an eiland distance education course

Course Description, Goals, Requirements

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copyright tt. eiland 2009

Catalog Course Description
Composition and Critical Thinking (ENGL 103) is a three-unit course using literature as a basis for the teaching of critical thinking and composition. The emphasis is upon the analysis of issues, problems, and situations represented in literature and on the development of effective written arguments in support of the analysis. Meets the IGETC critical thinking requirement. CSU; UC · Prerequisite: ENGL 101

Prerequisites/Rationale
This is a full-credit university-level English composition and analysis course. Grammar was to be learned in previous courses, and will be dealt with harshly in this class. Furthermore, if English is not your primary language, you are likely to have difficulty with some of the concepts discussed in the course. It is your responsibility to grasp this material. You should have successfully completed ENGL 101. ENGL 103 is designed to help you become a more professional writer. The writing and reading assignments in this course are designed to help you understand the ways that writers of poetry, plays and short fiction get their ideas across through their work. This requires a willingness and ability to draw logical, fair conclusions from the author's work before one can refute the assumptions and messages being presented. Inability to do so will seriously affect your grade. (If you don't like Literature, try ENGL 104.) We will also look at the strengths and weaknesses of arguments stemming from those works. My job is to give you the tools to create pieces of writing that reflect your thoughts, attitudes and what you have researched in a collegiate, scholarly manner. Your job, if you accept it, will be to utilize those tools to analyze, criticize, reason both inductively and deductively, and advocate ideas. We are not only concerned with What the main point is, but also the author's rationale, method, and support. If the author tells a story, it is not enough to know merely what happened. We want to discuss what it means.

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Course Goals and Methods

Goals
This course will consist of reading, analyzing, discussing, and, ultimately, writing about the readings assigned for the class.

SLOs

  • Analyze texts in different literary genres as they represent various social, historical, aesthetic, and linguistic cultures according to their structure, organization, and purpose in order to appreciate connections between literature and cultural expression
  • Read and analyze works of non-fiction, fiction, poetry and drama, and form an interpretive position on their cultural expressions in order to demonstrate college-level understanding of literary expressions
  • Demonstrate in writing an understanding of the importance of assigned works as expressions of various time periods, cultures and literary traditions in order to express how literature reflects and influences these aspects
  • Analyze literary texts for their implicit and explicit themes derived from cultural patterns in order to critically examine expansion of the literary canon to include voices throughout history from women, ethnic and cultural minorities.
  • Assessment: Accomplishment of these outcomes is demonstrated in class discussions, presentations, quizzes, essay exams, and analytical essays and research projects that utilize standard methods of essay development and proper English syntax and mechanics.

The fundamentals of the writing process will be stressed, but individual styles and tastes will not be discouraged. That means you will be responsible for understanding how an author gets his or her message across and how one analyzes literature in the contexts of era, culture, ethnicity, and gender. You will be required to substantiate your analysis clearly from both the primary text and your research, but there is not necessarily one correct answer. The method by which you discuss these works will be the most important aspect of your grade. You will, of course, do a lot of writing in this class, including several timed essays, some out-of-class papers, and a final research paper utrilizing reviewed, verified resources. The most important goal for you as a student in this class is to become familiar with writing at a competent level. Keeping up with the work is imperative.

Method
Overview
My job is to give you the tools to create pieces of writing that reflect your thoughts, your attitudes and your research. We will be reading a series of works, including poems, drama and short fiction, as well as discussing various analytical approaches in the conetx of their literary merit through various critical approaches. You must get involved in chat room discussions and pay attention to billboard postings. We will use the MLA format for all papers, including the quoting of sources. Out-of-class essays are expected to be typed, double-spaced, as neat as possible and on time.

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Required Texts
All texts are available in the Campus bookstore.

  • Mays. Norton Introduction to Literature: shorter 11th ed.. Norton.
  • RECOMMENDED: College level dictionary.

Required Materials

  • Computer
  • direct internet connection utilizing a major browser such as Safari, Firefoxr or Microsoft Internet Explorer .
  • Microsoft Word or Mac Pages
  • Student e-mail address

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© T. T. Eiland, January 1998
Last modified: Aug 5, 2015