course
university writing

Apr 2021

I don't think Bo's teaching UW in the future so I'll be brief: he's everything you want in a UW professor. Interesting readings and discussions, lots of helpful comments on each draft, fair grading and expectations, interesting and fun occasional tangents, easy to talk to in office hours, and invested in students.

Dec 2020

Austin is the best professor I've had this semester. I am platonically in love with him.

Dec 2020

Kevin is the sweetest UW instructor ever. I know he’s the only one I got, but no one can convince me otherwise. I had UW for International Students this fall when it was remote, so the semester was kind of rough to many of us, but he was always very nice and understanding. Also, he managed to foster a sense of community in our class which is pretty hard when we’re literally all over the world and have only met over Zoom. Kevin is a great teacher, and my writing skills improved significantly in his class. He is super approachable and willing to meet with you one on one to help you out. He clearly wants you to do well and will go above and beyond to assist you. The grading was reasonable, maybe a little bit on the harsher side but pretty okay. He also really acknowledges your progress when grading, which is nice. Overall, I had an amazing experience and would fully recommend picking him as your UW professor.

May 2020

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.

May 2019

Dr. Wisor is my favorite prof I've had at Columbia, and maybe my favorite teacher ever. She is so chill, kind, and understanding. She makes such an effort to make the class flow naturally, and we have engaged in so many interesting conversations beyond what we were talking about in class. 10/10 UW experience. Wish she taught more classes!

May 2019

Dr. Wisor is my favorite prof I've had at Columbia, and maybe my favorite teacher ever. She is so chill, kind, and understanding. She makes such an effort to make the class flow naturally, and we have engaged in so many interesting conversations beyond what we were talking about in class. 10/10 UW experience. Wish she taught more classes!

Nov 2017

Take Trevor's class if you're nerdy and love writing because he is a GREAT professor who you will really benefit from, but only if you really try to. He puts in A LOT of time in giving you feedback for your essays but he is also tough so if you care about your GPA, you might want to think twice (unless you're very confident you're a good writer). I wouldn't recommend this class for anyone who hates writing and wants to get a lazy A. For people who are a bit more ambitious and hard working, however, I highly recommend Trevor because he's an incredibly smart man who will push you.

Dec 2016

If you can take Justin's class, definitely take it! His classes were so interesting, as were the topics assigned for the essays. The workload wasn't too bad and the readings were very very interesting as were the short writing assignments. I always looked forward to this class, as it was so fun! Justin is an incredibly nice, smart and humorous professor who will try to engage the entire class in discussions. Definitely take U Writing with him if you can.

Jan 2014

Yurina is probably the best professor I have ever had as an undergraduate student. She made me realize that students get out of the class what the professors put in. Yurina is so incredibly hardworking and goes to great such great lengths to see her students succeed (e.g. spending one hour writing margin notes for EACH of our formal drafts), that she really challenged me to develop as a writer. At first, I treated University Writing as just a CORE requirement that I wanted to get over with, however, I cannot even recognize the writer that Yurina has helped me become. She opened so many new ways for thinking and writing for me, that I am forever grateful to her. I feel bad for other students who have professors that do not care as much about the course and their students. If you want/need to improve your writing, take Yurina's class. She will push and challenge you, but it will be worth it in the end. The consensus in our class is that she is also a very fair grader, but she can literally point out BS in any single paragraph, so as long as you put hard work in, she will notice, appreciate it and reward you. She is also a genuinely nice person and very approachable. University Writing was such a joy with her. Our entire class became very close and it was definitely one of my favorite classes that semester. Also, I think Columbia should hire Yurina as a full-time professor. She is brilliant, kind, hardworking and has a HUGE impact on her students.

Dec 2013

As the posts below suggest Vrinda is a great teacher except she keeps telling the class that she will finish grading our papers by a certain date and we never get it back on the date she declares. It is very stressful waiting for our grades to be released on a certain day and then it does not happen. It's been like this for every single assignment this semester. I don't know why she does this may be she just should not tell the class her personal goal for when she hopes to finish grading and surprise us when shes done.

Nov 2013

ENGL F1010 (University Writing for GS) We call her "Shredder" Professor Schrader will keep you on your toes and challenge you to back up what you write/say in class. You cannot spout big-worder nonsense and expect her not to call you on it. She wants clear thinking and writing. She is not easy, but it isn't an easy class. She does, however make you a better writer and thinker, which is the point of this class. If you want to be pushed into improving, take a writing class with her. If you're a wallflower and want to be safe in your bubble of superiority, don't. I would take another class with her, but then, I'm here to learn and don't care if it's "hard".

May 2013

Matt is amazing! He is extremely laid back and is a wonderful instructor. His exercises are extremely clear on not only the overall goal, but what is expected of you. Yes, I know its UW and the class IS a pain in the ass, BUT Matt makes the class extremely enjoyable and fun as well! He is extremely positive and even if a person is struggling, he will find the strengths of that person despite their struggles. His feedback both in the mandatory conference after the exploratory draft and the written feedback after the formal draft is extremely detailed and helpful. He answered email questions very promptly and is very dedicated in seeing his students succeed. Be sure to not gaff off the exercises, listen to Matt's comments and feedback, and you will do fine.

May 2013

I would like to echo the sentiments of the previous reviewer for Selby's F1010 section (UW section for General Studies students only). Having compared notes with many classmates, students registered for Selby's UW section need to be prepared to do a substantial amount of "Writing Exercise" (WE) work, much more so than the average UW course load. Selby assigns WEs for almost every class; they are meticulously outlined/instructed and usually comprise of several parts. The average WE will ask students to produce ~500 words. On occasion, a 500 word WE is manageable but when you are assigned WEs every class, they will become tedious. However, it should be noted that Selby does not assign her signature WEs for the sake of burdening students with excessive written work. Her WEs are thoughtfully crafted and serve direct purpose to the essay progression at hand. As the previous reviewer mentioned, if you have a passion for written comprehension/English & Comparative Lit, Selby is a well qualified UW instructor and you will learn from her. Conversely, if you just want to get through this core class and not feel like you are dedicating a disproportionate amount of time striving for an A, try and avoid taking UW with Selby. Additionally, future UW students should take note that Selby has an artistic/dance-related background, and she does have an inkling towards artistically charged lecturing style and reading material. If the performing arts is not your thing, again, my suggestion will be to register for another UW section. Lastly, while this should not in anyway detract from the integrity of Selby's instruction and qualification as a UW teacher, she at times dresses in a manner that may not be well appreciated. Within the classroom setting, and as a more conservative student/person, I was at times quite bothered by her choice of classroom wear. In sum, if you are the kind of student looking for a challenge or has a general appreciation/interest for the written language, you will appreciate Selby's dedication. Otherwise, in the critical interest of maintaining a reasonable course load/work schedule, try and avoid taking Selby's UW section.

Jan 2013

Highly recommend Professor Vrinda Condillac for UW. She chooses very interesting readings, is flexible in her schedule, is very approachable/reasonable, and makes great effort to give helpful feedback to writing assignments. Although writing assignments can be tedious, they allow yourself to brainstorm your topics for each essay paper. It can be time consuming, but the UW writing curriculum of 4 essays per semester requires it be so. Professor Vrinda offers very creative ideas and helpful advice regarding how to pursue essay topics and methods to research. She is also very informed on the current issues. At times, she may be very rigid about your topic if she does not understand what you are trying to write about; however, if you communicate your ideas well to her, she will be extremely resourceful. Her grading is very fair, at times lenient as long as you are making great efforts. She requires the topic to be very clear and your arguments to follow consistently with the topics that are relevant. Choose your topics wisely and ask yourself what you are really writing about, and you will benefit from the rigorous process.

Apr 2012

The last review is what EVERY student should read before taking Winslow's class. He is useless when it comes to writing!!!! He is always late returning the drafts, and chooses the most horrible topics for the essays. Yes, Winslow does give Bs, I suspect his grading is based on his impression of you. I was never interested in his personality or his wardrobe-- I guess some students have different priorities. Please, don't take his class!!! It is a total waist of time!

Jan 2012

Sue is a fantastic UW professor who really cares about her students growing. She's the head of the writing center, and associate director of the undergraduate writing program. UW is her passion, and it shows. If you lucked into Sue in the lottery, breathe a sigh of relief. She's a great professor. If you're deciding who to take, I definitely recommend Sue as long as you're willing to put in some effort. She's very responsive to student feedback. Based on comments from students in the semester those culpa reviews below are from she trimmed way back on the reading for our class. I imagine she may give the next class slightly more reading, since we could certainly have handled it. The actual progressions can be frustrating and difficult for everyone. We were experimenting with some new assignments, which I think was interesting for both us and Sue. She did a pretty good job of helping guide us to complex arguments and great prose. She doesn't provide much feedback on grammar, citation formatting, etc. Hopefully you're already excellent at the basics when you came to Columbia. Keep up with your drafts, and get them to her on time. Her feedback is incredibly valuable. Go in to see her at least once every progression, but more often and you'll do better and be a better writer. You'd be an idiot not to meet with her frequently. Bring pie to class! tl;dr: She's a fantastic UW experience, enjoy.

Jan 2012

Professor Rodney was hands down one of the best English teachers I have ever had. Even after having completed writing and comparative literature courses I had to take his course at Columbia because it is a requirement for everyone. Surprisingly, Professor Rodney successfully transformed what is usually mundane subject into a class that I looked forward to each time. The readings she chose for the course were not only interesting but also thought-provoking, and we were able to have some great class discussions around them. All in all, I would highly recommend her.

Jan 2012

In a nutshell, Jessica Pishko is a graduate student who is in it for the tuition benefit, does not have your learning in mind, and it shows. She is very unclear about what she wants on your paper and assumes that you know everything beforehand so thorough explanations do not exist in this course.You can throw your syllabus out the window, because at the end of the semester she will come up with new ( and highly unethical ) reasons to bring down your grade and will conveniently announce this by the end of class. The course is an easy "B", but "A" material demands a paper of "publishable" quality that you will never achieve ( my classmate who received a B+ had a parent who was a journalist ) because her idea of a good paper deviates far from the norm. For a person who does not even write well herself ( google her name ), I find it entertaining that she is such a strict grader. Despite all of this this, the reading material was thought provoking and opened me to reading more essays from prominent writers.

Dec 2011

Professor Winslow is a nice guy, and I can't say I paid much attention to his wardrobe, but those two points seem rather irrelevant when judging his abilities as an instructor. His teaching style, however, was flawed. He would often state on drafts that things weren't clear or that he was a bit confused about the thesis, but he would never elaborate beyond that. He would tell you that something is wrong, but never show you how to fix it or how it could be fixed. The "peer review workshops" were not necessary for the class. My classmates had great and insightful things to say, but we spent far too much time doing it, and at the end of the day they weren't the ones grading my paper; he was. He would only leave four or five comments on the paper, making vague critiques at the end (see above) and we were left to fend for ourselves. The "revision workshops" were an absolute joke. Bringing in a cookie-cutter paragraph template and telling us to use it wasn't helpful. Furthermore, handouts about grammar, punctuation marks, "transitions" and the like were not the most effective use of our time. Speaking of time, Professor Winslow was almost always late in handing back our papers and drafts. It got to the point where we simply ran out of time at the end of the semester, and the final "reflection essay" had to be trimmed. All in all, I can't say I was thrilled with Professor Winslow. He's a nice guy, but I barely learned anything in his class. He wasn't helpful in his critiques, nor were his workshops of much use. Last but not least a comment on grades. Professor Winslow believes a B is a good grade. Grades tend to fall in the B range, with not many Cs and not many As.

Dec 2011

Liza is an amazing professor who truly cares about the success and confidence of her students. Writing can be a very intimidating process, but Liza removes the insecurities and allows for the student to truly shine through. The multiple drafts at first seemed troublesome, when in actuality, it led to some of the best pieces I have yet to compose. Her feedback is insightful and definitely helped me in reworking my papers. I could not agree more with the previous posts that stated if you see you have Prof. Monroy, you are in luck! That is certainly true. Regarding the extensions, I never had to utilize this, but I agree that if need be, she would accommodate you within reason, but she definitely would not allow you to take advantage--a quality that leads me to respect her even more. Wonderful professor, intelligent, accomplished, and gracious.