Fall 2016 - Professor Jacoby is honestly not very good at teaching. He's inconsistent with the pace of his lectures. A lot of the time you're just sitting there wondering if what he's saying is worthwhile because it can be so random and unrelated sometimes. He goes on tangents that don't really have to do with the course and he doesn't always follow a chronological order, which can be a bit frustrating since it's a history class. The TA and the textbook were what helped me get an A in this class tbh. Try to get Sam Kelley as your TA he's great but he's a bit harsh grading the two papers. Sam gives out weekly reading responses which are a pain to do, but you'll be so glad you did them when you study for the midterm and final because they help you understand the key texts of the class. You also get marks just for completing the reading responses, and since one of them is counted as extra credit, your grade gets a boost. It's definitely not impossible to get an A in this class. For the 2 papers, get a draft done super early, show it to your TA in advance and go to the Writing Center. These papers are hard because of the 2-page limit. There's also a specific way the TAs want them to be written so get as much help as you can. I got a B and a B+ on them because I procrastinated a lot and never went to my TAs office hours. Don't do that. What saved my grade in this class was essentially the midterm and final, which I got As on, and the reading responses. For these tests, what you need to do is outline the textbook! Not the whole textbook because that's impossible, but outline everything that's been mentioned in class. That's why I think that despite the fact that professor Jacoby isn't very good at teaching, you should still attend lecture! Because at the very least the lectures will give you an outline of what you're going to be tested on. You should then go through the textbook and take somewhat brief notes on everything that was brought up in lecture. With your textbook, discussion and lecture notes you should be more than ready for the midterm and final :) It's definitely a challenging class, but I'm glad I took it. It gives you such a great perspective on the world and how modern history shaped it.
Jacoby is extremely hilarious. He was lecturing about the French Revolution, which isn't the most interesting topic for a science major, but he made it extremely fun. He ALWAYS throws in jokes, and has witty humor--but he doesn't get off topic. He's really cool. Also, the TA Mary McThomas is great for this class. She knows her material and is willing to help.
I took his 97 History of Modern Tolerance and 121E. His lectures can be entertaining, but his grading is rough. I have NEVER before, and never since, questioned a professor about my grade, but I had to question him on every test and paper. Comments would be made claiming I had not mentioned this or that, but sure enough I had. He blamed the bad grading in his 121E class on his readers and changed the grade, but it was an annoying process. Because I did sort of enjoy his lectures, and I was a new transfer student, I decided to take his 97 class (big mistake). Our syllabus stated that 50% of our grade would be based on attendance/participation and turning in a weekly paper (not graded), and the other half of our grade was our final paper. I did not miss one class and turned in EVERY paper and still received a B- in the class (I'm an honor student and this is the lowest grade I've ever received). That would have meant that he had given me a D on my final paper, which none of us ever got back. Most of our class (about 13 of us) received B's and B-'s and many challenged it. He is willing to re-read the paper and change your grade if you can get a hold of him and remain persistent. I just really don't think he's worth the hassle.
He earns a d in his lectures. He jokes way too much and it is hard to follow, one has to take very good notes and read everything including notes, his lectures lack structure, I wish I had not taken him, this class will bring my GPA down. He is all over the place, does not engage students, it's almost as if he were just talking to himself.
At first Prof. Jacoby seemed to be an easy going and somewhat interesting professor. However, it should be noted that his grading is very stringent. I received my first B ever in a History class, and the rest of the class seemed to share the same misfortune. The take-home midterm seemed doable, so I put 110% in and received a B. I was hoping to maintain an A average at UCLA, but with Jacoby's rather harsh grading, it didn't happen. If you decide to take his class, be prepared to sit through endless lectures and read lots of material, all the while ending up with a B at best. Jacoby, with his standards should be teaching at the graduate level where his methods of grading would be better suited.