Interdisciplinary Academic Writing
It's quite amusing to see that everyone's negative reviews about Dr. Fretz is absolutely true. I just spent the most horrible ten weeks of my undergraduate life in her class and I can say, it was by far, the worst course that I have ever taken in my four years here at UCLA. First, the paper. We spend 10 weeks on a huge paper [the paper itself usually averages to about 25-30 pages] and we eventually turn it as a bounded project with appendices, draft plans, etc etc. So, in total, it was about 80 pages [imagine printing that out and then having to go to Kinko's to get it bind for $5.49] COMPLETE WASTE OF PAPER, MONEY, AND TIME. That is what you turn in at the end of the course. The ten weeks leading up to this is no better. I spent countless hours transcribing and revising drafts over and over again. On top of that, she had almost weekly conferences to discuss peer editing and all that other bs. I think she does not realize that we have other classes that we have to worry about because there is so much work that is assigned. Don't get me wrong, the work is not difficult. It's just that its tedious and she hardly even looks at it. She checks your portfolio around 6th or 7th week and just gives you credit for "completeness." In my view, it just takes the workload off of her. And she does not allow you to express your own opinions in your paper! She wants the paper so completely structured in her format that she even "suggests" quotes that we should use. She wants things to be interpreted HER way, leaving very little freedom for the actual writer to express his/her own thoughts. The only freedom I had was in picking my narrator. I dont think I learned anything of substance in this class besides the importance of revising since we had to do about ten drafts!!! If you take this class, be prepared to spend a fortune on ink and printing. I would not recommend her. I don't mind if professors are difficult or require alot of work if I actually learn something of substance in return. But I didn't in this class. If you can, stay away! and to end, i think she makes racist remarks. STAY AWAY FROM FRETZ.
Pros: 1. The finals drafts of major assignments are due at the end of the quarter in a portfolio so you're not stressed out about turning in a piece of crap that you started several hours ago. He has you turn in rough drafts that you go over with the students in your group, but he doesn't require your rough draft to be a certain length. A lot of the time I would procrastinate and do the rough draft the night before, and he wouldn't say anything about the length. 2. You meet with him after you turn in your rough draft of each major assignment. He goes over what grade he would give you at this point and how you can improve your grade. Therefore, it's really easy to get an A. 3. He doesn't force people to participate in class, and he doesn't give grades for participating. 4. Group work in class is a nice change in format. It's better than listening to a professor talk on and on. You get to know the other students this way. 5. I don't think we read an entire book (not that reading an entire book is difficult, but I know some people really don't like reading and only take English courses because they're required). He'd give us excerpts or we'd only read part of a book. 6. He's really laid back and calm. Cons: None! If you have the chance to take a course with him, use your priority/first pass!
Dr. Leigh Harris believes too strongly in the uses of online virtual communities. The class did not feel structured at all. In short, the class was a waste of time and money. If anyone else feels this way please please please give her low marks on the evaluation sheets around 3. Really make an effort when you fill them out.