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Critical Thinking & Writing
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COMM 395Critical Thinking & Writing 

Click here for a COMM395 outlined scheduled.

Click here for initial WebTycho information.

W.A. Hume

TEXT:  Miller, Robert K. The Informed Argument. New York: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1998.

COMM 395 emphasizes interpretation and evaluation of facts and opinions from a variety of sources. Particular attention is given to establishing appropriate criteria for evaluation of the source's style, validity, and reliability. This course includes writing assignments totaling 6,000 words and may be applied to the Communications general education requirements. (Prerequisite: ENGL101, plus one additional 3 s.h. writing course.)


  • Each student will be able to interpret data, analyze persuasive tactics, and understand classic arguments.

  • Each student will be able to identify logical fallacies and clearly explain why these fallacies damage an argument.

  • Each student will be able to plan, organize, write, and edit an argumentative paper, including developing a thesis, outlining writing plans, and logically organizing effective details.

  • Each student will be able to locate relevant academic sources, incorporate those sources into an independent paper, and use appropriate MLA documentation to cite borrowed information.

This is a writing course based on analysis and persuasion. We will begin with small writing assignments and work in stages to develop an independent in-depth argument.

Student Responsibilities:
Students are required to read all assigned text material, web-based lectures, and all WebTycho postings from the instructor and other students. Students should access WebTycho at least every three days in order to stay up-to-date in this course.
Participation: Students are required to actively participate in class discussions on WebTycho, display a solid understanding of the assigned reading material, and express themselves well in English. Simply reading the posted material does not demonstrate class participation. You must submit thoughtful responses; otherwise, you are simply lurking in the back of the classroom.
Late submissions will only be accepted at the discretion of the lecturer, and will be returned with fewer or no detailed comments and a reduced grade. If your excuse seems valid, and I do accept your late submission, the grades on assignments submitted after the due date will be reduced by 20%. Late submissions to class discussions will not be accepted.
Absences: Absence for more than two weeks (whether all at once or cumulative) may require withdrawal. You need to get my permission in advance to be absent from class discussions. No exceptions, please.

xA MID-TERM and FINAL exam is required. We may also have various quizzes relating to reading assignments, writing processes, critical thinking analyses, and vocabulary.

xFINAL GRADE. Your final grade will be based on the following criteria:

  • 20% Online Exercises & Participation
  • 20% Homework Assignments
  • 20% Mid-Term and Final Exams
  • 40% Writing Projects

Click here for a COMM395 outlined scheduled.

Click here for initial WebTycho information.

to e-mail instructor W.A. Hume

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Disclaimer: Information contained in this syllabus, to the best of the knowledge of the instructor, was considered correct and complete when distributed for use at the beginning of the semester.  However, this syllabus should not be considered a contract between the University of Maryland and any student.  The instructor reserves the right, acting within the policies and procedures of UMUC, to make changes in course content or instructional technique without prior notice or obligation.

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