Rhetoric Spring 2014 Syllabus

Weight: 
0

1306 IDS 1013 Rhetoric and Critical Thinking
Spring 2014
Davis 205
MWF 9:05-10:05
Jennifer Long, Ph.D.
Office: Troutt 317
Phone: 574-1217
Email: jlong@usao.edu
Website: www.usao.edu/home/faculty/jennifer-long
Office Hours: MWF 8-8:30; TTh 8-11, 1-2; and by appointment and/or luck

 

Course Description

Rhetoric, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is “the art of using language effectively so as to persuade or influence others, esp. the exploitation of figures of speech and other compositional techniques to this end; the study of principles and rules to be followed by a speaker or writer striving for eloquence, esp. as formulated by ancient Greek and Roman writers.”

This class will emphasize these ideas, but in the broader context of critical thinking. The goal of a liberal arts education is to give people the tools they need to be free citizens, and the most important tool is the ability to discern good thinking from bad—in others’ arguments as well as your own. The research, logic and organizational skills you learn here will also be vital to your success in other college courses, especially IDS courses.

Rhetoric and the IDS Core Curriculum

Thus, the objectives of this—and all IDS courses—are larger, more complex, and much more significant. We aim to produce students who will learn and use the skills of critical thinking, enabling them to become good consumers, questioners, and analyzers of information; develop a life-long love of learning; and appreciate the value of multiple perspectives in understanding and analyzing complex issues.

Because each IDS course shares these common goals, the Core Curriculum is an integrated whole. We encourage students to move through the Core in its prescribed order, from courses that deal with the Individual, and then broaden into the Natural World, the Community and the Nation, and finally the World of Ideas. The Skills Courses (including Writing, Rhetoric and Mathematics) should be completed before the student begins the sophomore-level IDS courses, as these skills are imperative to success there and beyond. (For more information about the IDS Core Curriculum, see the IDS webpage at  /usao-ids).

Textbook

Critical Thinking: A Student’s Introduction, 4th ed. Bassham, Irwin, Nardone, and Wallace, 2011

Class Policies

Attendance

Attendance is required, although no credit is given explicitly for attendance. The policy is simple: students who do not attend regularly will not be able to pass the course. No distinction is made between “excused” and “unexcused” absences; therefore you need not inform me of your absence, as you will have missed class regardless of the reason. All assignment will be explained thoroughly in class, and instructions will not be repeated outside of class.

Cell phones/Lap tops

Cell phones, laptops, and other beeping, chirping, singing, game-playing, text-messaging and noise-making electronic things must be turned OFF during class and kept out of sight. Because of the potential for distraction (for you and those sitting around you), laptops use is not allowed in class. (Exceptions can be made only in the case of a documented accommodation need. Please inform the instructors if this is the case).

We know you think that you can listen to lecture, check your Facebook, take notes, text your friends about where to meet for lunch, formulate intelligent questions, read your email, participate in class discussion, and listen to your iPod all at the same time, but you can't. Lots of good research tells us that multitasking detracts from the learning experience and can actually make you dumber (see, for example, "The Myth of Multi-Tasking" athttp://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-myth-of-multitasking).

Be fully present in the classroom; treat class as a one hour refuge from all the other electronic demands in your life. You might find that all those pressing demands on your time—all those incoming texts, all the new Facebook statuses, all the waiting messages—really aren’t all that urgent. You might even find that the electronic silence gives you a calm space in which to really think and learn.

That said, if your cell phone or other beeping, chirping, singing, game-playing, text-messaging or noise-making electronic thing goes off in class, you will be asked to leave. If you're texting or emailing or checking your Facebook in class, you'll be asked to leave.

 Academic Dishonesty

Students are expected to maintain high standards of academic integrity. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated in this or any other class on campus. Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to plagiarism, fabrication, cheating, assisting another student in academic dishonesty, and forgery or alteration of documents (see pages 9-11 in the student handbook for definitions and descriptions of each of these).  All instances of dishonesty will be result in penalty without exception. Any student who engages in any form of academic dishonesty will be assigned a failing grade and reported to the Vice-President for Academic Affairs. We're really not kidding about this. Don't cheat. We mean it.

ADA Statement

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), each student with a disability is responsible for notifying the University of his/her disability and requesting accommodations. If you think you have a qualified disability and need classroom accommodations, contact the office of Student Services located on the third floor of the Student Center.  Please advise the professor of your disability as soon as possible, to ensure timely implementation of appropriate accommodations. Faculty have an obligation to respond when they receive official notice of a disability from Student Services but are under no obligation to provide retroactive accommodations.  To receive services, you must submit appropriate documentation and complete an intake process during which the existence of a qualified disability is verified and reasonable accommodations are identified.  Call 405-574-1278 for more information.

The Writing Center (Nash Library, third floor)

Students are encouraged to make use of the Writing Center, which is a resource for all writers at USAO.  The Writing Center aims to create a friendly and welcoming environment in which students feel comfortable voicing their concerns about their writing.  Writing Center tutors are trained to assist students with a variety of writing issues, including:

· Understanding assignment instructions
· Thesis statements
· Paper organization
· Sentence structure (including run-on sentences and comma splices)
· English as a Second Language (ESL) writing
· MLA format (as well as APA, Chicago)
· ...and many others.

The Writing Center’s purpose is educational; it supports the academic mission of USAO.  The tutors are not proofreaders or editors.  They are trained peer tutors who are there to offer advice and feedback to writers who have particular concerns. 

Assignments and Grading

Exams

Content from lecture and the textbook will be tested with two exams and a comprehensive final. 

Essays

Students will submit six essays over the course of the semester (see schedule below for dates). Topics will be posted on turnitin.com, and students will submit their 2-3 page essays there.

Turnitin.com class id: 7471586
Password: skepticism

No late work will be accepted.

Essay Discussions

The class period following the essay due dates are reserved as “essay discussion days.” Five-seven students will be randomly chosen to read their essays to the class, and other students will be given credit for their thoughtful questions and responses to the content presented. If you are not in class that day, you will not receive credit for that discussion.

Grading

Final grades will be calculated as a percentage of the 590 possible points.

 ASSIGNMENT

POINTS

TOTAL POINTS

First Exam

100

100

Second Exam

100

100

Final Exam

150

150

Six essays

20 each

120

Six essay discussions

20 each

120

 

 

 

Total

 

590

 

POINTS

PERCENTAGE

GRADE

531-590

90%-100%

A

472-530

80%-89%

B

413-471

70%-79%

C

354-412

60%-69%

D

353 or fewer

59% or below

F

 

Tentative Class Schedule

Date

Topic

Reading

Assignments

F 1/10

Introduction

   

M 1/13

Critical Thinking

Ch. 1

 

W 1/15

Arguments

Ch. 2

First essay posted

F 1/17

Arguments

Ch. 2

 

M 1/20

Evaluating Arguments

Ch. 8

 

W 1/22

Deduction and Induction

Ch. 3

Essay Due

F 1/24

Essay Discussion

   

M 1/27

Deduction and Induction

Ch. 3

 

W 1/29

Deduction and Induction

Ch. 3

Second essay posted

F 1/31

Sources

Ch. 12

 

M 2/3

Sources

Ch. 12

 

W 2/5

Fallacies

Chs .5 and 6

Essay Due

F 2/7

Essay Discussion

   

M 2/10

Fallacies

Chs .5 and 6

 

W 2/12

Fallacies

Chs .5 and 6

 

F 2/14

FIRST EXAM

   

M 2/17

Diagramming and Summarizing Arguments

Ch. 7

 

W 2/19

Diagramming and Summarizing Arguments

Ch. 7

Third essay posted

F 2/21

Diagramming and Summarizing Arguments

Ch. 7

 
       

M 2/24

Categorical Syllogisms

Ch. 9

Essay due; Fourth essay posted

W 2/26

Essay Discussion

   

F 2/28

Categorical Syllogisms

Ch. 9

 

M 3/3

Categorical Syllogisms

Ch. 9

Essay due

W 3/5

Essay Discussion

   

F 3/7

Inductive Generalizations

Ch. 11

 

M 3/10

Inductive Generalizations

Ch. 11

 

W 3/12

Language

Ch. 4

 

F 3/14

Language

Ch. 4

 

M 3/24

Language

Ch. 4

 

W 3/26

SECOND EXAM

 

Fifth essay posted

F 3/28

The Media

Ch. 14

 

M 3/31

Science and Pseudoscience

Ch. 15

 

W 4/2

Science and Pseudoscience

Ch. 15

Essay due

F 4/4

Essay Discussion

   

M 4/7

Science and Pseudoscience

Ch. 15

 

W 4/9

Science and Pseudoscience

Ch. 15

Sixth essay posted

F 4/11

Propositional Logic

Ch. 10

 
       

M 4/14

Propositional Logic

Ch. 10

 

W 4/16

Essay Discussion

 

Essay due

F 4/18

Skepticism

   

M 4/21

Skeptisicm

   

F 4/25

Final exam 8-9:30