Bates, Brian  

English

3.52/4.00

33 evaluations


ENGL 134


Freshman
A
General Ed
Nov 2015
This guy rocks--take him for ENGL 134! There are 4 main essays, just like ALL english 134 classes. He helps you through the process of writing super well by providing breakdown workshops in class of all parts of the essays. He makes it known that he is available whenever you need--go to his office hours!!!! I literally think he gave me a better essay grade because I visited him for like 5 minutes. He's a pretty gracious grader on essays and best part: HE ALLOWS REVISIONS on all essays; due one week later. He's a homiiiieee


Freshman
A
General Ed
Dec 2015
I was absolutely satisfied with Dr. Bates. He doesn't have a serious demeanor in class, and with his attendance requirements and classmate discussions, his class kind of felt like high school again. However it's clear he realizes most of his students take his class only because they have to, so he's very clear with how he wants the essays written, and he is always willing to help with your writing when you are struggling. I wouldn't call it a hard class by any stretch, but just make sure you take good notes, structure the essays like his rubrics say, then you should be good. If you have a choice between teachers, I'd say take his class.


Freshman
A
General Ed
Jan 2016
Amazing professor. It's Bates' first year at Poly and he is already killing it. Most engaging and humorous professor I've had so far. Bates greatly values student input and discussion among students. It's not some boring class where you the professor talks for 50 minutes straight and walks out. You'll likely get a chance to meet and work with everyone in the class at some point in the quarter. And while he does lecture of course, he makes sure to stop and ask for feedback. Also he has a great sense of humor, he's not going to come down on you like a nuclear bomb if you say something as a joke every now and then. He'll likely laugh and fire something back and you. Overall he is a really nice guy who wants your writing skills to improve. And if you do the work, it's an easy A and you will get better at writing


Freshman
B
General Ed
Feb 2016
DR. Brain Bates is a great man and a great professor. The few times I have gone into office hours he was extremely helpful and really takes the time to help you with your paper. Great professor, gives you chance to re-write your essays and always an entertaining class.


Freshman
A
Required (Support)
Jun 2016
Professor Bates was a really good English teacher. Everything he presented and discussed in class was very clear and made sense. The homework in this class primarily consisted of working on essays and reading assigned essays. The readings in this class could be long and there was always some discussion about them during the next class so I always at least skimmed them. He wanted us to print them all out which wasn't really necessary every time but sometimes it was, which was annoying because I wasted a lot of ink on this man's class. There were no tests or quizzes, but there were essays. He's not the easiest grader and I'm not the best writer, but I found that getting a high B or low A on essays only required understanding what makes for good analysis and figuring out a good structure for your paper. Honestly, most of my rough drafts were written a couple hours before class and my final product would be a slightly touched up version of the rough draft. If you understand how to successfully fulfill the requirements on the rubric, then you should have no trouble with this class. If you are not a good writer, then you may struggle a bit. Luckily, he allowed us to fix our essays after they were graded for more points. All you had to do was go to his office hours and see what else he wanted out of your paper. I found that when I did go to his office hours, he explicitly stated what would make the paper better so all I had to do to get A's on my paper was do exactly as he said. There was a lot of peer review in this class which can be good if you are assigned a good partner, but it can be useless if your partner is not a good writer. Overall, just pay attention to his requirements and you should be fine.


Freshman
B
General Ed
Nov 2016
He was an awesome English professor- and I typically that essay writing. He guided us through each essay step by step and made it very easy to keep on top of your work. His class activities and lectures all made sense in leading up to completing the essay, so I felt confident that I had received plenty of peer reviews and practice writings by the time I turned in my final paper. I don't think I fully appreciated Dr.Bates until I took my next English class with a professor whose in class lectures and activities in no way benefited our papers. I would definitely take another class from him- he's super approachable and has a great sense of humor in addition to being a great teacher!


Sophomore
N/A
General Ed
Dec 2016
Brian doesn't do revisions anymore, which seems to have screwed me over. Brian is a really hard grader, despite me working extremely hard and going in to office hours. Grade consists of basically 3 essays, electronic postings, and participation. You can only miss up to 2 classes without him taking points off - and after that, he starts marking your grade down. Hard class, hard grader. Why take him?


Freshman
A
General Ed
Jan 2017
Professor Bates is an amazing teacher, one of the best that I've had. He makes his class interesting, yet easy to succeed in because he tells you exactly what he expects from you. I sincerely enjoyed going to his class.


Freshman
B
General Ed
Jan 2017
Best English teacher I've had in a while


Freshman
B
General Ed
Mar 2017
BEST TEACHER AT CAL POLY and I typically hate English class! He's an amazing teacher who explains everything very well so you know what he expects out of you!!! Go to office hours! He genuinely wants to help you become a better writer and wants you to do well in his class. He will give as many A's as deserved! I only got a B because I didn't put a lot of effort into my last essay due to really hard other classes, but it's not hard to do well in his class. Attendance is required but it's never boring and you become friends with everyone in the class because he engaged with us and had us talk to each other. Bates makes lots of dad jokes and is just an amazing person overall! There's a reason he has so many people on his waitlist... because he's worth waiting for!!! TAKE HIS CLASS!!!!!!!!


Freshman
B
General Ed
Jun 2017
AMAZING PROFESSOR!!! He really wants you to do well in his class, so put in the effort. Go to office hours!!! He's a great professor and person in general (he has 2 adorable kids and a new puppy!) so take the time to get the help you need in office hours! Take him for 134 and any other classes, he's great! If I put in more effort and didn't write the essays the day before they were due I would have gotten an A! Three essays and attendance is mandatory but he's funny and nice so it's not bad having to go to class!!


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Mar 2019
English was never my best subject in school so I was a bit nervous to take this class. The class consisted of three essays and I worked very hard to make sure I wrote quality essays that deserved good grades. I went to his office hours, writing tutors, and spent days on each of my essays. I ended up averaging an A between the grades of my three papers and I was ecstatic. I also like to think of myself as a dedicated student and attended every single class except for one (which I let him know of a week in advance and I had a very solid excuse for missing). When I checked my final grade for the quarter, I was disappointed to see that I received a low grade on my participation which had dropped me to a B in the class. I was crushed because I worked so hard on all of my essays and attended nearly every single class. Being as disappointed as I was, I sent Professor Bates a kindly worded email asking why my participation grade was so low and explaining to him how much I valued this class. He didn't reply for a week so I sent a follow up email to see if he had received my original email, in which he replied to within 10 minutes. In the email, he said that he looked over my participation grade again and decided to DROP IT EVEN FURTHER. I was so upset and lost all respect for a teacher that I once looked up to. I enjoyed the class throughout the quarter and although I may have not raised my hand for every question (I tend to be pretty introverted) I participated every day within our groups and taking notes throughout class. My advice is to not take this class unless you are confident you can get a perfect participation grade which goes beyond showing up to class everyday.

ENGL 145


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Nov 2015
Brian Bates is a new professor here at Cal Poly. This guy really is very brilliant and certainly has an expansive knowledge of a wide variety of literature. He does an incredible job of keeping what could be a boring class quite engaging. This guy's passion for the subject unfortunately shines through in its very heavy workload for an ENGL 145 class. I ended up spending just as much time doing work for this class as I did for Physics 141, a supposedly much more challenging class. He is an extremely tough grader and you should expect to spend around 10 hours on each essay he assigns, of which there are three. His class is not for the procrastinator. The bottom line is, this man is aware of his brilliance and his ego is massive so you should prepare to do some serious ass kissing on top of a work load that is far too rigorous for this class. I would recommend taking it if you have a fiery passion for english, if not take somebody easier.


Freshman
B
General Ed
Dec 2015
This class has a medium amount of reading, and a lot of class participation. You will be required to go to class everyday, which I'm usually never a fan of but it's definitely a bearable, if not fun class. He's a cool guy and makes jokes to keep things interesting and there's usually a good class discussion everyday. It's clear what you'll be graded on and he gives you the chance to do revisions on your essays for full points back which is awesome.


Sophomore
A
General Ed
Dec 2015
Overall great professor and funny person. Dr. Bates asked a lot from his students but was always willing to go over each of the essays and let's you revise the first two essays. His class won't be an easy A but if you go to office hours, participate in class discussions, and write in your class notebook then you'll definitely pass with a great grade!


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Feb 2016
One of the best English professors I've ever had. Very cool guy. He has realistic expectations and gives a decent amount of work. Fair grading for all the assigned essays. He allows revisions on each essay except for the last one so there're always opportunities to get more points! I had him for a 6-8pm time slot and he always made class engaging and interesting. HIGHLY RECOMMEND TAKING HIM! You won't regret it!


Freshman
B
General Ed
Mar 2016
This teacher is honestly the greatest teacher ever. He taught the class in an organized fashion to prepare you for each upcoming essays and gives you the tools to use as well. while the journal taking may seem futile, it actually helps outline the general idea for the day and gives you an easy way to participate in the class and get your points in. We only wrote three essay with the research paper being the hardest but not anything too difficult for he gave us time to work on it in class and allow fellow students peer review your rough draft. Also for the final it is just a presentation of your satire project. This teach is a genius with a unique sense of humor and always there to help his students. He is a fair grader and allows ample opportunity to revise your essay if you do not like the grade you got on it. I only got my grade in the class because I was too lazy to revise my essays.


Freshman
A
Required (Support)
Mar 2016
I'm an English major, so I was itching to take a relevant class. Brian did not disappoint. Just by the way of his diction you could tell he enjoyed the subject. He was witty, sincere, and encouraging, which helped foster in-depth class discussions. The class itself is straightforward, and Brian presents it clearly and thoroughly in the syllabus. Brian breaks the class into thirds, corresponding with three essays: stylistic analysis, argumentation, and satire. The first two papers can be revised for an averaged grade. The last is accompanied by a short presentation. The lectures parallel the writing process, and he strongly encourages students to discuss their paper with him during office hours. Brian also expects you to take notes everyday, and he will check notebooks during the peer-review days in class. The textbook is mandatory, and two missed class days are allowed before penalties. That basically sums it up. I would recommend this class. If I were to take it again, I wouldn't procrastinate as much because I could have enjoyed the essays more, and I would definitely go to office hours for help fleshing out essay ideas.


Freshman
A
General Ed
Jun 2016
Three words that come to mind when I think about Professor Bates are: brilliant, sophisticated, and caring. Some people complain that he's a tough grader, but I believed he was fair. I definitely received the grades that I earned. As long as you don't procrastinate on essays and work with him, I believe you'll be just fine. He's one of those professors that genuinely is concerned with the needs of individual students. Super helpful during office hours; I loved bouncing ideas back and forth with him. We talked about larger issues at hand in the world during our discussions, which I really enjoyed. One of the most thought-provoking classes I've taken, and that surprised me because I didn't expect to enjoy an English class so much. The guy literally wrote me a letter of recommendation with less than 24 hours notice when he had legit had 5 piles of essays to grade and get back to students. When I thanked him, he told me that he loves to take the opportunity to help another person whenever he can. That's something I think I will always try to carry on and live by from now on. He's one of the most authentic people I have met in general. One of the most intelligent people I've come across too. He carries himself humbly and kindly and really is in touch with the needs of students. He's always looking for feedback to improve his course. Also, I see him at the Rec center all the time and he puts up mad weight...very impressive. He always would stop and talk to me at the gym too; he's truly one of the most personable professors I've had. Truly just a good person. 10/10 recommendation.


Freshman
B
General Ed
Feb 2017
Great guy, extremely nice and intelligent. Uses all different types of resources to make class interesting, whether it's watching Colbert, reading books, whatever. It's an easy class.


Freshman
A
General Ed
Mar 2017
Writing has always been something I look forward to, especially when presented with the opportunity to challenge myself. This quarter, I took the Honors 145 class with Bates and definitely was not disappointed. He is a brilliant professor who cares about his students and wants to push their writing to the limits, forcing them to reach into the deepest corners of their minds, collaborate with others, and develop every aspect of their writing. I have learned so much from him both as a writer and a person, and sincerely hope that I have the opportunity to take another class with him. If you have the same opportunity, absolutely take him as a professor. You won't regret it a bit.


Freshman
A
General Ed
Apr 2017
I would highly recommend taking Bates for 145. He's a really cool guy that keeps lectures super engaging and interesting with video clips and cool articles. The class is based on 3 major essays, and he grades pretty hard but as long as you go to office hours and talk with him throughout the process, you'll be fine. He presents material very well and clearly establishes what is required with very thorough rubrics. You can really tell that Bates genuinely wants his students to learn and do well, which unfortunately cannot be said for all professors. Take Bates!


Freshman
B
General Ed
Jul 2017
Bates is amazing. Hands down. He genuinely cares about his students and the subject matter, and class was never boring. His class isn't easy, but he is more than willing to work with students in office hours. He is a genuinely good guy, and I would take his class again if that was an option. Definitely take his class if you can, he's the best for 145.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Oct 2018
The best teacher I have had thus far. I love Professor Bates, and I can't recommend him enough to anyone considering taking one of his classes!


Freshman
A
General Ed
Nov 2018
Overall, Bates is a great professor. He's lively, active, and overall, funny. What could have very easily been a boring class is made interesting with Bates at the helm. He's a genuinely nice guy, too, once you get to know him in office hours or in class. The thing I noticed most about Bates was how organised he is. Everything is laid out in the syllabus, and he provides a detailed rubric for each major project, of which there are three. Very easy on the eyes, too; he has a surprisingly nice ass for a white guy. For those about to take this course, my advice is that you print out and bring a hard copy of any readings he assigns in class, if he doesn't hand it out beforehand. This is prominent at the beginning of the quarter, where he implies but doesn't outright state that you should print out King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail" and Leslie Jamison's essay "The Empathy Exams" for a few lectures. My ass and few other asses were left high and dry when I showed up to class one day without them. Also, he grades *hard*. His grading is, very roughly, 70% on the structure of the essay (whether your topic sentences are clear, whether your thesis explicitly lays out the foundation of your essay and supporting evidence, etc.) and 30% on the actual content. Follow the rubric to a T and you'll be fine -- and by to a T, I mean "become one with the rubric; lose yourself within its bounds and blur the lines of where your soul begins and where the white paper of the rubric begins" levels. (Hint for essay 1: the specific citation he wants for King is at the end, in fine print, of the copy he provides). He also uses the textbook throughout the quarter, so you can't squeak by without it. Make sure you have a spiral journal, too, as he takes small (around 15% of your final average) grades on the journal and there are frequent homework assignments in it.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Dec 2018
Professor Bates does a very good job at making a class full of students who probably aren't english majors actually enjoyable. He is very organized and has a clear page made for every single class outline the goals of the lecture, as well as any in class writing he wants us to finish with lots of explanations for any possible questions. The first third of the class is spent working on argumentation, and the essay involves recalling an old argument of yours and analyzing things you could have done differently to be more ethical. The next chunk was my least favorite. He has us read Persepolis and write an essay with a partner which I think is just kind of weird and hard to do well. The last chunk focuses on satire. The last threeish weeks have been entertaining as he brings in many different examples of satire. The final consists of turning in out our satire, which he gives you ample time in class and out to complete. On the day of the final we just had to casually explain what we chose to satirize and it was actually a really fun final to just relax and hear the class basically sh*t talk different topics. Overall defiantly recommend taking any class taught by Brian Bates. He is a great teacher, and you can tell he is very very smart from the big words he uses but he remains on the same level as all his students. I personally never felt he was condescending even though I saw a lot of reviews about that. Only major downfall was he told us at the beginning of the quarter he would bring his dog into class, and never did :(


Sophomore
A
General Ed
Dec 2018
TAKE HIM FOR ENGL 145!!!! You only write 3 papers and one of them is a creative satire project which I found really interesting. And you don't have to do a research paper like the other sections do. You do a partner research paper, but the research isn't even that bad. Also, the way he sets up the partner project is great so don't be scared that only one person will do the work. Anyway, he's engaging, caring, and one of the smartest professors I have had so far at Poly. He encourages participation and class discussions, and be sure to be prepared for class everyday (ex: have the polylearn readings printed out). Some students might be annoyed at the fact that he cares a lot about attendance (it's a good chunk of your grade) or bringing your book to class (he docks off points i, but honestly, he's really fair and everything in the syllabus lays out his expectations so you shouldn't be surprised. He makes sure to guide students and all the material is useful and ties into the next essay. Bates is also super helpful during office hours if you want help on your essays.


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Dec 2018
Hard class forsure but completely passable if you are a bad writer if you just do the other stuff (participate, bring materials to class, attendance). I found the writings and readings dry, and completely stupid to be honest but I would not pin that upon Bates but rather the curriculum. about 75% percent of the grade is the writings so if you struggle with writing or the topics given you can still pass the class. he also allows a revision on your choice of the first two essays. The reviews above me are pretty on point about how hard of a grader he is so don't be sloppy and try and meet with him during office hours before submitting any essays. Bates is very organized and extremely intelligent. Everything is laid out from day one so don't make excuses. Take this class for a overall low workload, but make sure you do all the little things and you will do fine.


Sophomore
A
General Ed
Jan 2019
Bates is extremely knowledgeable and intelligent. However, don't take him if you want to take an easy GE. He has high expectations and grades harshly (refer to the reviews above). In all honesty, his PolyRatings are overrated. He threw a lot of unprofessional/passive aggressive comments in class. Most of my classmates thought he was pretentious and difficult to understand, especially after the first essay. I remember the whole class being incredibly confused towards the latter half of the quarter due to his high expectations and lack of instructions.


Freshman
B
General Ed
Mar 2019
AMAZING. He is so smart and funny and caring. And hot as hell. Definitely the best teacher you'll ever have, I already signed up to take him again next quarter. His class is not super easy, but if you took AP Lang or AP Lit in high school, this class is much easier. There's homework which is rarely turned in but you should do it or else you'll be really lost in class. No projects or quizzes or tests, literally just writing assignments (some is homework, others are essays which you have plenty of time and peer reviewing to do well on). Bates' class is fun and I always looked forward to attending. It's literally the only class I was never late to. And damn he's a pretty mans.


Freshman
A
General Ed
Mar 2019
Brian is such an awesome professor! He's really relaxed and tells you what's due and when on the course syllabus. Expect to put in a fair amount of good work to receive a good grade. Before turning in an essay, if you have any questions, GO TO OFFICE HOURS! He's extremely helpful and will guide you in the right direction to improve your work. He encourages a lot of collaboration, which I think helps students develop as a writer and their communication skills. If you have the chance to take him, don't pass it up!

AGC 253


Senior
B
Required (Major)
Nov 2016
I learned that if I were to take up hunting, I should shoot deer, not bears, because a bear will hunt me back if I successfully wound it. Fascinating! I didnt know that the key to production and operations management was so brutally simple!

ENGL 333


Junior
B
General Ed
Jun 2019
Doctor Bates incites conversation within our class by presenting us with questions to guide us. Bates also has a vast knowledge of Literature, and is very knowledgeable within his field. It was also good that in class, we would talk within groups, then talk as a whole class. Cal Poly should find a way to get more professors like Doctor Bates, as he is intelligent, passionate, and very approachable. He is by far one of the best professors that I have ever had within my college career.