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English 103: Critical Thinking

Dr. Deborah L. Harrington, Professor; phone @ 213-891-2017; email @
Course Description: This course stresses the development of critical thinking/analytical skills and their application
to reading texts and writing.
Prerequisites: The successful completion of English 101.
Class Hours: Th 6:50-10:00 p.m. (Note: All electronic devices must be turned off or set on vibrate during class
Office Hours: Th@6:15-6:50pm; by appointment in person and virtually.
Required Materials:
Logbook or Journal [a flat, thin plastic loose-leaf binder (8 1/2" x 11")]
College-Ruled Notebook Paper
3 Large-Sized Exambooks
Course Assignments: This is a reading, thinking, discussing, and writing intensive course at the sophomore level.
Primary methods of instruction include (1) in-depth discussion both oral and written of the literature and concepts
assigned and (2) student reports, accompanied by written analyses, of other important topics not assigned in the
course outline. It is expected that you will attend class regularly, promptly, and appropriately prepared. Since this
course will befor the most partconducted workshop-style, attendance and participation during in-class activities
are not optional, but mandatory. This course demands a large volume of reading and writing in a short period of
time. I will not accept or comment on any late assignments (one exception with penalty allowed). A breakdown of
the semesters grading practices and course assignments follows.
Three Essay/Identification Tests: 15%. These correspond to the reading of assigned written, auditory, and visual
texts and the application of theoretical concepts explored over the course of the semester. You may use your journals
during these tests.
Journal/Screening Report Logbook: 25%. When these are collected at approximately the twelfth week of class, they
shall consist of 6-8 Revised Screening Report Assignments (2-3 typed or 4-6 handwritten pages each), all assigned
writing warmups and in-class writings given by me, plus any other extra invention notes, class notes, reading
responses, creative writing, etc., that youd like to provide for my consideration.
Two Theoretical and Critical Essays on Film: 30%. These will be 5-7 typed, MLA-format analyses, including
drafts, peer responses, self-reflective process logs, and revisions; one shall include both primary and secondary
Class Participation (Includes Class Presentation/Final Project): 30%. This class is conducted collaboratively
as a workshop; therefore, your regular participation is essential for our success. Participation includes all work,
written and oral: impromptu writing responses, group exercises, peer reviews, in-class discussion, research
projects, email and internet postings, etc. You must be in class in order to participate! The Class
Presentation/Final Project will consist of both an oral and visual presentation made to the class plus a reflective
writing piece.
Weeks 1-6.
Weeks 7-11.
Weeks 12-16.

Essay Test 1; Theoretical/Critical Essay #1.

Essay Test 2; Theoretical/Critical Essay #2.
Journals Collected; Class Presentations/Final Project; Essay Test 3.

Teaching Methodology
There will be a few short lectures delivered when there is the need to deliver information. However, the main
work of this class will be done through your reading of the assigned texts, your reflection on the meaning of


the texts and the way in which the author has conveyed that meaning, your sharing of your ideas with your
colleagues in the class, your writing, your comments on the writing of others. My role in all this will be to
guide you individually and as a class through your learning, providing information to you as you demonstrate a
need for that information. In this class you really must surrender to the idea that now that you are in college,
you are a writer. Writing is one of the primary measurements of intellectualism for students in college.
Class Policies: If you have any questions about these policies, please ask!
Attendance Policy: As in all English sections, you are allowed one week's worth of class absences during the
semester, no questions asked. Every absence after two absences will impact class participation and success in
this class. Please note further that three tardies equals one absence. Please do not make a habit of being late
(see attendance policy below under exclusion). If you do not attend class, you are still responsible for the
material and content of the class. Set up a buddy system today with at least two individuals in this class--then
you can always find out what you missed. If you come without your assignment on a day it is due, that will
impede your participation as if you were not there [remember, this class is conducted workshop-style]. If you
leave part-way through a class session, that's considered an absence (unless excused). If you come consistently
late, latenesses turn into absences. I will make every effort to attend each class and to be well prepared; I
expect you to do the same. If you must miss more than the allowed absences, please make an appointment with
me. Excessive absence may prevent your successful completion of the course. Additional Note: About
Exclusion--The instructor reserves the right to exclude students from the course due to excessive absences.
Any student who has absences totaling six or more hours of classroom time is subject to exclusion. IF YOU
RESPONSIBILITY TO DROP OR WITHDRAW. Please see also attendance and withdrawal policies
described in the current semester schedule of classes.
Plagiarism Policy: Plagiarism is the use of others words and/or ideas without clearly acknowledging their
source. When you incorporate those words and ideas into your own work, you must give credit where credit is
Anyone found to be plagiarizing or cheating will (1) receive a zero (fail) on the assignment, and (2) be referred
to the Vice President of Student Services for further disciplinary action, following due process.
For more information please see the Board Rules on Student Discipline, Article VIII, section 9803
( .
Draft-Format Policy: All drafts of essays must be typed according to MLA-Format. Drafts which do not conform
strictly to this format will automatically receive a no credit or failing grade.
Testing Policy: There will be three in-class exams consisting of identification and essay questions based on
your reading, understanding, and evaluating of your assigned reading plus other concepts and ideas discussed
throughout the semester. Students will be allowed to make up any missed exams only if the instructor is
notified in advance. Such absences must be for legitimate, documented purposes.
If you are a student with a disability and require classroom accommodations, please meet with me to discuss
arrangements. If you have not yet contacted DSPS, do so in a timely manner. DSPS is located in room CC100
or call DSPS at 818-947-2681 or TTD 818-947-2680, to meet with a DSPS counselor.
Further addendums to this syllabus will be/are forthcoming. All assignments are subject to change at any time, but
the basic course requirements and the grading contract as outlined in this syllabus are not subject to negotiation or