Matthew Johnston

Dec 2020

Matthew is a fantastic instructor for University Writing. I took his section of UW remotely during Fall 2020 and he was incredibly understanding about the challenges and difficulties of starting college online. The readings in his section are mostly interesting and he takes a great approach to stimulate discussions in class. He is responsive to emails and makes time to set up calls/zoom sessions for office hour 'visits' outside of the scheduled sessions. He is flexible with deadlines and very generous with extensions, especially if you ask in advance! Based on my visits to the Writing Center and anecdotal evidence I heard from others in UW, he is much more generous with his critiques and grading in general. I appreciated that he focused more on big picture parts and developing ideas over tedious minutia such as pointing out grammatical pet-peeves or strictly adhering to MLA formats. His critiques and comments were constructive and clear and I always felt that I understood what he expected of my draft in the next step of the writing process. There was never anything that came out of left field, especially when considering grading on the final drafts. He was expedient with returning drafts back with liberal amounts of comments. However, I do think he could have pushed us a little further in sharpening our writing skills throughout this semester. UW is, unfortunately, an unavoidable part of the Core but Matthew makes the class mostly pain-free and I definitely did learn a lot from him. Highly recommend his section!