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BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE

City University of New York

CRITICAL THINKING
Critical Thinking 100 / Philosophy 115 / Section 141W
Department of Academic Literacy and Linguistics

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

This course is designed to develop the mind and help sharpen students ability to think clearly,
logically, thoroughly, critically, and effectively. Through substantive readings, structured writing
assignments and ongoing discussions, students will learn to use analytical skills in reading, writing,
oral presentations, researching, and listening. Students will examine concrete examples from their
own experience and readings and contemporary issues in the media to learn how to analyze issues,
solve problems, and make informed decisions in their academic, professional, and personal lives.

COURSE INFORMATION:

Writing Intensive Course

Credit hours: 3 Class Hours: 3 Prerequisites/Co-requisites: ENG 88, ESL 94, ACR 94

Class Meetings:

Tuesday | 2-3:40 p.m. | Murray 1002


Thursday | 2-2:50 p.m. | Murray 1002

INSTRUCTOR INFORMATION:

Dr. Nicholas Ryan Smith


Office: N499J (in the Department of Academic Literacy and Linguistics)
Office Hours: Wednesday 12:30-2 | Friday 2:30-4
Email: nismith@bmcc.cuny.edu
Telephone: (212) 220-8000 ext. 1409 (email is the best way to contact me)

REQUIRED TEXT AND READINGS:

Richard L. Epstein with Michael Rooney, Critical Thinking, 4th edition (Socorro, NM: Advanced
Reasoning Forum, 2013). ISBN: 978-1-938421-02-0.

Additional readings, reading response questions, and worksheets will be posted on Blackboard.
Check the relevant Course Schedule for due dates.

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CRT 100 OUTCOMES: ASSESSMENTS:

Demonstrate ability to think clearly, logically, thoroughly, critically, Homework assignments, tests.
and effectively.

Use analytical skills in reading, writing, oral presentations, researching, Homework assignments, tests.
and listening.

Analyze arguments critically and present a coherent, persuasive Homework assignments, tests, classroom discussion.
argument in writing and in oral presentations (as individuals and in
groups).
Recognize the credibility, appropriateness, and reliability of sources Homework assignments, tests.
and biases, e.g., stereotypes and fallacies in thinking.

Read, summarize, and evaluate a variety of texts and media Homework assignments, reading response questions, tests.

PATHWAYS (INDIVIDUAL AND SOCIETY) OUTCOMES: ASSESSMENTS:

Homework assignments, reading response questions,


Gather, interpret, and assess information from a variety of sources and
tests.
points of view.

Homework assignments, reading response questions,


Evaluate evidence and arguments critically or analytically.
tests.

Homework assignments, reading response questions,


Produce well-reasoned written or oral arguments using evidence to
tests.
support conclusions.

Students identify and apply the fundamental concepts of


Identify and apply the fundamental concepts and methods of a
critical thinking and philosophy to examine the
discipline or interdisciplinary field exploring the relationship between
relationship between the individual and society with
the individual and society, including, but not limited to, anthropology,
regard to issues in e.g., ethical theory and applied ethics.
communications, cultural studies, history, journalism, philosophy,
political science, psychology, public affairs, religion, and sociology.

Students examine how biases, stereotypes, and other


Examine how an individual's place in society affects experiences,
faulty assumptions impact human perception and
values, or choices.
reasoning.

Students articulate, defend, and assess ethical arguments in


Articulate and assess ethical views and their underlying premises.
homework assignments and tests.

GENERAL EDUCATION OUTCOMES ASSESSMENTS:

Communication skills - Students will be able to write, read, listen Homework assignments, reading response questions, tests.
and speak critically and effectively.

Values - Students will be able to make informed choices based on an Students analyze and evaluate arguments about ethical claims
understanding of personal values, human diversity, multicultural in homework assignments, reading response questions, and
awareness and social responsibility. tests.

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WRITING INTENSIVE LEARNING OUTCOMES: ASSESSMENTS:

Students will complete at least 10-12 pages of formal writing


2 5-page argumentative essays.
assignments that have gone through the revision process.

Student will generate pieces of informal writing in response to a


Homework reading questions; in-class writing.
variety of prompts, concepts, situations, or reading assignments.

WHAT MAKES THIS COURSE A WRITING INTENSIVE COURSE?

This is a Writing Intensive course that fulfills the WI requirement for graduation. Writing
intensive courses pay special attention to developing critical reading, writing, and analytic skills
to prepare students for college-level coursework in general. Both informal and formal writing
will be designed to maximize your understanding of the subject matter. Formal writing
assignments, at least 10-12 pages total, account for a significant portion of your grade and will
include opportunities for revision.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADES:

Homework: 20%

Tests: 45%

Essay: 35% (2 5-page essays; revisions required)

Excessive absences and/or lateness will lower the final grade. Thoughtful and regular
participation in classroom discussions can bump up the final grade a notch.

A 93-100 | A- 90-92

B+ 87-89 | B 83-86 | B- 80-82

C+ 77-79 | C 73-76 | C- 70-72

D+ 67-69 | D 63-66 | D- 60-62

ATTENDANCE AND PUNCTUALITY:

At BMCC, the maximum number of absences is limited to one more hour than the number of
hours a class meets in one week. For example, you may be enrolled in a three-hour class. In
that class, you would be allowed 4 hours of absence (not 4 days). In the case of excessive
absences, the instructor has the option to lower the grade or assign an F or WU grade.

For this course: You may miss up to three classes with no effect on your grade. Use these as
your sick days for absences due to illness or emergency. You dont need to give me a doctors

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note or even an explanation. However, each additional absence after the first three will
result in a 2.5% deduction from your final grade. For example, if you miss 7 classes total,
you would receive 4 x 2.5 = 10% off of your final grade.

Two latenesses count as one absence. If you come to class late, you must see me at the end
of class so that I can mark you late rather than absent.

USE OF TECHNOLOGY:

Blackboard will be used in this class. If you are unfamiliar with Blackboard or need help
navigating the system, you can visit the E-Learning Center (S501a) or talk to me. In addition,
you should regularly check the email address associated with Blackboard (its your BMCC
email address unless you change it). I sometimes send important messages via Blackboard email.

ACADEMIC ADJUSTMENTS FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES:

Students with disabilities who require reasonable accommodations or academic adjustments for
this course must contact the Office of Accessibility (N360). BMCC is committed to providing
equal access to all programs and curricula to all students.

BMCC POLICY ON PLAGIARISM AND ACADEMIC INTEGRITY STATEMENT:

Plagiarism is the presentation of someone elses ideas, words or artistic, scientific, or technical
work as ones own creation. Using the idea or work of another is permissible only when the
original author is identified. Paraphrasing and summarizing, as well as direct quotations, require
citations to the original source. Plagiarism may be intentional or unintentional. Lack of dishonest
intent does not necessarily absolve a student of responsibility for plagiarism.

Students who are unsure how and when to provide documentation are advised to consult with
their instructors. The library has guides designed to help students to appropriately identify a cited
work. The full policy can be found on BMCCs web site, www.bmcc.cuny.edu. For further
information on integrity and behavior, please consult the college bulletin (also available online).