-all, failure to take a class with Prof. Trachtenberg while at UCLA would be a life-long mistake.
TAKE THIS CLASS! your grade is based entirely on your T.A. so pray you don't get one that sucks. James Lo is a good T.A. so if you get him as you T.A. you'll be fine. As for the class itself there is not reason to show up, ever..... he posts the videos on line and if for some reason you wanted to watch it you can do so in the comfort of your room.
Professor Trachtenberg is a nice guy, and really knowledgeable about the subject of international politics though. His lectures are severely lacking in structure though and often times hard to follow. While it certainly is important, spending the first half an hour talking about the anarchic system of international politics gets old fast. 4 papers in a quarter is a lot of work. It is manageable once you get the trick though (to really examine what authors write). As others have said, the final was much easier than anticipated which was a pleasant surprise. PS 20 with Trachtenberg isn't bad, but I wouldn't say it's great either.
Professor Trachtenberg is an excellent instructor. Previous reviews have criticized that he doesn't satisfactorily cover the readings from the textbooks in lecture. This he does not but the primary readings are chiefly historical accounts. He certainly cannot recapitulate all the events, dates, players, etc. that the books provides in the allotted time; moreover, is not his job to do so. The textbooks are as straightforward as it gets and those who have this complaint are relying on lectures to substitute their reading responsibilities and don\355t understand the true purpose of higher education. His lectures touch upon the readings but focus primarily on relating them to IR theory (whether they support or discredit prominent theories) and discussing the more complex readings and documents in the reader. Thus his lectures are edifying, substantive, and certainly not dry. I do have two complaints: Firstly, not much attention was given to the most demanding part of the class, the long and difficult research paper. And secondly, Professor Trachtenberg is there to lecture and not necessarily discuss the issues and can come off as very unreceptive to questions or discourse. A tip for those taking or will take his course: the midterm and final are a breeze, requiring only basic knowledge of events and readings, so begin your paper early!
Prof Trachtenberg is an awesome professor. The material covered in lecture is very interesting. He also gets very excited about the topics and he shares his enthusiasm with the class. I definitely recommend him. You learn so much new stuff about world politics and war. The readings are interesting and most are short. The things you learn in this class are valuable and he teaches in a straight-forward manner. The final is not very difficult if you review your notes and do the readings. He is awesome. I look forward to taking other classes with him. Try to get him for your section as well. I had him for section and he was very friendly and approachable. Great Professor and cool class. Take it, you won't regret it.
I thought the essay topics were very interesting and makes you think about historical "evidence" in new ways (i.e. don't always trust historians). The final was also relatively easy, but Prof. T didn't tell us how to study for it so we spent a whole night and day worrying over nothing. The bad thing about his lectures is that they're very monotonous. it's just basically him talking straight for 90 minutes. recommendation is to take the class, but bring plenty of coffee with you.
Professor Trachtenberg is a very enthusiastic lecturer. He knows what he's talking about. He's an authority in the field. He does his research. You can even catch him at YRL, doing research like the rest of us. The paper is a killer--don't procrastinate. Unless you are ready to get graded down one grade for turning it in late. The class is excellent in terms of content and pace. Prof. Trachtenberg is also almost always available at his office. Do not be discouraged if he seems to be critical of your research process or angle of research. Seek his advice out, work hard, and you will be rewarded. And read Strunk & White, "Elements of Style" to get a better grade on your paper. Overall, this is THE class to take if you want to learn about IR and about how to write an in-depth analytical research paper on that topic. VERY REWARDING.
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