Print Version

Effective: Summer 2015

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: One of the following: ENGL 1A, 1AH, 1S & 1T or ESLL 26.
Advisory: Advisory: Not open to students with credit in ENGL 1CH or 2.
Grade Type: Letter Grade, the student may select Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU/UC
5 hours lecture. (60 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • A successful student will be able to demonstrate mastery of critical thinking techniques and analysis.
  • A successful student will be able to identify and avoid common fallacies in reasoning.
Description -
Advanced study and practice of argumentative writing with emphasis on critical analysis and evaluation of texts. Focus is on reading and writing assignments from across the disciplines to further improve and refine critical reading, writing, and thinking skills.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. Reading
    1. Critically read, analyze, compare, and evaluate multicultural argumentative prose from across the curriculum.
    2. Identify a text's premises and assumptions in various social, historical, cultural, psychological, or aesthetic contexts.
  2. Writing
    1. Demonstrate mastery in writing text-based arguments, including interpretation, evaluation, and analysis, and support them with a variety of appropriate textual evidence and examples.
    2. Use and analyze basic modes of argument, such as inductive and deductive reasoning techniques, recognizing fallacies, analysis, interpretation, and synthesis.
    3. Find, analyze, interpret, and evaluate research material, incorporating them to support claims using appropriate documentation format without plagiarism.
    4. Use style, diction, and tone appropriate to the academic community and the purpose of the specific writing task.
  3. Critical Thinking
    1. Identify logic of argument (premises and conclusions)
    2. Demonstrate understanding of formal and informal fallacies in language and thought
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
  1. When taught on campus, no special facility or equipment needed.
  2. When taught via Foothill Global Access, on-going access to computer with email software and capabilities; email address.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Reading:
    1. Read and analyze at least three book-length, college-level texts in separate of anthology form.
      1. Comprehend and evaluate a text's main themes
      2. Draw reasoned inferences based on close reading of a text
    2. Conduct rhetorical analysis of texts
      1. Analyze varieties in voice, rhetorical style and purpose in non-fiction genres
      2. Identify and analyze rhetorical devices in connection with a text's main themes
    3. Establish cultural and historical contexts for a text and determine how those contexts shape that writing
    4. Draw connections that synthesize:
      1. Two or more texts
      2. The text(s) and the student's individual experiences and ideas
  2. Writing
    1. Written work totaling 6,000 words or more, a minimum of six compositions (four out-of-class including a documented research paper; and two in-class), the shortest of which will be 750 words.
    2. Develop advanced grammar, punctuation, and syntax, including editing for improved sentence variety and flow.
    3. Practice writing both as a process of discovery and synthesis
    4. Identify and employ the conventions and strategies appropriate to writing with various disciplines
  3. Critical Thinking
    1. Distinguish denotation from connotation, the abstract from the concrete, and the literal from the inferential (including analogy, extended metaphor, and symbol)
    2. Identify logic (premises/conclusions) and logical fallacies such as syllogistic reasoning, abstractions, undefined terms, name-calling, false analogy, ad hominem, and ad populum arguments
    3. Recognize and evaluate assumptions underlying an argument
    4. Draw and assess inferences and recognize distinctions among assumptions, inferences, facts, and opinions
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Evaluation based primarily (at least 80%) on the quality of text-based, thesis-driven written composition
  2. Additional writing and other assignments may include a balance of essay exams, class discussion, oral presentation, quizzes, and tests
Representative Text(s) -
One critical thinking text and at least two additional book-length college-level texts of non-fiction literature presented either in separate or anthology form. To be supplemented at the instructor's discretion with additional readings, handbook, and/or rhetoric.
The following texts are suggested:
Rottenberg, Annette. The Elements of Argument. 10th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2011.
Salmon, Merrilee. Introduction to Logic and Critical Thinking. Boston: Wadsworth/Cengage, 2013.
Paul, Richard, and Linda Elder. Critical Thinking. 3rd ed. NY: Prentice Hall, 2011.
CHaffee, John. Thinking Critically. 11th ed. Boston: Wadsworth/Cengage, 2014.
Barnet, Sylvan and Hugh Bedau. Current Issues and Enduring Questions. 10th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2013.
Other appropriate texts may include the following:
Anthologies of short essays or other works addressing relevant issues or topics
Book-length works of non-fiction
A standard handbook on writing and documentation
The following texts are examples:
Skloot, Rebecca. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. NY: Broadway Books, 2011.
Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow. NY: The New Press, 2012.
Stiglitz, Joseph. The Price of Inequality. NY: W.W. Norton, 2013.
Hult, Christine A. Researching and Writing Across the Curriculum, 3rd Ed., New York: Longman, 2005.
Hult, Christine A. Understanding Global Slavery: A Reader. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005.

Disciplines -
Method of Instruction -
The instructor may deliver course material via lectures, discussions, and structured small-group exercises.
When taught as a fully online course, the faculty shall employ one or more of the following methods of regular, timely, and effective student/faculty contact:
  1. Private Messages within the Course Management System
  2. Personal e-mail outside of the Course Management System
  3. Telephone Contact Weekly Announcements in the Course Management System
  4. Chat Room within the Course Management System
  5. Timely feedback and return of student work (tasks, tests, surveys, and discussions) in Course Management System by methods clarified in the syllabus. Discussion Forums with appropriate facilitation and/or substantive instructor participation.
  6. E-Portfolios/Blogs/Wiki for sharing student works in progress; provide feedback from fellow students and faculty in a collaborative manner, and to demonstrate mastery, comprehension, application, and synthesis of a given set of concepts.
  7. Field trips.
Lab Content -
Not applicable.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Reading and discussion of non-fiction texts from across the curriculum
  2. In-class timed essays based on analysis of assigned reading
  3. Formal analytical, text-based essays based on analysis of reading and research