Texts and Materials:

Course Objectives:

At the end of the course, students should have:


Concept Quizzes         †††††††††††††                              100 points

Discussion Board Forums/Class Participation             300 points

Debate Participation/Formal Evaluation†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 200 points

Group Problem Solving Project                                    50 points

Media Analysis Presentation†††† ††††                           75 points

Evaluation of a Written Argument                             100 points


Total                                                                        825 points


Some Notes:


I usually check my campus e-mail a few times each week. It is not the best way to contact me or submit late assignments.

During my office hours, I can be reached at 524 - 5153. At other times of day, you can leave a message at this number, but I usually only remember to check my messages once a week, so it is ALWAYS better to e-mail me a quick message at [email protected] 


Copyright Notice: Many of the materials posted to this course site are protected by copyright law. These materials are only for the use of students enrolled in this course and only for the purposes of this course. They may not be further retained or disseminated.


Attendance and Participation: As indicated above, participation is a significant element of this class. You will earn up to 30 points per week (or sometimes more) for participating in class discussion, contributing to weekly forums, actively participating in games, puzzles, activities, workshops and group activities. Failure to participate can significantly lower your grade. You may be marked absent if you are not in class by the time I take roll, if you come without the materials to work that day, or if you are mentally absent from class. You will lose two participation points for every day you are marked absent for any reason.

Evaluation: Your final grade will be calculated as a straight ratio of points earned to points possible and translated into a letter grade based on a fairly generous scale. In order to calculate your letter grade at any given point in the quarter (or on any particular assignment), simply divide your current points by the points possible, multiply the result by 100 and consult this chart.

Tentative Schedule:

Week 1: Introduction to fair and reasonable states of mind

Week 2: Overview of logic and argumentation

Week 3: A methodical approach to problem solving

Week 4: Basic logical reasoning: Deduction and Induction

Week 5: Cultural and psychological impediments to fair and effective reasoning Ė Introducing fallacies

Week 6: Applying critical thinking to media

Week 7: Introduction to, and overview of, formal logic

Week 8: Identifying fallacies

Week 9: Applying critical thinking to research

Week 10: Applying critical thinking to science