ENG 214 : Critical Writing and Academic Research

This course combines the study of argumentation with the instruction needed for students to conduct semester long academic research projects. Diverse philosophies of argument will be considered, including Aristotle's and Toulmin's, as well as inductive and deductive reasoning and logical fallacies. Students will critically evaluate popular media, websites, print sources, and literature, and analyze the various ways that authors attempt to persuade their readers. In doing so, students will learn how to compose ethically sound arguments. Students will design a research proposal, compose an annotated bibliography, and synthesize their secondary sources into an argumentative research essay using the MLA format. Three hours of library instruction are included as part of the course. Prerequisite: ENG 101. Three lecture hours per week. Gen. Ed. Competencies Met: Ethical Dimensions, Human Expression and Written Communication.
By the end of the semester students will be able to: 1. Analyze written arguments from a variety of philosophical perspectives and their impact on the human experience. 2. Evaluate evidence and use it to support and debunk argumentative claims. 3. Evaluate contrasting points of view on an issue and evaluate the ethics of each of them. 4. Critically read arguments with a skeptical eye. 5. Create, interpret, and evaluate visual, verbal, artistic, and other forms of communication for biases and emotional appeals. 6. Effectively utilize library resources to conduct an extensive research project. 7. Draft an annotated bibliography and understand its role in the research process. 8. Successfully utilize a variety of primary and secondary sources to support an argument. 9. Compose analytically and ethically sound arguments using sufficient, credible evidence while considering the justice, fairness, and ramifications associated with these arguments.