Grossmont Community College Fall, 2006

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Grossmont Community College Fall, 2006

English 124: Advanced Composition: Critical

Reasoning and Writing


Course Reference No. 5123 in room no. 574

Number of Units: 3

Instructor: Dr. Qais Sako in office room no. 563B office phone 644-7505

Course Period: Aug. 21 through Dec. 18, 2006

Class Meetings: 8:00 to 09:15 a.m. T and Th.

Office Hours : M and W 8:00-9:15 a.m.

T and Th. 11:00-1:00 p.m. in office room 563B

E-mail address:
1. Catalog Course Description
This course is designed to develop critical thinking, reading, and writing skills beyond the level achieved in English 120. The course will focus on the development of logical reasoning and analytical and argumentative writing skills.

  1. Prerequisite

A “C” or “CR” grade or higher in English 120 or equivalent.

  1. Textbooks

Lester, James D., and James D. Lester, Jr. Writing Research Papers: a Complete Guide. 11th ed. ( or a newer edition) New York: HarperCollins, 2005 (optional but highly recommended).

Roget’s Thesaurus. (recommended)
Rottenberg, Annette T. and Donna Haisty Winchell. Elements of Argument: A Text and Reader. 8th Ed. Boston: Bedford Books, 2006 (required)
4. Supplies
Loose-leaf, 3-ring, 81/2” X 11”, college-ruled paper for in-class writing, notes, analytical responses to readings, summaries, and out-of-class activities and assignments.
Manila tabbed folders for essays and research projects.
Bibliography cards and colored note cards: 4” X 6” or 3” X 5”.
Floppy disk/CD

Note: The textbooks and supplies may be purchased from Grossmont’s bookstore.

All the supplies are required.
5. Entrance Skills

Without the following skills, competencies and/or knowledge, any student entering this course will be highly unlikely to succeed:

  1. The ability to write clear, college-level prose, substantially free of major errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation, and exhibiting a varied sentence style;

  2. The ability to write expository and persuasive essays organized to present, develop, and support a thesis statement, and the parts of which cohere through logical organization and the use of transitions;

  3. The ability to analyze texts for the elements listed in “B” and evaluate their rhetorical effectiveness;

  4. The ability to write essays that use the principles of classical argumentation;

  5. The ability to write fully documented college-level research papers;

  6. The ability to read and comprehend college-level texts;

  1. Course Objectives

Critical Reading Objectives

Students will:

  1. read and critically evaluate college-level material from a variety of sources;

  2. identify and analyze the structure of arguments underlying the texts;

  3. evaluate the validity and soundness of arguments;

  4. identify common formal and informal fallacies of language and thought;

  5. distinguish between deductive and inductive reasoning;

  6. distinguish factual statements from judgmental statements and knowledge from opinion; and

  7. identify some of the deliberate abuses and manipulations of rhetoric to identify them in common occurrences.

Critical Writing Objectives

Students will write essays that demonstrate the ability to

  1. compose essays that emphasize methods of argumentation, persuasion, casual analysis, evaluation, refutation, interpretation, definition, comparison/contrast, synthesis, and summary;

B. demonstrate command of sophisticated vocabulary, diction, syntax, style, and awareness of audience;

  1. use both the denotative and connotative aspects of language effectively;

  2. appraise and select outside sources and incorporate research material into

research papers and other essays as assigned;

  1. revise material to create ideas and draw sound inferences from a variety of


  1. document sources properly and make smooth transitions between source

material and personal observations;

  1. demonstrate the ability to use both inductive and deductive reasoning

appropriately; and

H. avoid the abuse and manipulation of rhetorical devices.

  1. Method of Instruction

A variety of teaching methods will be used that include but are not limited to the following: lectures, journal writing, small group workshops, oral presentations, peer review evaluation, student-teacher conferences, debates, and responses to readings.

  1. Course Content

Critical Reading Content

In this course, we will analyze and read both professional and student writing which reflect varied cultural perspectives. The course will include instruction and practice in:

A. discovering the relationship of language to logic and the difference between fact and judgment;

  1. analyzing a writer’s inductive and deductive reasoning skills, diction, and sentence style;

  2. recognizing underlying assumptions and claims, which may drive the writer’s arguments and conclusions; and

  3. evaluating the soundness, validity, and persuasiveness of written arguments.

Critical Writing Content

We will have instruction and practice in:

  1. writing a series of argumentative and persuasive essays;

  2. creating sound argumentative claims supported by references to authority and research;

  3. using basic inductive and deductive processes;

  4. recognizing and avoiding fallacies of language and logic;

  5. developing an individual writing style; and

  6. understanding the satisfaction of writing as both a practical and humanistic activity.

  1. Class Participation

Active in-class participation reflects your understanding of dialectic that thrives on questions, answers, and discussions. You will improve your critical reading and writing skills through the practice of examining opinions logically. Moreover, the practice itself will enable you decide the validity of such opinions. Indeed, discussions resemble the cornerstone of the validation process.

  1. Attendance Policy

In a course devoted to logic, thinking, and writing, students are expected to be punctual with consistently regular attendance. Hence I expect you to come on time to all our class meetings and to remain in class till 9:15.

Any student accumulating absences exceeding two class meetings (considered to be excessive absence) may be dropped from class. Any three tardy arrivals to class count as one absence. “No absence relieves you of the responsibility of completing all work assigned” (Grossmont Catalog 17).

  1. Students’ Responsibilities and Code of Conduct

No student shall interfere with another student’s opportunity to learn (see pages 15-25 Grossmont College Catalog for 2006-2007). You will be dropped from class if you exhibit behavior that prohibits or impedes any student from pursuing any class assignment’s objective or learning opportunity within the classroom. The same applies if you fail to demonstrate sufficient academic progress as specified at the beginning of the semester by the written grading and performance standards for the course. Notification of this failure may be through grading procedures, conferences or official letter.

  1. Assignments, Quizzes, and Final Exam

Each student will be required to write the following assignments:

  1. One fully documented research paper to total 2700-3000 words.

  2. One market survey project of 2200 words minimum.

  3. Two 1000-word responses to selected viewpoint articles of Part One, Two, and Three of Elements of Argument. Research methodology, in-text citation, documentation, and outlines should be used.

  4. One in-class argumentation/persuasion essay of at least 600 words on a subject to be announced in class. If a student is absent, he or she will not receive any credit and grade for this activity,. The absent student will not have a chance to make up for in-class essays or quizzes.

  5. Final 600-800-word in-class essay exam based on the material covered during the semester pertaining to Elements of Argument.


Each student will take several demo quizzes and five two-page quizzes that pertain to elements of arguments.

Note: For further details about assignments, adhere to the content of the Tentative Course Calendar on pages seven and eight of this syllabus.
13. Plagiarism
Plagiarism occurs when you represent someone else’s materials, ideas, or words as if they were your own. Strictly avoid plagiarism; otherwise, you will simply receive the “F” grade for the semester.
14. Grade Distribution
Research paper 200 points

Market survey project 200 points

Two essay responses 200 points

One in-class essay 100 points

Quizzes and presentations 200 points

Final exam essay 100 points

The maximum total a student may earn is 1000 points.
Any incomplete work, incorrect documentation, delayed work, and missing assignment will adversely affect your grade.
Both the letter and point grading system will be used when assigning a grade to any of the work you submit.

“A” = 1000-900

“B” = 899–800

“C” = 799-700

“D” = 699-600

“F” = 599 and under.

You cannot make-up for any in-class activity. When you fail to complete any in-class work on the day that work is assigned, you will not earn any grade.
Late work will adversely affect your grade. You will be allowed only one late, penalty-free paper during the semester. Any other delay or delays will result in reducing one full letter grade from the final grade that appears on the delayed work. In any case, you will have to submit the late work that is due any date during the class meeting that follows the work’s due date; otherwise, you will not receive any grade for the late work.
15. Exit Skills
A. The ability to define the major components of argumentation, to delineate the structure of individual arguments, to evaluate their validity, and to define and distinguish between inductive and deductive reasoning.

  1. The ability to identify common fallacies of language and thought.

  2. The ability to distinguish fact from judgment and knowledge from opinion

and to draw sound inferences from a variety of data.

  1. The ability to compose 1000-2500-word essays that use methods of

argumentation, persuasion, causal analysis, evaluation, refutation, interpretation, definition, comparison-contrast, synthesis, and summary.

  1. The ability to originate a claim and to construct an argument applying

principles of critical reasoning and incorporating materials from a variety of sources, documenting the sources according to MLA format.

  1. Important Remarks

  1. This course adheres to the Grossmont College catalogue’s school policies. For further information, see Academic Policies stated in the college catalogue on pages 15-25.

  2. Students with disabilities who may need accommodations in this class are encouraged to notify the instructor and contact Disabled Students’ Programs and Services (DSPS) early in the semester so that reasonable accommodations may be implemented as soon as possible. Students may contact DSP&S in person in room 110 or by phone at (619) 644-7112 voice or (619) 644-7119 (TTY for deaf). .

  3. It is the student’s responsibility to observe all the important dates including the drop date (Nov. 9th).

  4. Always make additional copies of all the work you write. Never hand over a work for which no copy remains with you.

  5. Strictly avoid plagiarism. It can never be tolerated.

17. Supervised Tutoring Referral

  1. Students requiring additional help or resources to achieve the stated learning objectives of the courses taken in English are referred to enroll in English 198W, Supervised Tutoring, for assistance in the English Writing Center (70-119). The department chair or coordinator will provide Add Codes.

  1. Students are referred to enroll in the following supervised tutoring courses if the service indicated will assist them in achieving or reinforcing the learning objectives of this course:

  • IDS 198, Supervised Tutoring, to receive tutoring in general computer applications in the Tech Mall;

  • English 198W, Supervised Tutoring, for assistance in the English Writing Center (70-119); and/or

  • IDS 198T, Supervised Tutoring to receive one-on-one tutoring in academic subjects in the Tutoring Center (70-229).

To add any of these courses, students may obtain Add Codes at the Information/Registration Desk in the Tech Mall.

  1. All Supervised Tutoring courses are non-credit/non-fee. However, when a student registers for a supervised tutoring course and has no other classes, the student will be charged the usual health fee.

Good luck and enjoy every part of this exciting course content.

Tentative Course Calendar

Important Note: Any reading selection may have a surprise quiz.
Week 1 Introduction and orientation Read pp. 25-44

(8/22-24) Understanding argument pages 3-24 Write a review

for research paper of the textbook
Week 2 Responding to argument Read pp. 44-58

(8/29-8/31) As a reader/ writer/ listener Read pp. 80-85

Documentation Prepare your first response essay by responding to pp. 92-97 and pp. 97-101.
Week 3 Definitions Read pp. 92-101

(9/5-7) Debate about Gay Marriage Continue working on

First quiz your first response

First response due on Sept. 7th

Week 4 Read pp. 104-109

(9/12-14) Claims of fact/value/policy pp. 113-115

pp. 122-124
Week 5 Student presentation about Support Read pp. 148-152

(9/19-21) Induction Reasoning pp. 152-153

Market Survey Project Begin your Market


Week 6 Second quiz about Support Read pp.179-193 (9/26-28) More on Market survey project pp. 199-209

Debate about Animal Research pp. 214-215

pp. 216-217

Conferences with individual students Continue working on

Student presentation about Animal Research Market Project
Week 7 Student presentation about Warrants Collect your surveys

(10/3-5) Conferences with individual students Read pp. 220-227

Analyzing the collected surveys pp. 263-265

For Market Survey Project

Week 8 Research proposals Read pp. 274-282

(10/10-12) Third quiz about warrants Collect your data for

Student presentation Fallacies the research paper

Syllogism and Toulmin’s Model See Part Three

Week 9 Debate about Gun Control Focus on the research

(10/17-19) Student presentation paper: Part Three

about Language and Thought Read pp. 359-361 and 362-367.

Complete writing your Market Survey Project

Week 10 and More on Fallacies Prepare your second

11 (10/24-11/2) Second Response Essay Due Nov. 2nd. response about terrorism on pp.515-554

Market Survey Project First Draft Due

On Oct.31

Week 12 Fourth quiz about Language and Thought Read pp. 373-379

(11/7-9) Prepare final MSP

More on Fallacies Read pp. 396-398

Final Market Survey Due on 11/09 and pp. 405-415

Weeks 13 Working outline research paper due Read pp. 582-585

(11/14-16) Individual conferences Read pp. 589-592


Week 14 Debate on Freedom of Speech Read pp. 594-596

(11/21) In-class essay on Nov. 16 Writer First Draft

First Draft Research Paper Due Research Paper

On 11/30
Week 15 Logical fallacies revisited Read pp. 601-610

(11/28-11/30) Fifth quiz about fallacies Prepare first draft RP

Student presentation about Privacy Read pp.615-627

Peer Review Research Paper

Week 16 Final Draft Research Paper due Read pp. 740-747

(12/05-07) on 12/08 pp. 813-816

Week 17 Final Exam. You will be writing an in-

class project about Elements of Argument.

On 12/14 7:30-09:30 a.m.

Week 9 Kinds of warrants Read p.p. 447-472

March 23-27 Third response due Prepare your fourth

Language and Thought response

Week 10 Student presentation about Language and Write down your

March 30 to Thought fourth response

April 3 Quiz about Warrants Read 213-246

Market Survey Revisited

Paradigm for the Research Paper
April 6 to 12 Spring Recess- No Classes

Week 12 Debate about Euthanasia Read 513-534

April 13-17 Induction and Deduction Read 248-303

Week 13 Fallacies Read 535-573

April 20-24 Debate about Immigration Read 307-329

Student presentation about Immigration

Fourth response due
Week 14 Fourth quiz about Language and Thought Read 330-367

April 27-May 1 Market survey project due

Individual Conferences

Second In-Class essay

Weeks 15 and 16 First Draft research paper due Read 248-278

May 4-15 Individual conferences Read 633-637

Debate about Outer Space Read 651-669

Third in-class essay

Week 17 Students’ Presentation about Breaking laws Read 576-601

May 20-24 Debate about Freedom of Speech Read 693-707

Student presentation about Sex


Fifth quiz about fallacies

Week 18 Final Draft Research Paper Due

And Final Final Exam.You will be writing an in-

Exam class project about Elements of Argument.

Final Exam day May 27 from 10:00 to 12:00 noon

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