Great instructor and human being! People kept on complaining about UW for the entirety of the previous semester, but when it was my turn to take it I couldn't see what the fuss was about, because Reid just made it a painless core class. He taught the data and society section and it was really fun and covered interesting and relevant topics. He gives good and valuable feedback on your work and actually gives useful suggestions, and does his best to understand your work from your perspective and help you achieve what YOU want. Class was always pretty chill and low stress, and his soothing voice is a plus. He's very organized and understanding and you will not fell pressured in his class whatsoever. Can't say much about his grading because of the pandemic situation but I believe everyone did pretty well on their P1 essay. All in all really great experience and would definitely recommend him.

Workload:

Easy. Readings and assignments assigned every class but he never really checks them and they don't count towards your grade; just skim through the readings to keep up with the class discussions. Standard UW progression essays which are not hard to get through if you follow the tentative schedule and due dates which he recommends.

December 14, 2019

Fisher, Joseph
[C1010] University Writing

Professor Fisher is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Religion at Columbia University. His dissertation research concentrates on the human enhancement debate in public bioethics and how the rhetoric of human nature operates within this discourse. HE teaches the data and society section of University Writing. He is a kind and caring teacher. He is reasonable and open to suggestions on how to improve his class. He is very willing to meet with students to help them improve their writing. He returns helpful feedback in a timely manner. Overall I would highly recommend Professor Fisher as a University writing teacher.

Workload:

Medium. Usually a short reading and a few hundred-word writing assignment due for each class.

October 20, 2019

Baker, Brianne
[C1010] University Writing

Brianne is a very nice person and a competent teacher. I would take her class again. She is generally very understanding and takes time outside of class to meet with each of us to give us constructive feedback on our formal drafts.

Class discussion centered around the short articles Brianne assigned. Generally, the discussions are very open; in fact, I would've appreciated if Brianne led/shaped the discussion a bit more. But this is just a matter of personal preference. I still found the discussions to be quite enjoyable and thought provoking overall.

In terms of grading, Brianne is very reasonable and wants you to do well. Edit your essays as per her comments and you'll be fine.

Workload:

Same as every U-Writing class. 4 progressions based on papers she's assigned for class discussion.

October 14, 2019

Mardirossian, Taleen
[C1010] University Writing

Taleen Mardirossian is very smart, friendly, and clearly knows how to teach. She is unfailingly patient with students and still manages to bring everyone back on task. Some people have said incredibly stupid bs in class and she'll keep smiling, tactfully get them to reconsider their point of view, and then refocus on the text.
Only drawback is that all the texts studied in class have been written by white authors (even texts on racism), except a short paragraph by James Baldwin. Mainstream feminism only gets you so far.

Workload:

Four essays
Summarizing in-class readings in 100-200 words paragraphs
Required meetings during office hours

January 04, 2019

Tadmor, Avia
[C1010] University Writing

Strongly recommend staying away. She grades very harshly, her examples and feedback are vague at best, and she never says what she wants. Her examples are terrible, and even if you do everything she asks you might get a B-
her grading is subjective and not based on anything, she basically just grades according to how much she likes the student

Workload:

Way too heavy, tons of reading and submissions all the time, easily spent more than 15 hours a week, for nothing

May 06, 2014

McCormack, JW
[C1010] University Writing

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

I came in to this class nervous, due in large part to all the horror stories you hear about UWriting. I'm leaving it, oblivious of my final grade, but all the same completely satisfied with my progress in the class. I really enjoyed UW, and most of the credit for that goes to JW, who made every effort to make class more interesting and to push us in new directions beyond just learning how to "write better". The readings he assigned for each progression were for the most part extremely interesting; they weren't always simple, but once I managed to get through them, I always felt better equipped to write my essays. JW's class is also great, because he gives us some great tips on how to structure our essays without much of a hassle and doesn't make you adopt a specific style of writing, thereby allowing you to grow into your own style over the course of the semester.

As a grader, he's extremely fair: Progression 1 was generally kind of low-scoring across the board. I got a B+ prog. 1 and A in prog. 2 and I didn't feel like I had to work tremendously hard for either of those grades.

Overall, I'd definitely recommend this section; even if you hate the class, JW's good-humored sarcasm and quirky style of teaching should keep you entertained at the very least.

Workload:

Not much to be honest. Each progression had 3 or 4 assignments to go along with it but these weren't mandatory or anything, and they weren't at all time-consuming, and were actually helpful. He's very reasonable with the due dates for the final drafts as well, so its not a super high-stress class.

April 20, 2014

Snider, Justin Silver_nugget
[C1010] University Writing

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

FOLKS!! The review downstairs is a lie! I worked my tail off, and I got an A-. However, I am so happy with what I got because with Professor Justin Snider's unflagging help, I have learned how to think from a different perspective, and I have successfully utilized his techniques with my other writing-related subjects.

I know people before me said this thousands of times, but I have to repeat it. Justin is so far one of the most capable, experienced, and responsible writing teachers I have ever met. At the same time, he is also the most understanding, caring and intelligent individuals. That's not to say he is an easy grader. He is not! Also, You should not expect mere lecturing in a UW class. This is not an ESL class or a political science class.

In class, Justin skillfully maintains interactions between everyone involved. He respects students' cultures, knowledge, and interests. He sincerely values his students' opinions and provides everybody opportunities to express their own thoughts.If you put a reasonable amount of effort into the drafts, and truly aim at improving your writing, you just need to call on him. He will always be there for you although he is extremely busy with his 350 advisees. Trust me on this!! He attaches importance to how seriously you take this class.

His feedback on each of our drafts is elaborate, encouraging us to think critically and cultivate a habit of answering unanticipated questions! Most of the time, he gives back our essay on time (if he does not, he brings us expensive chocolate as an apology.) During class interactions, not only did he correct our improper English expressions, but he also guided us to think outside the box. Most importantly, he helps his students become independent learners and who love writing.

As an ESL learner, I have always had an inferiority complex when it comes to writing. After this class, I became a lot more confident in writing than I was before. And as a former UW student who has observed tons of UW instructors, I have to say this: We do not need a loquacious teacher or orotund entertainer in the UW class.(But, folks!! Justin has a great sense of humor. You will fall in love with him!!) We need an instructor who is truly willing to invest his time in our drafts and in our writing (or other things you want to discuss) after classes. Please seize the opportunity. TAKE HIS CLASS IF YOU CAN!! There are not many UW professors who got a Gold nugget! He got it for a reason!!

My last word: Doing a little in this class will not earn you an A. Professor Snider likes to see your improvement and your process of learning (the process of revising, pushing your thinking to more refined levels...).Also, writing your drafts two days before the due date will not likely get you an A. As Justin always told me, spread your draft over several days, everyday, a little bit. And you will write a good essay in no time.

Workload:

Typical UW workload. The first reading is the hardest one. But, always communicate with him and express your difficulties.

January 15, 2014

Snider, Justin Silver_nugget
[C1010] University Writing

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Easy class, very easy A, but you won't learn a thing. He is a great guy indeed, but a really bad teacher. He did not lecture once, and honestly going to his class was a joke. I got an A and did very little, not complaining. All we did was to "discuss" the material. He is very lazy, he will take forever to return your work and you will have to start working on your new material before you get your previous one, so you won't know what to improve. You don't pay Columbia 50k a year to go to class and talk to your peers, you can do that outside class and for free. If you only care about your GPA then this class is for you, but if you actually care about learning stay away from this class.

Workload:

4 papers, very simple. I wrote them two days before the first draft was due, he revised them, I fixed them, got an A.......whalaaa........

June 27, 2012

Uphaus, Maxwell
[C1010] University Writing and [C1010] University Writing

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

A terrible teacher. Didn't learn anything in his class. He's boring and has no passion for anything in the class. Uwriting isn't supposed to be the most exciting class ever, but there are some interesting conversations that can be had, about the essays, or writing in general, or whatever... But we didn't have any with him. If we did, nobody in the class realized because they were first put to sleep by his dull voice and slow-paced monologuing. Sometimes, it almost felt like he was writing out what he spoke, and was so worried about misspeaking or about not saying the perfect word, that he would take FOREVER to finish one sentence.

Not to mention, he says "umm" every three seconds. I usually don't mind this. I say umm, everybody says umm. But once I noticed how often he said it it was impossible not to be annoyed by it. I once tried to count how many times he said it in a class. I got tired of counting after 5 minutes, but I had counted 27 umms. You do the math for a 75 minute class.

However, this would all be fine if he were a nice guy. If he were someone who, ok, weren't the best teacher, or were just a little nervous, fine. What could he do? But that's not it. He's also an ass. He assigns a TON of homework that he doesn't ever comment on or get back to you. And he's a harsh and inconsistent grader.

To put it plainly, he's one of those typical insecure grad students who, to make up for their ineptitude as teachers, blame their students when the class isn't going well.

He sucks. His class sucks. Change your uwriting section.

Workload:

4 essays, 25%, 25%, 30% and 10%, with a 5 percent boost on the best of the first three and (supposedly but it's bullshit) a 5 percent boost if there's "outstanding" participation.

Also, I forget the absence policy, but I know that every time you come late it counts as half an absence. And it's a core class so you can't have many absences to pass the course...

December 30, 2011

McGuire, Brigit
[C1010] University Writing

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

This class was weird.
There wasn't much work to do between essays, but this was a double edged sword. While you had less qualitative work to do, Brigit's grading was always very harsh (for everyone), and so you had little opportunity to undo that. In other classes, class participation and small assignments counted for something. Here, everyone participated the same (mostly as a result of the style of discussion) and there were very few assignments other than essays.
Before submitting a final draft, we had a sit-down with Brigit. However, it always seemed that, once we got our final drafts back, she forgot or avoided pointing out things she didn't like. What I'm saying is that it's unethical to take issue with something you saw before and had nothing to say about. This was a common issue with Brigit's grading.
Compared to other classes, work you do here that gets you an A- elsewhere would get you a B or B+. And she doesn't "curve" or anything.
Worse, there was very little communication on her part. While in other classes teachers wrote endless notes on margins and even typed up a page-length review that they attached, here, you got as much as she could fit into your last page, addressing your essay in a general "big picture" way and leaving you with very little direction in terms of how to better write the next one. It was always about thinking about the essay, and this reflected her way of not giving a hoot about your writing; what always bothered her was some slight structural anomaly. In fact, if you might've written a really awesome, extremely time-consuming essay, that everyone might like, you might find yourself still being asked to restructure the whole thing because it just might maybe turn out slightly better. This reflects an utter lack of concern or respect to student's time and effort. If the structure is fine the way it is, she has to overcome her personal idiosyncrasies and focus on better writing.
I could go on about these issues, but the point is, you're going to work harder for a lower grade here, and Brigit isn't going to help you understand why or how. Avoid this class if you can.

Workload:

Just the essays, but like I said, that's not going to be helpful in the long run

Directory Data

Dept/Subj Directory Course Professor Year Semester Time Section
ENCL / ENGL ENCL ENGL S1010: University Writing Anya Yurchyshyn 2010 Summer TR / 6:15- 8:20 PM 1
ENCL / ENGL ENCL ENGL S1010: University Writing Jessica Hindman 2009 Summer TR / 6:15- 8:20 PM 1