course
Media and U.S. Politics

Dec 2018

Professor Nacos is a sweetheart. Her discussions are a little disorganized (she often will lecture at random points and we ended up 1 class behind mid-semester), but the topics are really interesting and she makes some savage comments that are simultaneously totally innocuous. Many people don't do the reading which meant we spent more time on current events than the slated material (although the material is very topical, so that worked out fairly well). As with many poli sci seminars, the quality of the discussion depends on the students in the class. Where Prof. Nacos really shines is her attention to your research. Each class she passes around a sign-up sheet for office hours. While going to office hours is not a stated expectation, I get the sense that if you go fairly regularly (every 2-3 weeks) it will seriously boost your grade. This is mostly because Prof. Nacos has very specific expectations for the paper which likely vary by paper topic and will not be expressed in class. I was initially frustrated because she vetoed my first paper topic and heavily tweaked the one that became my final topic. However, she was really helpful in making the paper work. She suggested articles to read (and even pages to check in our course readings), ways to organize and reference my results etc. At her suggestion, she reviewed a draft of my paper and gave extensive suggestions. This might seem like a lot of work in advance, but turning a first draft in 3 weeks before the end of the semester is not much harder than turning it in on the last day. Like the reviewer below, my impression is that not turning in a draft could result in a shockingly bad grade, but if you do turn in a draft you'll probably end up happy not just with your grade but the research you produce.