professor
Kanika Agrawal

Dec 2007

Whatever you do, do not take Kanika's class. She is a nice person and extremely intelligent, however, this class will make you want to drop out of school. I got a good grade in this course, but it accounted for at least 3/4 of all the work I did for all of my courses this semester. In comparing what she required of our class with what was required of friends in other classes, I was shocked. She even told our class in the first couple of weeks that she did not give A's. I would have found these requirements understandable if they had helped me really become a better writer, but I think the only beneficial result of these absurd expectations was just that papers I had to write for other classes seemed easy in comparison to what Kanika had us write. University Writing is enough of a pain to deal with, do not compound the difficulty by taking the class with Kanika.

Dec 2007

Kanika is approachable, friendly, and very understanding. She treats her students with respect and works hard to meet the needs of each of her students. She seems to enjoy getting to know you and she makes herself available in a ton of one on one meetings. She throws little parties after essays are due which were always fun for relaxing and talking about things other than writing. She may leave you frusterated with your own writing and the course itself is frusterating but it is part of the learning process. Very fair grader but put the effort in. She is good at spotting bs so dont bs her.

Mar 2007

The previous review should be taken with a grain of salt. University Writing as a class is not great and I think much of the frustration with Kanika came from a general frustration with the class. That being said I think Kanika was an excellent instructor, especially for her first semester of UW. At first I did not enjoy the class or her style of teaching but in the end I realized that I was more upset about the class as a whole and that Kanika really helped me improve my writing, which is the goal of the course. The workload is the same as any UW course, all of my friends in other UW classes had the same complaints about the workloads or disappointing grades. She is a strict grader, which many of the UW teachers are, so that should not be a surprise to anyone. I think another reason why people had so many problems with her was because it was the first time that many students, myself included, had had their writing critique. However, she is a very fair grader (if you write a paper an hour before its due, don't expect to get an A) and will meet with you to talk about any problems you have. She was always available to discuss my paper and any drafts or ideas I had, allowing me extra time to work on extra drafts if needed. This was especially admirable because she was dealing with a few personal health issues, which only speaks more to her dedication to her students. You have to work hard in her course, just as you have to in any UW class. I had a very low grade on my first paper but was able to pull my grade up to an A- because of Kanika's help. Just meet with her! If you are not a jerk to her, she will be nice to you. What matters most is if she knows that you are trying and if you meet with her a few times your papers will not only improve but you will get the extra 1/3 of a letter grade boost at the end. If you are a jerk and constantly talk about how you don't like her, then you can't really expect to get too much from her or the course.

Jan 2007

I thought Kanika was a good teacher. I happened to have her for her first term teaching and her inexperience did show at the beginning of the semester, but she is a great writer and always had very helpful advice. I feel I definitely improved as a writer after taking her course. My only complaints are 1. She massacred my print quota for no good reason, 2. a few of her lectures were inane, such as the first in which spent 20 minutes listing different types of lenses, and 3. many of her day to day written assignments were a waste of time. Survival tips: don't print anything and just say you forgot and bring a computer to class so you can both access your papers online and mess around when bored. Also, none of the day to day assignments are graded - if it's not going to help your essay, don't spend more than 10 minutes on it. That said, try to take her advice, as harsh and pointless as it may seem at times - she knows what she's talking about. If you find some of her advice unnessesary, argue with her and you'll either convince her you're right or realize that she has a point.

Jan 2007

Kanika will challenge you to become a better writer. Keep in mind her class is not easy but it WILL make you a better writer. She is very critical of your writing and not an easy grader, but if you take her comments to heart and work hard you will become a better writer. She was a bit disorganized at times and it took a while to get things back but in the end she was a good teacher....In short her class is not fun, but worth it. Stick it out and you'll gain something...

Jan 2007

I have to disagree with the previous review. Kanika was an excellent teacher who always made the time to meet with myself repeatedly, regardless of serious illness she was facing. I must have met with Kanika about one of my essays 10 times before I handed in and then another 2 times about re-writing it. She was very much a fair grader but she was brutally honest as well. She was always quick to respond to e-mails. When I worked with Kanika one on one, she was a fabulous instructor who helped me explore ideas and clarified many problems in my writing that I had not seen before. I will agree that it did take a long time for her to grade our work and I will say that some of the ideas for the essays were a little hazy but I believe that that had more to do with the class itself (Lens essay anyone?) than Kanika's teaching abilities. To be honest, most students who enter University Writing are awful writers, regardless of what their high school teachers have told them. I think a lot of the negativity towards the class and the teacher in particular stem from this - people having to reassess their assumptions about their own writing. I understand the negative feelings and must admit that I did not like the class until the last two weeks when I saw a genuine improvement in my writing. Kanika actually helped me quite a bit and I will be seeking her help at the Writing Center from now on!

Jan 2007

Overall, I enjoyed my UWriting class with Kanika this semester. While she did tend to take awhile handing back assignments, she generally was a good teacher. All of the comments she offered on my papers were helpful, and the required meetings with her were particularily useful. Classes were never too boring, as long as you came prepared and paid attention. My only problem with Kanika was her grading, which seemed much harsher than that of other UWriting instructors.

Dec 2006

Kanika is a pretty disappointing teacher. Her classes are boring. She has a tendency to talk and talk without really seeming to say anything. Her homework load is similar to that of other teachers, though she takes so long to hand back assignments that they often start to pile up. A month or so into the course she stopped grading and handing back our writing exercises when she fell behind in grading. Often we would turn in a draft of an essay, and the next draft would be due before she even had time to give comments on the first. Even when we did get comments back, I thought they were vague and unhelpful. The course was graded very harshly, and the average grade was a fair amount lower than in other sections.