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John Zaixin Zhang

 
 
 

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Critical Thinking and Argumentation  

2009-06-05 19:02:51|  分类: +英语写作教程: |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Critical Thinking and Argumentation: Learning by Doing

Course Objectives

This course focuses on the writing process (creating/prewriting, writing, and revising) as a strategy in learning writing and aims to help you to exercise critical thinking and argumentation. You will learn to

1.        use creative strategies and prewriting techniques to generate ideas,

2.        write valid and cogent arguments for different claims: claims of fact, value, and policy,

3.        analyze others’ arguments,

4.        evaluate evidence,

5.        establish credibility as a writer,

6.        consider the reader’s needs and values,

7.        recognize fallacies, half truths, problematic statistics in others’ writing and avoid them in your own.

Texts

A course packet consisting of passages for discussion, exercises, essay assignments, essays for analysis, example essays, etc.

Langan, John. College Writing Skills with Readings. Sixth Edition. McGraw Hill,  2005. Beijing: FLTRP, 2007. Argumentation, 317-36; run-ons, 428-41;  pronoun reference, 464-66; misplaced and dangling modifiers, 478-85;  punctuation, 506-27; effective word choice, 544-50.

Optional:

Tyson, Lois. Critical Theory Today: A User-friendly Guide. 2nd Edition. New York: Routledge, 2006. (Available in the Reading Room on the second floor of the library). Read the chapters on psychoanalytic criticism, Marxist criticism, feminist criticism, new historical and cultural criticism, lesbian, gay, and queer criticism, and postcolonial and African American criticism.

(Tyson may be helpful in providing a theoretical framework for research papers on the media, movies, social studies, as well as literature.)

Course Requirements

Write, write, write. Seven papers (including a creative strategy report and a final) and informal writing (prewriting and peer evaluations) will be assigned during the semester. All papers must be handed in to my mailbox (#101) in the English Department (with the e-version of each sent to the class mailbox, for discussion in class) by 2 p.m. of the due date. A late paper will be scored one letter grade (10 points for both the printout and the e-version) lower and must be turned in within one week of the due date, or it will be recorded as a zero. All papers must be submitted to receive course credit.

For the claim of value and claim of policy assignments, you are required to write a first draft and a revised essay:

First draft: assertion with proof (argument, evidence, sources)

Revised essay: revising for content (argument and counterargument, evidence, sources), expression, organization, and mechanics (see the standards for evaluating student essays at the end of this handout)

Tentative Schedule                                          Due Dates   

Introduction and Diagnostic Test                        Sept. 9

Creative Strategy Report (group work), 10%      Sept. 23

National Day Holiday

Prewriting Exercise (group work), 5%                 Oct. 14

Claim of Fact, 10%                                             Oct. 28

Claim of Value, 10%                                           Nov. 11

Revised Essay, 5%                                            Nov. 25

Claim of Policy, 10%                                          Dec. 9

Revised Essay, 5%                                            Dec. 23

Peer Evaluations (five of them), 10%                TBA

Prewriting (for three first drafts), 5%                 TBA

Final Exam, 20%                                               TBA

Essays and informal writing assignments are weighted as noted above. Class participation (discussing essays, analyzing fallacies, etc.) will count 10%. (During class discussion, students may be asked to comment on the essays they’ve read for peer evaluation.)

Academic Honesty

To plagiarize is to use someone else’s work (words, ideas, etc, published or unpublished) as if it was one’s own. Any act of plagiarism in this class will be reported to the dean.

 

 

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