VVC ENG104: Critical Thinking and Composition

Course Description

English 104 is a critical thinking and composition course designed to sharpen students’ ability to recognize and analyze written, spoken, and visual arguments. The primary goal of the course is to improve each student’s reasoning and writing skills, so they can express their own opinions in a more nuanced and persuasive way. As such, the course is divided into distinct themes that cover the major areas of social and political discourse including the formation of the state, civil rights, and economic justice. The skills students learn in this course are meant to useful during and beyond college.

Students will gain an understanding of the following academic forms:

  • Toulmin Argument Analysis
  • Aristotelian Argument
  • Rogerian Argument

Course Objectives

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

  • Critically evaluate expository and argumentative material from a variety of sources
  • Analyze the structure of arguments, and identify their claims, grounds, and warrants
  • Distinguish between and use both inductive and deductive reasoning
  • Identify common logical fallacies and recognize deliberate abuse and manipulation
  • Locate digital and print research material and synthesize them in your own writing
  • Present a nuanced and persuasive argument to others on a variety of topics


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