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As an Honors History major and Professional Writing minor 4th-year student at UCLA, this is by far the worst class I've ever taken. Professor Paul is kind but her T.A is what made this class a nightmare. The T.A (Chloe Wilson) grading criteria was so unclear, and her feedback was contradictory and ambiguous. Her comments were so vague, making unproductive comments such as "I just did not like your voice in this assignment." After meeting with her during office hours and emailing her, I always felt like I had no clue what she was looking for, and it left me very insecure when completing assignments. I know I am not entitled to any grade, but I consider myself to be a successful student and this T.A made it very clear she was not an advocate for our grades. This made me disinterested from the course content all together. The assignments were remedial and juvenile yet the grading criteria was very unstructured. Professor Paul is kind person and I would want to recommend, but hopefully, she'll have a different. T.A. Overall, the instruction was unclear and I felt disconnected from what the true expectations of the writing assignments were. All in all, there are much better classes in UCLA's History department, and I would stay away after my experience.
This class made me dislike history. The TA for this class, Chloe, was the worst TA I have ever had. The rubrics for this class were so vague, yet the grading was extremely harsh. I was getting penalized for stuff in my essays that I had not been penalized for since elementary school. A single contraction in my essay, WHICH WAS FROM A QUOTE I WAS USING, should not be something that can mark someone even a percentage down on a paper. This felt less like a history class and more like a writing critique class. I started hating the material in this class because I was so hyperfocused on my writing to the point where I couldn't even get a single paragraph out without feeling insecure. I had such high hopes for this class but ultimately is not worth the stress and hassle.
Though the professor itself is a kind individual, the formatting of the class with the style of lectures were incredibly bland and I left the class feeling incredibly unfulfilled. As a fourth year History Major with Latin honors ranking and a background in research and development, I was harshly graded on my three page writing assignment without any semblance of constructive feedback. As I approached the TA (Chloe) with my potential corrections, given I change a majority of my Footnote prompts and work (utilizing a professional footnote template in Chicago form) the only feedback received was “I see no change.” While I can assure you reader, there was change. Overall, there was a lacking of clear guidelines in order to succeed as it seemed as though the small syntax errors outweighed the rhetoric of such research papers. Many of my classmates shared the same issues with me as well.
I took this class with Professor Paul and had an amazing experience. However we did not have a T.A. and our assignments were graded by the professor. I am sorry to read that Chloe was tough on grading, I visited her at the writing center and she was an excellent resource. Professor Paul is an extremely helpful and caring person and I advise anyone who wants to succeed to visit office hours. The final was a group project and the topics we learned were extremely interesting. She expects a high quality of writing so if you are like me visit the History Department's Writing Center for some help. She even offered some extra credit at the end for some extra work we did as a group for the project. I am not the smartest person in the room but I am a hard worker and I believe this class to be fair in regards to expectations and grading. Compared to the horror stories I have heard about Langdon this class is something anyone should look forward to.