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Professor Anderson is a very interesting lecturer. Though he tends to go off topic at times, if you listen carefully you will be able to understand the significance of his story to the lecture topic. It is true that the slides shown in lecture provide ample information for the papers, however I do believe that I learn more from his lecture than from the readings and slides alone.
The course material is not difficult to master, and I would recommend taking this class to satisfy any requirements needed. Also, if you are interested in "learning for learning's sake" but do not want to compromise your grade with it (I feel like most of us care more about the GPA and less about the knowledge), this is a very reasonable course.
anderson is one of my least favorite professors ever. my class was evaluated solely on four essays, two 1000 words and two 2000 words, and supposedly class attendance. your grade is dependent on your ta, which is luck of the draw, and anderson is a horrible lecturer, he reads straight off of his lecture slides after 20 minute stories about his days in the cia, which are boring. he's very self-important and i learned more from the textbook than i did him... avoid anderson if you can
contrary to what most people say about him, professor anderson is probably my favorite teacher at UCLA so far. He is EXTREMELY fair. fair to the point where he allowed us to turn in our final papers late because he never actually made a late policy in his syllubus. Definitely an easy A, especially if you're familiar with poly sci. He is a very adorable old man with a funny laugh and has some interesting stories from his CIA days. The final and midterm were short multiple choice tests that didnt take more than 20 or 30 minutes. The only thing that was annoying was the long essays (2500 words) which I actually didnt completely reach with either but still got an A. no discussion eiether which i thaught was cool. Dont read and you dont necessarily have to go to class either. just make sure you read his slides and you're fine.
This class isn't the most difficult class; in fact, one could say it was easy.
I think the most difficult thing for this class is being able to shoot for the A rather than the A- ; in his class, it's a very thin line.
I didn't go to class because after about the 3rd lecture, I realized that he was going to read off his powerpoint slides, and just that. In a sense, it makes things easier, because you don't have to try to pick up every word he's trying to say, but at the same time, it makes his lectures extremely dry. If you are one of those students that like to deal with cold hard facts, and not the conversational gibberish that you WON'T be tested on, then it's going to be hard to stay awake in this class (seriously!). You could just study the powerpoint slides on your own time.
The goal of this class is being able to define and recognize various points of view (constructive, liberal, identity) and understand the levels of analysis. So, the midterm, the final and the papers-- that's what it's all about.
I'd love to give you some pointers on the midterm, but due to a computer failure, Prof. Anderson made the midterm the morning of. So it is probably different from what you'll be taking. Other than that, he's friendly and replies to e-mails fairly quickly. Good luck!
This class is really interesting and generally easy. I hardly read the book with the exception of the definitions outlined in the margins and did well on both the midterms and the final. You will write two papers for this class. The first one, where we picked a book out of YRL, read it, and wrote a report on it which addressed many of the topics discussed in class. I did well on this paper because I sort of planned it out as I was reading. The most daunting part of it, actually, was the 2500 word minimum requirement. The second paper was a lot more difficult because the prompt was so broad and unclear that I--and many other students, from what I could tell from the massive amounts of email that Anderson sent out--struggled to even start the paper, let alone fill up 8 pages. Professor Anderson is good at presenting sides of an argument that you may not have considered in order to force you to think. His exams are very fair, testing mainly broad concepts, but the wording tends to be the hard part. If you can access past exams somehow, do so!
I took poli sci 20 with Anderson and I am a pre-med who ended up getting an A on the midterm and the first paper. We haven't found out about the second paper or the final yet, but the final wasn't too bad. I never read the textbook that he gave us and still scored second highest in the class on his first midterm. Just pay attention to his lecture slides and understand the ideas he is trying to convey and you will do fine.
I had my reservations about taking this class at the beginning of the quarter. I had never been good with historical facts and things like that so I was pleasantly surprised to here that this class would NOT be about those such things. This is a course about ideas as Anderson stressed over and over again. At times I really did enjoy this class and at times I hated it. I'd say the worst part of this entire class would be the (2) 2,500 word papers you have to write. The topics are not difficult but it can be hard to get into a groove when writing them. As far as the exam goes, it was curved very well in our favor. His grading is very confusing when it comes to the essay. He never really explained how an 94 is considered an A- so that may be something you should ask him during the first class when he goes over those kinds of things. I feel like Anderson is a good guy in general. He's flexible at times and does seem to care about his students and is approachable. One major negative is that he is not a quick grader. Our first paper was not returned until 2 weeks before the second one was due. I feel in general if you read the book at a steady pace, read his lecture notes, even if you don't go to class, and when you do go to class, pay attention you should be fine. Also, start your essay early, don't wait until the last minute. That is very important, the essay is MUCH easier when you have a week or two to write it and you can ask for his advice and such. It is a 2500 word paper so don't screw yourself over by waiting until two nights before to start.
He doesn't curve grades like one student said and his lectures are pointless. The tests are extremely tricky, which he admits are ridiculously worded. I don't recommend taking the class. The worst part was there weren't any TA's to help, so every student was pretty much on their own in terms of understanding the information.
What a disaster. The professor chose a book by Nau, created slides from the book, and then uses every opportunity possible to try to prove to the class that he's smarter than Nau.
He literally said in class that he purposefully makes his tests "tricky." They are purposefully misleading. I did well on the exam, but only after an in-class aneurysm.
Do yourself a favor and take your reqs with someone else.
His Cold War CIA stories are entertaining, but that is the beginning and end of the value you'll get from the course.