C-ID Descriptor
Argumentative Writing and Critical Thinking Through Literature

Descriptor Details

  • Argumentative Writing and Critical Thinking Through Literature
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  • 110
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  • 4.0
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  • Uploaded: 3/19/2024 07:43:43 AM PDT

This course offers instruction in analytical, critical, and argumentative writing, critical thinking, research strategies, information literacy, and proper documentation through the study of literary works from major genres, while developing students’ close reading skills and promoting an appreciation for the aesthetic qualities of literature.

Successful completion of college-level composition (C-ID ENGL 100)



Develop writing and reading skills for logical reasoning and argumentation.

Genres: at minimum, poetry, dramatic writing, and fiction (novel and short story)

Literary terminology, devices, and critical approaches

Active and critical reading strategies

Writing critically about literature

Minimum 5,000 words of formal writing

At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:

  1. Critically read, analyze, compare, and evaluate complex literary texts
  2. Demonstrate understanding of formal and informal fallacies in language and thought
  3. Identify a text's premises and assumptions in various social, historical, cultural, psychological, or aesthetic contexts
  4. Analyze and employ logical and structural methods such as inductive and deductive reasoning, cause and effect, and logos, ethos, and pathos.
  5. Compose thesis-driven arguments to suit a variety of rhetorical situations, including interpretation, evaluation, and analysis, supporting them with a variety of appropriate textual evidence and examples and demonstrating appropriate academic discourse and the conventions of literary analysis
  6. Find, analyze, interpret, and evaluate primary and secondary sources, incorporating them into written work using appropriate documentation format without plagiarism
  7. Use style, diction, and tone appropriate to a diverse academic community and the purpose of the specific writing task; proofread and edit essays so English grammar, usage, or punctuation do not impede clarity
  8. Identify key elements of major genres in order to analyze and interpret texts 
  9. Define common literary terms and apply these to analysis of specific texts 

Primarily written papers and should include a balance of essay exams, class discussion, oral presentations, and quizzes.

Informal writing  (examples include journals, annotations, reader responses, in-class essays, and responses to questions)

Other evaluation methods such as quizzes, projects, and portfolios

Note:  Multiple texts may be necessary to fulfill the purposes of this course.  Any individual text listed below may not stand alone as sufficient.

Texts or appropriate Open Educational Resource (OER) containing culturally diverse college-level fiction and non-fiction texts

James and Merickel, Reading Literature and Writing Argument.  New York: Longman.

Morgan, Stallings, and Townsend. Strategies for Reading and Arguing About Literature.  Longman.

Schilb, John, and John Clifford. Making Arguments about Literature. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Meyer.  The Bedford Introduction to Literature:  Reading, Writing, Thinking. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins

Barnet, Cain, Burton, & Berman. An Introduction to Literature. New York: Longman

Sample Manuals, Other support Materials: 

Harmon and Holman.  A Handbook to Literature. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall

A college-level handbook on writing about literature and documentation

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  • This course is intended as an option to fulfill both Introduction to Literature (C-ID ENGL 120) and Argumentative Writing and Critical Thinking (C-ID ENGL 105) by covering all significant material and objectives from both courses.

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