Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2023
Units: 5
Hours: 5 lecture per week (60 total per quarter)
Prerequisite: One of the following: ENGL 1A or 1AH or ESLL 26.
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in ENGL 1BH.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area V: Communication & Analytical Thinking
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to make logical inferences to arrive at an interpretation.
  • Students will be able to formulate an arguable thesis.


Further development in the technique and practice of analytical, critical, and argumentative writing through critical reading of literature. Course focuses on literary works from major genres to promote appreciation of literature and represent a broad spectrum of opinions and ideas, writing styles, and cultural experiences. Formal instruction in composition and critical thinking.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Analyze literature from major genres: at minimum poetry, drama, and fiction (novel and short story). Nonfiction supplemented where necessary.
B. Identify and analyze literary and rhetorical devices in connection with a text's main themes.
C. Recognize differences in value systems based on culture in a given text.
D. Draw comparisons to other works and contexts.
E. Read and analyze texts to demonstrate critical thinking skills.
A. Write extended compositions based on class reading and demonstrate interpretive as well as critical thinking skills.
B. Formulate an arguable thesis and substantiate it through analysis, logical and systematic organization, supporting evidence, and clarity of expression.
C. Use diction and tone appropriate to the academic community and the purpose of the specific writing task; proofread for errors in language and mechanics to the degree that the nature and frequency of errors do not become distracting.
D. Use techniques of research, especially textual citations and proper documentation.
E. Demonstrate through extensive application in written assignments the ability to distinguish fundamental concepts of critical thinking.

Course Content

A. Read and analyze literature totaling at least two book-length college-level texts in separate or anthology form, covering at minimum the major literary genres: poetry, drama, and fiction (novel and short story), but not excluding nonfiction
1. Comprehend and evaluate a text's main themes
2. Draw reasoned inferences based on close reading of a text
B. Literary and rhetorical analysis
1. Analyze varieties in voice, rhetorical style and purpose, genre
2. Identify and analyze literary devices in connection with a text's main themes
C. Establish cultural and historical contexts for a text and determine how those contexts shape that literature
D. Draw connections that synthesize:
1. Two or more texts
2. The text(s) and the student's individual experiences and ideas
E. Read and analyze texts to demonstrate critical thinking skills
1. Distinguish denotation from connotation, the abstract from the concrete, and the literal from the inferential (including analogy, extended metaphor, and symbol)
2. Identify logic and logical fallacies such as syllogistic reasoning, abstractions, undefined terms, name-calling, false analogy, ad hominem, and ad populum arguments
3. Recognize and evaluate assumptions underlying an argument
4. Draw and assess inferences and recognize distinctions among assumptions, inferences, facts, and opinions
A. Write a total of at least 6,000 words: thesis-driven compositions, the shortest of which will be 750 words, demonstrating critical thinking skills
B. Writing as process (discovery and synthesis)
1. Invention, generation, collection of ideas
2. Formulation of arguable thesis
3. Organization, development, proper use of textual evidence
4. Drafting, revision, editing
5. Synthesis of texts and student ideas
C. Writing as product
1. Attention to technical detail
2. Rhetorical features (structure, analysis, insight)
D. Research methods
1. Proper use of quotations and documentation
2. Focus on variety of sources (print/nonprint/electronic) with evaluation of credibility and relevance of same
E. Critical thinking and writing
1. Demonstrated awareness of logic and reasoning in course writing, including awareness of logic and logical fallacies, assumptions, inferences, and opinions

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

When taught as a fully online course, the faculty shall employ one or more of the following methods of regular, timely, and effective student/faculty contact:
A. Private messages within the course management system
B. Personal email outside of the course management system
C. Telephone contact/weekly announcements in the course management system
D. Chat room within the course management system
E. Timely feedback and return of student work (tasks, tests, surveys, and discussions) in the course management system by methods clarified in the syllabus
F. Discussion forums with appropriate facilitation and/or substantive instructor participation
G. E-portfolios/blogs/wiki for sharing student works in progress; provide feedback from fellow students and faculty in a collaborative manner, and to demonstrate mastery, comprehension, application, and synthesis of a given set of concepts

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Write a total of at least 6,000 words: a minimum of three untimed, formal essays (in-class or online) and two timed, informal essay exams (in-class or online)
Final examination: a clearly reasoned composition within a limited period of time

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Structured small-group exercises

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

One critical thinking text and at least two additional book-length college-level texts of imaginative and/or nonfiction literature presented in either separate or anthology form, covering at minimum the major genres. To be supplemented at the instructor's discretion with additional readings, handbook, and/or rhetoric. OR one literary anthology with embedded critical thinking and at least two additional book-length college-level texts of imaginative and/or non-fiction literature presented in either separate or anthology form.

The following are suggested literary anthologies with embedded critical thinking:
James, Missy, and Alan Merickel. Reading Literature and Writing Argument. New York: Longman, 2012.
Meyer, Michael, Sylvan Barnet, and Hugo Gedau. The Bedford Introduction to Literature. 10th ed. and From Critical Thinking to Argument. 3rd ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2013.

The following are suggested critical thinking books for the course:
Barnet, Sylvan, and Hugo Bedau. From Critical Thinking to Argument. New York: Bedford, 2014.
Moore, Brooke, and Richard Parker. Critical Thinking. New York: McGraw Hill, 2011.
Browne, Neil, and Stuart M. Keeley. Asking the Right Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking. 10th ed. New York: Longman, 2011.
Cooper, Sheila, and Rosemary Patton. Writing Logically, Thinking Critically. 7th ed. New York: Longman, 2011.
Elder, Linda, and Richard Paul. Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Learning and Your Life. 3rd ed. New York: Prentice Hall, 2011.
Morrow, David R., and Anthony Weston. A Workbook for Arguments: A Complete Course in Critical Thinking. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2019.

The following are examples of texts to be assigned in addition to one of the critical thinking texts listed above:
Barnet, Sylvan, William Burton, and William Cain. An Introduction to Literature. 16th ed. New York: Longman, 2011.
Machado, Carmen Maria. Her Body and Other Parties. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2017.
Martel, Yann. Life of Pi. New York: Mariner, 2003.
Mayes, Kelly J. The Norton Introduction to Literature. 13th ed. New York: Norton, 2019.
Morrison, Toni. Beloved. New York: Everyman, 2006.
O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. New York: Mariner, 2009.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Reading essays, poetry, short stories, drama, novels, and/or non-fiction books and articles which focus on topics appropriate to the practice of critical thinking
B. Writing informal journal responses to readings
C. Writing formal analyses of readings in college academic essay format