Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
I really liked this class and I found it to be really interesting. There are two papers (4-5 pages) and they were straight forward and she gives you exactly what she wants to be on there. She even gives you the exact outline she wants it in. The tests are a midterm and a final. They were fairly easy if you pay attention and take notes in class because most of the material comes from the lectures. You will be fine as long as you study the night before or even 2 nights before. Make sure to memorize some important dates and have a good grasp on the timeline. There were a lot of readings, I did not do them and I was fine because she goes over the main ideas in class. I really liked my TA, he made the discussions worth going to and he really knew his stuff! So if you have an opportunity to, pick Jaimie Vela as your TA. Also there is an opportunity for extra credit which can boost your overall grade 5% so do that ASAP because that really helps.
monica is by far an amazing professor, she is both engaging and passionate about what she does and that shows in her lectures, that being said, you don't have to go to them, they're bruincasted, furthermore, DONT BUY THE TEXTBOOK, its not necessary. do the extra credit, it's very easy and honestly at least a bit interesting, the essays are straightforward and she attempts to make them interesting topics and whatnot and to some extent they are. she gives you a template and such and if you get it checked by the TA's you're practically guaranteed an A on those. anyways its a great GE and an easy one. strongly recommend
Don’t listen to any of the terrible reviews below. Monica is a great professor. Archaeology is not an interesting topic for me personally, but Monica tries her best to make it digestible. The readings are okay (if you choose to do them, not necessary). Although I will admit that the grading among TAs is variable for the papers, doing the 5% extra credit is enough of a HUGE boost to outweigh any of the damage a bad TA does. If you don’t know which GE you want to take, take this one!
I would personally HIGHLY recommend this class. I ended up with an A after not doing the extra credit (which is literally a 5% final grade boost if you do it early enough) and sleeping through a discussion section, which was a 1.5% hit to my grade. In general, I would definitely recommend taking this course if you need a GE (or are forced to for your major). The tests/papers were relatively easy for me, and you have a huge cushion for your grade in the discussion participation and extra credit.
Some key pieces of information:
-The grading distribution consists of 15% discussion participation+attendance, 20% the midterm, 20% paper 1, 20% paper 2, and 25% the final. There's also the extra credit. If you're a poor test-taker, you can make up for it with your papers and vice versa. The extra credit is also insanely valuable but involves traveling to a museum a decent drive from campus, which is why I didn't do it.
-Lectures are broadcasted. You don't have to go to a single lecture if you don't want to (although I would recommend it a week or so after your papers, so you can pick yours up). They were at times boring, but the professor tried her best to make it interesting. They were very clear, and the information was conveyed well. I was never really confused by her lectures.
-The "textbook" (it was really just a short book) can be found online for free. I did not do a single reading and was fine. There are some questions pertaining to the readings on the test, but most of the time, the questions were over articles (which were covered in lecture anyway). I'd say do the readings if they aren't articles, but otherwise don't waste your time (since the material will be covered the next day in lecture). I think there was a total of 1-2 questions on both the midterm and final where I thought to myself "if I read, I would know this."
-Both the midterm and the final were only multiple choice (A through E). The midterm was 50 questions, and the final was 75 questions. I got a 94% on the midterm and an 88% on the final with minimal studying. Watch the lectures while taking notes on them, and you should be fine. It was somewhat date-intensive (particularly for empires/civilizations and their key developments), but it was mostly conceptual with some minor memorization.
-The papers were graded by your TA, which means that you may get graded harder depending on who you get. I had Espinoza for my TA, and he seemed to grade very reasonably. That being said, I found the papers very doable (I got an 86% on the first one and a 100% on the second one). Make sure you're very detailed with a lot of specific facts from the articles, and use in-text citations when you do! The prompt itself is kinda weird (there's an overall comparison of two articles, and then you have to answer 3 questions), but make sure it flows nicely. A decent chunk of your grade is your intro/conclusion and overall writing style.
As I said before, if you need a GE, I would highly recommend this class. It was easy for me and very low-stress, which meant I could focus on the classes for my major. If you do decently on the tests/papers, show up to discussion, and do the extra credit, you'll definitely get a very good grade.
Took this class fall 2019 as an incoming freshman and it was super manageable. Prof. Smith was nice and you could tell she genuinely cared about the topic and her students. Honestly lecture could be a bit dull at times, especially towards the end of the quarter, but it wasn't too bad. My favorite part of the class was probably the reading; she teaches alongside Lieberman's book, The Story of the Human Body, which is genuinely fascinating and very well written. My TA, Ulises Espinoza, was sub par (showed up to discussion late, didn't respond to emails, was kind of argumentative towards students), but discussion wasn't a big deal and I still enjoyed the class. Essay prompts were confusing and somewhat unrelated to class topics which was frustrating, but if you're an ok writer you'll get by. Midterm and Final are definitely a grade booster, just make sure to make a timeline and memorize dates even if Prof. Smith says you don't have to. Overall, if you're at all interested in anthro and archaeology this class is relatively interesting and a good GPA boost.
Honestly the negative reviews below are not super accurate. I was in a groupme for the class that had a lot of people complaining about how hard everything was and there was this fourth year anthropology student who was always complaining which made no sense. I simply took notes on the slides in class (even though I wasn't really paying attention), studied them the night or two before the midterm and final, and I got an A. Essays were annoying, and the format isn't MLA so be careful because I lost a bunch of points on quoting in MLA, not the classes desired format, however besides that, I felt they were graded pretty easily. Overall the second half of the class wasn't super interesting to me, but the first half was. The extra credit was fun to do and was worth 5%. Not a super easy class but not that difficult.
I took Anthro 2 as a GE my first quarter at UCLA. I had no idea what to expect, but I'd say this was such a nice ease into college life. The lectures are organized so well: each lecture begins with a summary of the previous lecture so that helps with repetition of the material and Professor Smith is very engaging and clear with her presentations. As for the workload, there were readings assigned that correlate to the lectures so I'd read them in advance of class just so I could be exposed to the material before Smith re-explained it better (however, you could also read the readings after lecture). The class is organized so there's two papers, 1 midterm and the final. Discussions are mandatory, but you can miss one. I found that discussions weren't too helpful for understanding the material, but they were fun nonetheless and my TA helped soothe our fears regarding the papers.
TL;DR Take this class. The material is very interesting and Professor Smith explains it very well. There's an extra credit assignment worth up to 5% and the midterm and final were both very easy as long as you show up to class.
As a person who had never taken an anthropology/archaeology class before, I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed this class. The professor is an engaging lecturer and follows the slides so it's not hard to keep up. There are weekly readings but you don't really have to read every single one since she goes over them in lecture. There were two essays that were fairly easy, and a third one for extra credit. The midterm and final are both multiple choice. You'll do fine on them if you pay attention in lecture and have a grasp of the overall timeline.
A lot of your grade depends on your TA, as they are the ones who will be grading your paper. The helpful thing to do is to go into office hours and have your TA read over your paper before turning it in. This was, they'll tell you what you want. Do the extra credit ASAP, you can get a boost of 5%. Overall, the midterm and finals are super easy. Both are multiple choice.
This class is an easy A if you do the extra credit as early as possible. You can get up to 5% of extra credit for visiting a museum and writing a reflection. The reflection doesn't have to be a good essay, just show her that you went there and give some thoughts about it.
Professor Smith is very funny. Her lectures are engaging. You don't really need to talk during discussions, you just need to be there. My TA often let us out early.
The readings are too much. But you would probably be fine even if you don't read them because she goes over the main ideas of each reading in lectures. She would not test you the details on midterms and finals. But I would suggest reading Liberman because there were some specific questions on the tests.
The two papers (each 4-5 pages) were stressful to me. I hate writing and I procrastinate a lot. But I made it to TA's office hour before due dates, which were really helpful. The grades of the papers kind of depend on your TA. My TA was super chill (Ulises). So I did fine. If you don't have a great TA, go to your TA's OH several times and revise your paper the way he/she wants.
The tests are super easy. You just need to pay attention to every lecture and take notes. (BTW, every lecture is bruincasted, so technically you don't need to go to class) I found making a timeline table very useful.
I would recommend this class to anyone who wants an easy A! Remember to do the extra credit ASAP!
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