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It's so unfortunate this professor has such poor reviews. I took his class in the Fall and found it extremely engaging, and I left it feeling like I had a full grasp of the material he wanted us to know. The class was challenging and required a lot of work to be put into it. I, for most part excluding a few readings in the end, didn't do readings from the course reader because they were so well laid out by either Rescorla during lectures or the primary text. This class is an upper division class and was not easy. However, doing the primary readings before class every week set things up in a way that I felt well versed in the material.
3 papers, 2-3 pg, 3-4 pg, 4-5 pg, and a final consisting of material that was either necessary for the papers, plus a little extra from the beginning and end of the course. Course reader is expensive but it makes things far easier for the assignments. So, it's not necessary per se, but why make life harder if you can afford it? If you can't you can find it all online, which, if you do, print it off and bring it to class so you can keep up.
If you want to understand the subject, take this professor! If you want an easy A, look somewhere else!
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