TEXT: Critical Thinking Moore and Parker 6th Ed.
Dialogues Goshgarian, Krueger, Minc
DESCRIPTION: Composition and Critical Thinking is a course which will give you theoretical information about what "critical thinking'' and "critical writing" actually are, but in addition it is a course designed to give you practice, practice, practice in both the analysis of both the legitimate and illegitimate or faulty persuasive appeals found in the writings of others and in the development and construction of your own solid, sound arguments. It is a course that examines both the thinking process and the writing process and the connections between the two. Thus, we will begin with a concrete examination of the ways in which we acquire the materials about which we "think" and then analyze the methods and standards--both acceptable and unacceptableby which we judge "ideas" and "proof." At the same time we will inspect the argumentative, persuasive writings of others and produce logical arguments of our own.
READING: Assigned readings are to be completed as scheduled for each class. There will be additional essay readings beyond those in the text some of which may provide information for essay assignments.
ASSIGNMENTS AND EXAMINATIONS: There will be regular homework assignments of exercises in the text, takehome chapter quizzes, and in-class chapter exams. The listed homework assignments are to be written out and handed in as indicated; since this work is directly related to a specific discussion, it is acceptable for full credit only for the day assigned; it may be turned in for half credit up to two class periods late.
WRITING: There will be six essays ranging in length from 750 to 2000 words. These will be assignments of analysis as well as construction of arguments. Each essay must 1) include all parts of the assignment, 2) have a clear thesis, 3) include details and development appropriate for the topic, 4) be grammatically correct, and 5) be properly documented using MLA format (NO EXCEPTIONS).
Please keep all of your essays until after you have received your final grade so that there can be no error in your final grade.
GRADING: All work is due as assigned and must be turned in on time. The chapter exercises, graded on a 10 point scale, and the takehome chapter quizzes will be 10% of the final grade, and the inclass quizzes will comprise 10% of the final grade. The essays will comprise 80% of the final grade: essays 1-4 will count 10% each; essays 6 and 7, for which there is no rewrite, will count 20% each. Failure to complete the assigned work will, obviously, result in at least a lowered grade.
All essays except the last two may be revised for a high grade. While such revision is not mandatory, it is highly recommended since it will improve your grades! The only stipulation is that a "revision" be just that: a revision; Merely retyping or reprinting your essay with a few minor spelling/grammar corrections does not constitute revision. The revision of an essay is due ONE WEEK after the essay is returned. YOU are responsible for being sure that you have picked up your returned essay if you are not in class when the graded essays are returned to everyone else. Please do not delude yourself that you can turn in revised essays from early in semester at the end of the semester.
ATTENDANCE: Attending class is mandatory. Excessive absence (more than six unexcused absences) will result in a lowered grade. If you wish to drop this class, it is YOUR responsibility to do so; I will not do so.
Be sure that all cell phones are pagers are turned OFF BEFORE you come to class; you are NOT to interrupt class discussion with personal business for any reasosn.
Course Essay Assignments