ENGL 103: Composition and Critical Thinking

Citrus College Course Outline of Record

Citrus College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2022
Credits: 3
Total Contact Hours: 54
Lecture Hours : 54
Lab Hours: 0
Hours Arranged: 0
Outside of Class Hours: 108
Prerequisite: ENGL 101 or ENGL 101E or ENGL 101H.
District General Education: A2. Communication & Analytical Thinking
Transferable to CSU: Yes
Transferable to UC: Yes - Approved
Grading Method: Standard Letter

Catalog Course Description

This course uses 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 fiction, drama and poetry, and on the development of effective written arguments in support of the analysis. Meets the IGETC critical thinking requirement. 54 lecture hours.

Course Objectives

  • read analytically and evaluate critically the personal, cultural, philosophic, religious, and social issues represented in literature
  • identify and evaluate the writer's use of literature as a persuasive tool, and advocate or refute the polemical issues raised in literary work
  • through inferential reasoning, develop judgments in the form of thesis statements (which involves the ability to distinguish belief from knowledge and fact from judgment) in response to questions of character, tone, theme, point of view, symbolism, diction, style, and rhetorical uses of language such as appeals to logic, emotion, and projected image
  • employ both deductive and inductive forms of reasoning in the defense and development of thesis/judgments
  • identify and avoid common formal and informal logical fallacies in the development of thesis/judgment
  • write well-organized critical essays in response to questions posed in literature -- essays will state and develop the thesis through logical argumentation
  • evaluate student essays for valid and sound argumentation, clarity, abuses in rhetoric, and effective use of denotative and connotative aspects of language, and selected examples, details, and evidence to support or validate thesis and other generalizations

Major Course Content

(% of classroom hours spent on each topic is noted at right)
Since the course objective is to apply the principles of argument in response to the intellectual challenges posed by literature, the following outline does not suggest an order -- rather an integration of the following:

  1. Critical Reading Strategies 25%
    1. Reading for purpose
    2. Understanding relationship of language to logic
    3. Drawing inferences
    4. Evaluating diction
    5. Recognizing denotative and connotative language
    6. Identifying rhetorical devices
  2. Approaches to Critical Analysis-Methods of Evaluating and Understanding 25%
    1. Traditional approaches
    2. Alternate approaches
  3. Writing the Argument/Response 25%
    1. Assessing purpose and audience
    2. Evaluating evidence
    3. Formulating thesis/judgment
    4. Determining effectiveness of persuasive approach (deductive/inductive/mixed)
    5. Avoiding fallacious reasoning
    6. Developing evidence
    7. Organizing, evaluating, revising
  4. Applying the Argument 25% (Students will Apply These Principles and Techniques to Writing)
    1. The extended argument
    2. The researched argument, including the use of conventions of documentation
    3. The "timed" argument, sample "writing proficiency" questions
    1. Students will be judged on ability not only to analyze but to advocate ideas
    2. The sequence of essays will be evaluated for both critical thinking and composition
    3. Student essays will be evaluated for progress toward refinement of writing skills and development of critical/analytical techniques

Suggested Reading Other Than Required Textbook

Fiction, poetry, drama, literary theory and criticism.

Examples of Required Writing Assignments

In-class essays, out-of-class essays, research based project.

Examples of Outside Assignments

Read and analyze fiction, poetry, drama, literary theory and criticism.
Answer questions on readings.
Write out-of-class essays.
Produce a research paper.

Instruction Type(s)

Lecture, Online Education Lecture

IGETC Area 1: English Communication

1B. Critical Thinking/English Comp