Spring 2015  Section 4626


Instructor: Prof. Joyce Schenk



This course focuses on the development of critical thinking skills. Students will apply these skills to the analysis of written arguments in various forms and genres, both classic and contemporary, and to the writing of effective persuasive essays. Students will learn to evaluate and interpret data, to recognize assumptions, to distinguish facts from opinions, to identify and avoid logical fallacies, to employ deductive and inductive reasoning, and to effectively assert and support argumentative claims.

Transfer: CSU and UC







English 1A with a minimum grade of C




Student Learning

Outcome (SLO)

SLO #1

Students will compose an argumentative essay that shows an ability to support a claim using analysis, elements of argumentation, and integration of primary and secondary sources.

SLO #2

Students will identify and assess bias, credibility, and relevance in students’ own arguments and in the arguments of others, including primary and secondary outside sources.

SLO #3

Students will organize an essay in proper MLA format and will also be technically correct in paragraph composition, sentence structure, grammar, spelling, and usage.












1.       Read expository prose critically to distinguish between perception and inference, surface and implied meanings, fact and opinion. 

2.       Analyze the way arguments are presented in readings and the media.  

3.       Demonstrate the ability to organize and develop written arguments and compositions.  

4.       Refine writing skills developed in English 1A: focusing a topic, formulating a thesis, providing support, and developing unity and coherence.  

5.       Evaluate the accuracy and cogency of arguments by identifying logical fallacies and drawing inferences from readings and media presentations. 

6.       Formulate and develop arguments and critical theories about issues, argumentative prose, and literary interpretations. 





Cooper, Sheila and Rosemary Patton. Writing Logically, Thinking

   Critically 8th
edition. New York: Pearson Longman, 2010. Print

Other Material online







Online Accessibility: Instructor is online seven days a week to respond to emails or posted questions on Discussion Board Inquiry.


Email: joyceschenk@gmail.com


Faculty Website: http://www.elcamino.edu/faculty/jschenk/index.html















And Grading



  1. Students will be expected to log into the Discussion Board and engage in discussions and activities on a regular weekly basis. Interaction with each other is an important part of this course.
  2. Students will lose Discussion Board points by not posting an assigned exercise, not answering instructor questions to a post or not responding to the minimum number of postings.
  3. The quality of postings will be rewarded, so please avoid responses as "great" or "I agree" What I look for is why you agree with another student's post which will reflect that you have thought about the subject under discussion.
  4. Students will complete and submit five essays
  5. Students will complete ten quizzes on the assigned readings and grammar.
  6. Quizzes may be taken multiple times before the deadline of each module.
  7. 10% will be deducted from the grade of a late essay (submitted up to one week after the due date) excluding the research paper and final essay.
  8. Be sure to keep all of your graded work until you receive your final grade report in case any discrepancies arise.
  9. Plagiarized work will automatically receive a grade of zero.


Grades are based on points:


Assignment #1 Inference


Assignment #2 Reasoning


Assignment #3 Logical Fallacies


Assignment #4 Premises


Assignment #5 Argumentation


Discussion Board including written posted and emailed drafts


10 Quizzes











Grades are assigned based on total points earned as follows:


900 - 1,000 = A

800 -    899 = B

700 -    799 = C

600 -    699 = D

 0 -      599 = F







Plagiarism is the passing off of someone's work as your own.

When an instructor determines that there is evidence of dishonesty in any academic work (including, but not limited to cheating, or plagiarism) disciplinary action appropriate to the misconduct as defined in BP 5500 may be taken. A failing grade on an assignment in which academic dishonesty has occurred and suspension from class are among the disciplinary actions for academic dishonesty (AP 5520)



Special Needs

If you feel you may need an accommodation based on the impact of a documented disability, contact the instructor to discuss your specific needs. You may also need to contact the Special Resource Center (SRC) on campus at 310-660-3296 to coordinate reasonable accommodations.







Drop Policy

  1. In compliance with new state accountability requirements, if you fail to post to the discussion board by you must be reported as a No Show and the registrar will drop you from the course.
  2. If you miss two consecutive weeks of posting, you may be dropped from the course for non attendance.
  3. Check the Class Schedule for official college withdrawal dates. According to college policy, any student still enrolled in a class after April 18, must receive a letter grade (A, B, C, D, F).
  4. If you wish to withdraw from any course at El Camino, it is your responsibility to take the proper steps. This is especially important in a distance education class. Do not assume that an instructor will drop you if you simply stop participating in the class. If you need to withdraw from any course at El Camino, you can drop classes online through MYECC.








Find links to student support services, including the library, bookstore, tutoring, and counseling at http://www.elcamino.edu/library/distance-ed/principles/Student.pdf

Student support: http://www.elcamino.edu/library/distance-ed/studentsupportandresources.asp










Welcome to Etudes -- a teaching, learning, and collaboration environment. This system serves faculty, staff, and learners from Etudes Consortium institutions.

Please review system requirements below:

  1. Be sure you are using a supported browser. They are free downloads.




 Last Published 7/14/16