Bookmark and Share Scholarships

Critical Writing - 1st year


A Writing Intensive course on critical thinking, focusing on the techniques and principles of persuasive writing for academic purposes. The course emphasizes: principles of logical argument, advanced rhetorical modes, critical reasoning, and effective use of source material, research and citation skills, and stylistics.



Objectives:

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

1. Compose a clear, coherent, unified argumentative essay;

2. Demonstrate understanding of and employ rhetorical modes including:
narration, description, illustration, comparison/contrast, division and classification,
analysis, definition, process analysis, cause and effect;

3. Compose effective thesis statements;

4. Demonstrate understanding of and employ principles of logic, including:
induction and deduction, premise, inference, claims and warrants;

5. Recognize logical fallacies;

6. Apply techniques of effective persuasion, including acknowledging counter-arguments, making concessions, using appropriate tone;

7. Critically evaluate rhetorical writing to recognize emotional appeals, distinguish fact from opinion, identify assumptions, stereotypes, generalizations and biases;

8. Employ the various stages of the writing process, including brainstorming, outlining, drafting, revising and editing;

9. Employ various forms of support for claims, including concrete, significant and specific examples, illustrations, anecdotes, facts and reasons, expert opinion;

10. Perform, evaluate, integrate and document research;

11. Read, evaluate and discuss readings;

12. Identify effective writing techniques in his or her own essays and in peer writing;

Topics:

Course topics will include the following:

1. Critical reading (evaluating readings for rhetorical strategies and argumentative integrity)

2. Rhetorical modes

3. Writing process (brainstorming, outlining, drafting, revising, editing)

4. Thesis statements

5. Techniques of persuasion: supporting claims, acknowledging counter-arguments, making concessions

6. Logical argument and logical fallacy

7. Research skills

8. Stylistics (syntax, vocabulary, conciseness, creating interest, tone)

9. Correct paper formatting

10. Grammar & mechanics as needed

11. Responding to and discussing assigned readings

Method of Instruction:

1. Lecture

2. Seminar discussion

3. In-class composition

4. Peer-revision

5. Assigned readings

6. Computer-assisted instruction

7. Independent reading

8. Journal writing

Types of Assignments:

1. Papers

2. Short papers

3. MLA documented research paper

4. Informal writing assignments, such as responses to readings or journal writing

5. Assigned readings

6. Independent reading

7. Class presentation