El Camino College

English Department

English 1C
Critical Thinking and Composition


English 1C

Dr. Y. Joy Zhao

Class Information
Couse Policies
Syllabus
Assignments
Course Material
Online Resources
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Dr. Joy Zhao

1.  Course (Catalog) Description: 

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.

2.  Course Objectives: 

1.      Evaluate arguments in terms of bias, credibility, and relevance.

2.      Assess an argument's claims by examining assumptions, by differentiating between facts and inferences, by recognizing errors in logic, by analyzing support, and by identifying both explicit and implied conclusions.

3.      Recognize and assess argumentative claims embedded in literary works, advertisements, political tracts, and presentations in other media.

4.      Express critical viewpoints and develop original arguments in response to social, political, and philosophical issues and/or to works of literature and literary theory.

5.      Demonstrate the ability to evaluate electronic sources and databases, to incorporate research from on-line and print media, and to compose unified, coherent, fully supported argumentative essays that advance their claims by integrating primary and secondary sources, and by employing the tools of critical interpretation, evaluation, and analysis.

3.  Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this course, students will:

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

2.      Identify and assess bias, credibility, and relevance in their own arguments and in the arguments of others, including primary and secondary outside sources.

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

 4.  Students with Disabilities:

It is the policy of the El Camino Community College District to encourage full inclusion of people with disabilities in all programs and services.  Students with disabilities who believe they may need accommodations in this class should contact the campus Special Resource Center (310) 660-3295, as soon as possible.  This will ensure that students are able to fully participate.  

5.  Academic Honesty and Plagiarism:

El Camino College places a high value on the integrity of its student scholars.  When an instructor determines that there is evidence of dishonesty in any academic work (including, but not limited to cheating, plagiarism, or theft of exam materials), 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).  Students with any questions about the Academic Honesty or discipline policies are encouraged to speak with their instructor in advance.

6.  Attendance Policy:

Students are expected to attend their classes regularly. Students who miss the first class meeting or who are not in regular attendance during the add period for the class may be dropped by the instructor. Students whose absences from a class exceed 10% of the scheduled class meeting times may be dropped by the instructor. However, students are responsible for dropping a class within the deadlines published in the class schedule. Students who stop attending but do not drop may receive a failing grade.

More specific helpful info can be found at El Camino College website: www.elcamino.edu

 

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Note: The following info may apply to both on-line and on-campus English 1C classes taught by Dr Zhao.

Class Information:

English 1C aims to develop and strengthen your ability to think critically and to write persuasively.

In this class, you will understand the requirements and benefits of critical thinking, define values, examine assumptions, explore imagination, scrutinize logical fallacies, and explore inductive and deductive reasoning techniques.

Moreover, you will apply critical thinking skills to analyze and research a major controversial social issue, offer solutions, and argue for your well-informed opinion on the issue.

The course focuses on evaluation, definition, analysis, imagination, research, and persuasion.


Course Objectives:

  • To understand how to become a critical thinker and why
  • To understand basic concepts in logic and their relevance to writing (and life)
  • To know how to analyze problems and create solutions, through independent thinking, teamwork, and research
  • To know how to verbalize and organize logical and convincing arguments

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Course Policies:

 Participation 

1.  Regular attendance and active participation are essential. Absences, which can affect your learning and grades, are recorded. Students with three or more consecutive absences without any written explanation may be dropped from the class. For an unavoidable absence, please notify me beforehand or afterwards. When absent, please contact your group members for missed information ASAP. Absences are no excuses for late or make-up works. Tardiness and early retreat, being disruptive to class activities, are also recorded—three such instances are counted as one absence.

2.  On the other hand, perfect attendance will earn you 10 bonus points. You will earn another 10 bonus points if your group has not lost any member in the semester.

3.  You are expected to be courteous and respectful to one another in order to ensure a learning-conducive atmosphere in the classroom. Your friendly presence and positive contribution are vital to your own success and the success of your group and the class.

4.  Please be aware that it is your responsibility to drop yourself when absolutely necessary; however, you are advised to talk with a counselor or me first.

Expectations and Late Penalty

1.  You should turn in your assignments on time. Essays (60% of the course grade) that are late by one class meeting will be accepted yet with a 10-point late penalty. Essays late by more than one class meeting will be accepted at any time before the finals week but graded only at the end with a 20-point late penalty.

2.  Exercises or quizzes (10 points each--15% of the course grade) are done in class and need be submitted on time. No late or make-up works will be accepted, unless permitted by your instructor.

3.   All the works that bear your name must be written by you. Works guilty of plagiarism—using others' words and ideas as if one's own—will not be accepted or graded.

 

Grading

 A

90%--100%

 B  80%--89%
 C  70%--79%
 D  60%--69%
 F  0%--59% 

           

(Note: No 'Pass/No Pass' option for this course.)

 

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Schedule (Subject to Change): 

 

Abbreviations for textbooks used below:

 

·          H&S:    Humorous & Serious: A Guide and Reader for Critical Thinking   

·          HYG:    Humor Your Grammar: A Trouble-Shooting Guide and Workbook           

·          SSE:     Star Student Essay: A Motivating Reader

 

W1:       Introduction; Diagnostics; H&S 1; SSE: 1; HYG: 1&2

 

W2:        Paper #1 planning; H&S: 15—writing process; SSE 2, Appendix A

 

W3:        H&S: 15—writing standards; Peer critiquing & revising; HYG: 11-22

 

W4:        Paper #1 due/evaluation; Paper#2—H&S: 2; Island Case

 

W5:        H&S: 2—Aristotle's Essential Definition; Planning & drafting

 

W6:        Planning & drafting; Peer critiquing & revising; HYG: 23-28

 

W7:       Paper #2 due/evaluation; SSE: 9; H&S: 5—Paper #3: Imagination

 

W8:       In-class imagining exercise; Planning; Peer critiquing; HYG: 29-34             

W9:       Paper #3 due/evaluation; SSE: 8; H&S: 3—Logical fallacies

 

W10:     Paper #4 (group)—Analyzing issues; SSE: Appendix B; Group work

 

W11:     Group work; Paper #4 due/presentation & evaluation; reflection

 

W12:      H&S: 12—Paper #5 (group), research; Internet research

 

W13:      HYG: 40/42—MLA; HYG: 35-40

 

W14:      Paper #5 due/presentation & evaluation;

 

W15:      H&S: 11—arguing, 263-266; Review: H&S 1, 11, 12; SSE: 10

 

W16:      Final Essay Exam

 

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Assignments:

Papers/Projects and Process Writing (50%+10%):

  • Nobody can write well without practicing! There will be six writing projects (1000+ words each): three papers and two group presentation projects (plus a final essay that must be passed for a passing grade in the course).
  • All the papers, except the final one, must be typed using the MLA format.
  • You should turn in each paper on time; papers late by one class meeting will be accepted yet with a 10-point late penalty. Papers late by more than one class meeting will be accepted at any time but graded only at the end with a 20-point late penalty.
  • All the papers bearing your name must be written by you. No works guilty of plagiarism—using others' ideas and words as if one's own—will be graded!
  • The papers and projects are graded on a 100-point scale. The process works are graded on a 20-point scale.

 

Exercises (15%):

  • To eliminate errors and strengthen your thinking and writing, you will do quick thinking/writing and grammar exercises—mostly during the first 10-15 minutes of the class.
  • You will also participate in mini-grammar workshops.
  • The exercises need be done and submitted on time; no late or make-up exercises will be accepted.
  • Exercises are graded on a 10-point scale. 

 

Examination (20%):

The final exam, which includes an essay, will help you find out how much you have learned in the semester—your knowledge of and skills on reading, essay writing, and research. You must pass the final exam to pass the course.

 

Course Total:                                  100%

  • Participation:                     5%
  • Projects and Process:          60%
  • Exercises:                         15%
  • Final Exam:                        20%

 

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Course Material:

Textbooks:

1. Humorous & Serious: A Guide and Reader for Critical Thinking, by Zhao

2. Humor Your English Grammar: A Trouble-Shooting Guide and Workbook, by Zhao

3. Star Student Essays: A Motivating Reader, by Zhao

Notes: 

1.  The books are available only at El Camino College Bookstore on campus and online.

              16007 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance, CA 90506 
        (310) 660-3384

2. To search for them, use this: English 1C --> Zhao

 

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Online Resources:

  1. http://www.macromedia.com/resources/elearning/whitepapers.html (resources)
  2. http://www.tofp.org/ (open fiction project free)
  3. http://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/cfapps/free/displaydate.cfm (free photos, images)
  4. http://www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/results.php?cat=1&mode=a (resources for education)
  5. http://www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/results.php?set=41&cat=5&mode=z (literary speech videos)
  6. http://www.loc.gov/ (Library of Congress)

  7. http://www.wisc-online.com/objects/index_tj.asp?objID=CAS3706 (US budget—CT)
  8. http://tappedin.org/tappedin/joyz (for 'Discussion'; instant messaging; download files...)

  9. http://www.joy88edu.net/blog/wp-admin/post.php (Write with Humor)

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El Camino College, 16007 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance, California 90506
Phone: 310-532-3670 Toll Free: 1-866-ELCAMINO (1-866-352-2646)
 Last Published 7/14/16