Japanese Civilization

Torquil Duthie

Japanese Civilization

Japanese department

Torquil Duthie

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from 42 users

Ratings

Bad
Overall 4.5
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 3.8
Easy
Heavy
Workload 3.4
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 4.2
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 4.2
Helpful
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Tags

  • Uses Slides
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Would Take Again
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Often Funny

Grades

Fall 2020
73.6%
61.3%
49.1%
36.8%
24.5%
12.3%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Fall 2018
40.6%
33.9%
27.1%
20.3%
13.5%
6.8%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Fall 2016
33.3%
27.8%
22.2%
16.7%
11.1%
5.6%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Fall 2015
34.5%
28.7%
23.0%
17.2%
11.5%
5.7%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Fall 2014
37.6%
31.4%
25.1%
18.8%
12.5%
6.3%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Fall 2013
37.9%
31.6%
25.2%
18.9%
12.6%
6.3%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Fall 2009
35.0%
29.1%
23.3%
17.5%
11.7%
5.8%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

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3 of 4

Reviews

Quarter Taken: Fall 2016 Submitted Dec. 14, 2016 Grade Received: NR

The only word to describe this class is subjective. Your TA grades virtually everything, and my TA was a pretty hard grader, taking off points here and there for no reason. A couple kids went to go ask for points back and the TA realized their mistakes, but the system can really be in or out of your favor. The grading is not objective at all, and even if you deserve a 100 you can get a B because the TA doesn't like how you described things. On the other hand, it was clear that other TAs were much more lenient, and other sections got easier As. The class was interesting but the grading system is completely subjective and does not necessarily award hard work and comprehension of the course material (but hey it could be in your favor too).

I would say take another class unless you want to risk the chance here of getting a bad TA.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2016 Submitted Dec. 12, 2016 Grade Received: A

Duthie is a good lecturer that is passionate about teaching. He supplements the lectures with videos and pictures. He gives powerpoint slides that are NOT posted online, so you need to attend lecture to do well on the tests. Sometimes he goes too fast so you need to take pictures of the slides. He'll occasionally say "this will be on the test", and he's telling the truth- so take note of that and make sure you memorize that topic.

I read all of the textbook chapters and I don't think it helped me very much.

Workload is 2 longish (~15-20 page) readings per week and 1-2 textbook chapters each week. The readings are actually pretty interesting, so they're not that hard to read. Then you have to write a 300-500 word response to the readings.

The tests are just a series of short essays, some identification questions, and excerpts from the readings that you have to identify. Not hard if you memorize the lecture notes.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Dec. 17, 2015 Grade Received: N/A

As a GE course, I'd say this is the easiest I've taken with the exception of Korea 50 with Duncan. I took this course as my first GE two years ago in my first quarter and the class was fairly interesting for the most part. Just read the material he gives, participate in discussion, and do well on the assigned weekly essays, and you'll do well. Exams are not hard if you read the textbook, it's not that hard to review for it.

Awesome professor, awesome class.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Dec. 24, 2014 Grade Received: N/A

Class format:
30% Discussion (involves weekly response papers around 300 words each)
35% Midterm
35% Final (not cumulative)

Exam format:
5 short response questions (around 10 sentences each) about certain time periods or important concepts (40% of the test)
10 identifications (2-3 sentences each) of people or important concepts (40% of the test)
5 passage identifications (from the discussion and lecture readings). You need to include the title of the article, author, time period it’s from, and 1-2 sentences about the article (20% of the test).

Thoughts overall:
One of the easier GEs with a manageable workload. The readings for discussion sections were very interesting. I definitely recommend this class if you don’t mind the weekly response papers and exams that are all writing. When you’re preparing for the exams, go to the test bank. Seriously, I found it quite helpful. It gives you an idea of the format of the exam and the amount of detail the graders are looking for. The study guide professor Duthie provides is kind of not very helpful…so go to the test bank lol.

The rest of this post is going to be more of my opinions about the class, so you can stop reading if you’re not interested lol.

I honestly had very low interest in Japanese history because I just have a low interest in all history lol. But the class turned out to be quite interesting and I’ve developed a much greater appreciation for the concepts covered in class.

The readings required for discussion section were really thought-provoking/enjoyable to read and helped create a more personal tie to the time periods. Discussions about the readings for weekly sections were quite enjoyable as well, but that may have been because my TA was super nice.

The last two posts said that you could only go to lecture or only read the book to do well. I went to all of the lectures and read every page in that book (because I’m a try-hard) and I think that they’re both kind of important. The lectures give you an idea of what’s important/what you need to memorize for the exams and the textbook gives you more detail/greater understanding about the concepts emphasized during lecture. I suppose to don’t have to read every word in the textbook though. I have to admit that I still had to Wiki a lot of concepts to better understand the relationships between time periods/concepts, but I don’t think it was entirely necessary. I found this website pretty useful if you're intersted: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2126.html

I thought the lectures up to the midterm were pretty good. They emphasized a lot of important concepts and it was pretty easy to study for the midterm as a result. I did really well on the midterm because I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. But I didn’t think the lectures relating to the final were as thorough because there were quite a few things on the exam that I had no idea about. The lectures kind of just listed a bunch of stuff without elaborating much. There was a lot I studied for that wasn’t on the final and a lot of stuff I didn’t even know existed that was in the identification section. I definitely studied more for the final and did way worse than the midterm lol. People in the previous posts mentioned that the lectures were boring, but I really didn’t think this class was all that boring. I won’t go so far as to say that the class was fun, but the lectures weren’t bad and professor Duthie showed some videos, which were nice.

If you’re still reading this, I’ll give you some brownie point advice and mention that you should pay attention to the TA lectures (each TA lectures on a topic of their choice) because their topics are still covered in the exams (at least for the final they were – the identification portion). I really didn’t think they were that important, so I just listened to the TA lectures and enjoyed them without really taking the time to memorize to the important concepts in the lecture. So I ended getting owned on the final because I could only remember which topics were mentioned by which TA, but I had no idea what to write about the topics….heh.

Also, make sure you do all of the readings on the syllabus. Especially the additional readings for lecture. I don’t know if it was just me, but the formatting of the syllabus or the font threw me off. I would look at the readings and only see the textbook readings and totally glance over the additional readings for lecture. So I got owned again on the final because there were additional reading passages that I didn’t know I was supposed to read. Whatta tragedy.

Overall, I was a try-hard and spent way more time on this class than I should have. But I enjoyed it! Even if I didn’t do as well as I hoped lol. Meh.

Final grade: A

Woooo

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Dec. 19, 2013 Grade Received: N/A

This class is basically memorization of time periods and participation in discussion. I showed up to every single lecture and I think that the information from lecture was the only thing really needed to do well in the class. The textbook reading isn't very necessary if you show up to class. Lectures sometimes have videos and music which makes them interesting. Professor Duthie brings up some discussion points in the lecture that are insightful. He could get a little boring now and then, but I enjoyed his class and I thought it was an okay GE.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Dec. 14, 2013 Grade Received: N/A

I can't comment on Professor Duthie's ability as a professor since I stopped going to class the latter half of the quarter, and when I did go, all I did was sleep or do homework, but as a GE class, this class was fairly easy.

The grading scheme was 30% class participation, which was split into 15% for discussion responses that are due each week before section, and 15% participation. Participation is actually taken very seriously, as Duthie has a point system for it (but my TA never really showed any effort at taking down names for participation points, so it could have been just my section).

Then there's a 35% midterm and a 35% final. The final and the midterm were the exact same format. There was a short answer part, which was 5 questions that you answer with ~10 sentences, with topics that range from describing a certain time period, or describing important historical events. He has you choose from 3 "categories" and you pick 1-2 questions from each category. Then there was 15 "identities", of which you choose 10 and identify them in a few sentences (3-4). Then there was the primary text identification, where he puts a paragraph from the primary text you read for discussion, and you identify it with the name, author, date, and what its about. He gives a study guide of sorts telling you the format of the test and what can be on it.

As said before, it is completely unnecessary to go to lecture. Reading the textbook/primary texts will give you all of the information to do well on the exams. My class never got a writing assignment as mentioned in earlier posts, so maybe Duthie will change it around a bit next time.

All in all, as long as you don't mind reading alot and exams consisting entirely of writing, then take this class with Duthie.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Jan. 30, 2010 Grade Received: N/A

Even though I did not have much interest in Japanese Civilizations, I found that his lectures were very well prepared, filled with videos, sounds, and images to make them informative and entertaining. The readings for the discussion sections as well as the suggested reading from the textbook amounted to a lot of reading, although the readings for the sections were fairly entertaining. Pretty easy GE, although there is quite a bit of information to memorize for the midterm and final (non-cumulative).

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Jan. 25, 2010 Grade Received: N/A

Great teacher, easy class...
Honestly, lectures and reading the book is not necessary at all, but his lectures are interesting. At first I did all the readings, but after the midterm I realized I didn't have to. You do have to, however, read the outside readings. I got 100% on both my midterm and final. All you have to do is study the exam guides he provides you two days before the test. SERIOUSLY, EVERYTHING ON THE STUDY GUIDE IS ON THE EXAMS VERBATIM. There's only one writing assignment, but he reveals that it is only a grade booster and that everyone who does it receives an A. Discussions are the only mandatory component to this class and remember to participate a lot, because it's 20% of your grade. Overall great class and is very interesting, especially if you are interested in the Japanese culture.

Test Format:
-First section: Five short paragraphs on anything from cultural development to dynasty description
-Second section: Define 10 out of 15 terms/keywords
-Third section: Give/Identify the author, date, title, and short description of the outside readings.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Dec. 19, 2009 Grade Received: N/A

You TA will pretty much determine your grade, since they grade your responses, participation and your tests. The only thing Duthie grades is you response paper, which he admits he will give you full credit if you turn it in (barring that it is no complete BS.)

Nice guy, though lectures can get pretty boring. A pretty easy GE course.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Dec. 14, 2009 Grade Received: N/A

When I took this course freshman year, it was his first time teaching it. Even so, he did a great job! The lectures were interesting and he mixed it up a lot so there were videos too. The material was not hard, just memorize what's on the midterm and final review sheets and you'll get a good grade. What you put in will reflect your grade in the class.

3 of 4

Tags

  • Uses Slides
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Would Take Again
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Often Funny
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