Robert Watson

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ENGL 19
Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars See Full Profile

Overall 4.5 Easiness 1.3 Workload 1.5 Clarity 4.7 Helpfulness 4.2

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Dr. Watson is one of the best professors I have encountered at UCLA.

His ENGL 19 seminar on poetry was phenomenal. We read a few poems a week and then discussed them in a small classroom setting. Dr. Watson is brilliant and what is he has to say regarding poetry (or anything) is engaging. He would invite us out to dinner weekly, which was pretty cool. Dr. Watson has taught at UCLA for over thirty years and at Harvard for a sometime, too.

Our group was pretty exceptional, though, which I know made a big difference in how enjoyable the class was. At the end of the quarter, we all signed a card and gave it to Dr. Watson—we liked him that much!

(I can't comment on his graded courses.)

(May 2, 2014)
ENGL 90
Shakespeare See Full Profile

Overall 5.0 Easiness 4.0 Workload 4.0 Clarity 5.0 Helpfulness 5.0

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Phenomenal professor, phenomenal class. By far the best course I've taken at UCLA. Professor Watson is one of those rare professors who can convey not only the content and knowledge he's gained from his research but the excitement it induces as well. You can tell from the first day that he legitimately cares about student learning and wants everyone to leave loving Shakespeare as much as he does. His lectures are always very interesting, as he teaches over a mix of more well-trodden plays (like Hamlet) as well as esoteric ones (like Measure for Measure). I think the selling point for me in this class was when we went over R&J; to be quite honest, I'm not a huge fan of it just because I've read it for so many different classes, but somehow he was able to provide a fresh new perspective on the play that was legitimately mindblowing. The midterm and final were both a piece of cake, and the two essays we wrote were also similarly easy. As long as you show up to class and discussion you don't really need to study. My TA, Misho, was also very good! Office hours are helpful, both for help on essays or just to discuss different plays with the TAs/professor. tldr; an absolutely fantastic class: interesting professor + great TAs + easy courseload = the best GE class at UCLA.

(Winter Quarter 2018)
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HNRS 115
Poetry and Society in England, 1588 to 1688: Verse, Politics, Religion, and Sexuality from Spanish Armada to Glorious Revolution See Full Profile

Overall 5.0 Easiness 3.0 Workload 3.0 Clarity 4.0 Helpfulness 5.0

Most Helpful Review

Professor Watson is so genuine, kind, and hilarious. He is also unfathomably smart--I was constantly blown away by his level of intelligence and knowledge. Watson thrives in small classroom settings (I believe he only teaches seminars), and it is really cool to be able to be in such a small class with such an esteemed professor.

Honors 115 meets once a week for three hours. You read a considerable amount of poems that are assigned each week, in addition to some background reading on the history of England and whatnot. The first five weeks of class, you have to post a weekly response on CCLE--nothing crazy, just 300 words or so. Watson wants to see that you are passionate and really engaging with the material--as long as you show interest, actually try to close read the poems, and engage in the class conversation, you will do fine.

The big part of your grade in this class is the final paper. This is in place of a final exam, and Watson is super fair about it. After Week 5, the essay is your only assignment (other than the weekly readings). It is 10-12 pages long on any topic you like, using the poetry you've read in class. Seriously, Watson is so understanding and chill about this paper--he let our class turn it in the Tuesday after finals week if we needed more time.

Watson truly is a lover of learning and discussion, and as long as you enjoy those things too and come to class ready to engage you'll do great. Watson isn't one of those professors on an egotistical trip--he really cares about his students and loves hearing their thoughts. 10/10 recommend taking class with him!

(Winter Quarter 2017)
ENGL 142A
Shakespeare: Poems and Early Plays See Full Profile

Overall 4.5 Easiness 1.5 Workload 1.4 Clarity 4.4 Helpfulness 4.5

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Every positive thing on this bulletin is true. Professor Watson is interesting, organized, funny, entertaining and does have a unique talent in that he can make you feel like you're the only person he's talking to in a room of 80 plus students. If you need to take Shakespeare, take no one else--and I'm sure he's great at teaching other subjects as well.

(Feb. 21, 2009)
ENGL 150A
Shakespeare: Poems and Early Days See Full Profile

Overall 4.5 Easiness 1.5 Workload 1.4 Clarity 4.5 Helpfulness 4.7

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Don't be fooled into taking him. Yes, his lectures might be "interesting," but what's more important that or the grade you receive? First of all, he isn't the one who grades your work whatsoever. If you're lucky enough to get a good TA you'll be fine, but most of the time these English TAs look down upon undergrad students so chances are slim. I would not recommend taking a class with him if you aren't absolutely in LOVE with Shakespeare.

(Jan. 31, 2014)
ENGL 153
Literature of Early 17th Century, 1600 to 1660 See Full Profile

Overall 4.1 Easiness 1.7 Workload 1.4 Clarity 4.4 Helpfulness 4.3

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So I have heard so many great things about Professor Watson, both from personal sources and online reviews, but I have to say that his 153 Early Renaissance Literature class was uninspiring. We read so much material for each class meeting and either talked very briefly of them all or talked in depth about a third of them. This makes it really hard to study when the midterm and final come around because there are texts you're supposed to know about and be able to identify even though they had never been discussed in class. All the things I've heard people say about his Shakespeare classes just didn't happen in this class. We read a load of poetry that all sounded the same, and then had a few inspiring texts that we spent no more than a day on. All in all, I feel like Professor Watson knows so much and can teach so much, but the class somehow ended up being more overwhelming than interesting.

(Dec. 9, 2008)
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ENGL 159
Topics in Literature, circa 1500 to 1700: 17th-Century Poetry See Full Profile

Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness N/A

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ENGL 184
Capstone Seminar: English Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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ENGL 184
Capstone Seminar: English See Full Profile

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