Writing Program Course Evaluation
Instructor: Derek Mueller Course & Section: WRT105: Analysis, Argument and Academic Writing
1. What is the most significant thing you learned about writing or about yourself as a writer in this course?
- I learned that although it can seem a chore it can still be fun
and I can still be me. I can be honest and not just simply write
what was expected. I calso learned (well actually still learning)
to let go of all ambiguity, it only hinders.
- Get out of the box. You don't have to stick to the 5 paragraph
essay form taught in high school
- I still have a lot of things to learn and my writing definately
needs to develop more.
- I learned to trust myself. I began this course with very little
confidence in my writing and have found that just by writing as I
would speak that I am much better than I had thought. Derrick gave
me the support & belief.
- That it's okay to step outside the thinking box. To try tackling
topics you feel strongly about.
- Sometimes it is beneficial to edit/remove certain parts of a paper
to strengthen it.
- The most significant thing I've learned in WRT105 is that you don't
have to stick to a mold. Throughout my years of writing I've stuck
to a specific style and I've learned it was always good to try new
styles of writing.
2. Comment on how writing was useful in addressing issues of diversity
and difference across local and/or global communities. Please be specific
in referencing assignments, exercises, heuristics, etc.
- Well when you address diversity on a local or global level you
are in for a challenge but it helped free my judgemental side. Meaning
for me not to be so quick to comment on what I don't understand.
- The spatial analysis assignment was a great learning tool for addressing
local issues, etc. It was my greatest experience in the actual writing
because I learned new ways to evaluate, analyze, etc., Everything
was looked at at new angles.
- All of our projects addressed arguing about issues in today's society
or addressing them.
- I really enjoyed the second writing assignment. It made me take
a stand in something I believed in & allowed me to put into words
my thoughts and feelings.
- The newly learned skills and web resources that were taught are
very informative. Learning how to site online resources and the MLA
- The assignment #1 where we saw that one can help identify diversity/difference
acting locally while keeping a global perspective.
- The class was wonderful for opening us up to the different types
of writing based on viewpoints and explanations. Especially in project
3 when we had to argue our point. Project one was also had us expand
on how people view things differently.
3. Comment on the role of the readings in the course: How did your
reading practices change or evolve across the semester? What ideas,
perspectives, arguments did the readings invite you to engage with?
- Just get it done! You have to read it so just read it. That's how
they evolved. Many ideas came and I like to argue so, it opened up
some "new stuff in me."
- Although I did not enjoy everything that was assigned for reading,
I learned hot to "skim" or "Read just enough" to get an understanding
of the text and also give the reading a chance.
- The readings engaged me to look at arguments and arguing in a different
- At first I did not like the readings. I thought them boring and
nonargumental. Derrick showed me the arguments within the written
word. I think that this has helped me w/ my writing.
- I've learned to start taking notes, jotting down things that pop
out at me and slowly starting to highlight passages so I can find
them quickly when flipping through the book. All different perspectives
and arguments. Derek always listens to and considers each and every
argument and perspective that is thrown at him.
- The readings aided in lending material and perspective to the great
- Some readings were very bland and hard to get into. Some were very
enjoyable. This semester I found myself jumping around in the text
rather than reading it straight through. "Writing Analytically" was
a wonderful writing motivator. The one thing all the pieces had in
common is that every writer could grasp your attention until you
believed what they were writing about.
4. What role did research play in your writing process or your ability
to understand new topics and ideas? Provide a few specific examples
of the research you undertook this semester.
- Derek taught us how to use the internet and academic sources in
my writing process. It wasn't always easy but he made his self available
to me when I needed assistance.
- This is the most research that I've done not that it was so much
during the course but because there was so much info out there that
I was unaware of.
- Research was a big role in the semester from Project I researching
about claims in Paul Farmer's book to Project III researching a subject
we're arguing about.
- A bit of research this semester was taking a harder look at topics
I felt strongly about. With my New Orleans project & my water
project I looked at the government side harder than I had before.
- Research played a very powerful role. The final project needed
a lot of research. Knowing how many search engines that are out there
and knowing keywords to choose rom to narrow that search has helped
a lot this semester with writing.
- Research provided perspectives that often differed from what I
originally thought. Research was also instrumental in supporting
my argument in assignment #3.
- The thing I liked about having Derek as an instructor is that he
believes in the internet as being a resource. Many teachers like
to stick to print research. Derek understands the internet is a wonderful
tool for research.
5. What was challenging about this course? Please explain.
- Actually sitting down and putting it all together. Becoming disciplined
enough to follow through on what I said I was going to do. I realized
that I have time management issues that need to be addressed in order
for me to be successful in my academic career.
- Actually accepting the fact that I would write on this level! Citing
was the most difficult because it was fairly new to me and required
such grave detail.
- The audio visual for Project III was something I just couldn't
- The time constraints were a great challenge to me. I did not think
I would be able to complete the given assignments. Derrick has great
patience & took the time with us individually to show us our strengths
& weaknesses. For me, I learned time management.
- Trying to find topics that suited the essay requirements. I don't
tune into the news or other social happenings so I find it hard to
choose just one topic. I often end up changing a essay topic shortly
before it's due.
- Each of the three assignments seemed to not only build upon each
other, but increase in difficulty.
- I'm a person that likes specific details so that I can just follow
them precisely. This course was a lot broader, allowing more thought.
We had to make the pinpoint ourselves, which was difficult for myself.
6. Would you describe your instructor as:
|a. Knowledgeable about
|b. Available outside of class
|c.. Prepared for class
|d. Skilled at facilitating classroom
|e. Open to student views
|f. Enthusiastic about classroom assignments
|g. Intellectually challenging
Please provide one or two examples to illustrate your comments above.
- I definitely felt challenged to step it up, regarding my writing.
I thought I knew alot but I have gained a great deal from Derek.
Also, I can tell he is excited about writing, not just knowledgeable.
This helped me. I could tell he cared if I did well or bad.
- Derek was always prepared with assignments and discussion but we
weren't always locked into "what was planned." We were able to discuss
topics freely and in depth even if it wasn't on the agenda.
- Derrick's computer knowledge & web site were a great help to me.
Whenever I needed to know something about class I just used his web
site. Derrick was very interested in our opinion as a whole & individually.
He was open to what we thought about his choices & allowed us to
participate in making choices for the class.
- F. Derek is extremely enthusiastic about our assignments. He's
more than willing to try to accomodate for us. He urges us on when
we just don't know what to do next. G. He always has an answer and
if he doesn't he's not afraid to say so an almost always has the
answer the next class.
- B. Mr. Mueller was always willing to meet/answer any questions
about reading and assignment content during all three assignments.
D. Mr. Mueller was always open to the very diverse student views
while steering conversation/debate back towards the topic(s).
- For availability outside of class, Derek clearly stated anytime
after 8 a.m. and before 9 p.m., as long as he didn't have a class,
he was available either in a classroom setting or more relaxed at
a Starbucks. As for openness to student views, a great majority of
his class was based on student views.
7. Comment on the instructor's feedback on your writing. Was it helpful?
- Well, I can honestly say "ouch" to alot of the comments, but again
I needed the honesty to bring out the areas of my writing that I
was clack in or just didn't know what I was doing. I welcomed his
comments and asked questions when necessary.
- Derek's comments were always helpful negative or positive. The
comments that lead toward me improving an essay weren't given in
a demeaning tone always advisable.
- It was timely and constructive.
- Derrick's feedback was very timely & thorough. You could tell that
he cared about how we grew in his class.
- Derek is very efficient on giving feedback. If he says that he'll
get it back to us by a certain date he's almost always early. I find
his feedback very helpful, it's an outside view on something that's
just starting to take form. It helps to make it more substantial.
It helps me to focus on what I need to focus on.
- Comments were always timely and informative.
- He always had it back next class. Although length, it was a full
layout on what your strong and weak parts were, it ended up allowing
me to know exactly what I needed to work on.
8. Would you recommend any changes to this course? Please explain.
- Actually yes. If there is a required reading over the summer, I
would recommend UC [University College] make sure ALL of the students
get the materials to make it fair. I was a bit overwhelmed at the
beginning due to now having a book like others did.
- Add a class specifically for web research! (there are so many sights
to choose from)
- No the course syllabus was great.
- I would not recommend any changes.
- No, I wouldn't recommend any changes.
- No-This was by far my favorite course this semester and my most
enjoyable class taken in college so far. Derek was an exceptional
instructor, we had a great class--you couldn't have asked for a better
9. Use the space below for any additional comments about the instructor
or the course.
- I really enjoyed Derek as a person. He is honest and fair and that
is why I could take it when a comment wasn't necessarily what I wanted
to hear. Because I knew if I listened, it can only make me better.
I really enjoyed project 2 regarding spatial analysis!
- I really enjoyed this course and the way it was taught and I am
looking forward to hopefully take another course taught by Derek.
- He is a great instructor maybe too (re)lax for the classroom. Some
students need the teacher to be a little firm in order to stay on
the ball (ie, me) :)
- I surprised myself that I was able to complete the assignment portfolios.
He believed in all of us individually and as a group.
- Derek is an exceptional teacher. He listens to his students and
even if they throw something wild at him he still tries to understand
why they were thinking that. He's very flexible with his teaching
schedule. He leaves enough time in class so if the class goes off
into another direction than he had previously thought of then he
doesn't waste any time because he had prepared those few extra minutes
- Many college instructors are experts in their fields of study but
are very poor at conveying their knowledge. Derek Mueller combines
both an excellent base of knowledge and the compassion and ability
to teach it. Thank you so much for having instructors like him in
- Again, this has to be the best course I've taken. Nonetheless,
the only class I actually looked forward to. D. Mueller did wonderfully
as an instructor and I'm glad I got to experience it.