West Chester University

Fall 2004and
Spring 2005

West Chester University

Spring 2003

Fall 2002

Spring 2002

Fall 2001






Course Information
  LIT 165 Syllabus
  LIT 165 Announcements
  LIT 165 Assignments
  WRT 120 Syllabus
  WRT 120 Announcements
  WRT 120 Assigmments

Notebook for Topics in Literature: Imaginary Worlds (Spring 2005)
  Adieu to Imaginary Worlds
  One Last Look at Imaginary Worlds
  Notes on 'Before the Law'
  Samuel Beckett Links
  Notes on 'Waiting for Godot'
  Approaching 'Waiting for Godot'
  Notes on 'Axolotl' by Julio Cortazar
  Notes on 'EPICAC' by Kurt Vonnegut
  DIRECTIONS: Independent Project
  Suggested Readings: Independent Project
  Utopia/Dystopia Links
  Character Analysis: Brave New World
  Analyzing the Brave New World
  Defining Utopia
  Embarking on the Brave New World
  A Critique of BRAVE NEW WORLD
  Dante Links
  Inferno: Final Destinations, Cantos XXXII-XXXIV
  Inferno: Malebolge, Cantos XVIII-XXXI
  Inferno: Questions/Analysis, Cantos XII - XVII
  Structure in the Inferno: Analysis, Cantos V - XI
  Inferno: Questions for Analysis, Cantos I - V
  Introducing Canto I
  Approaching the Divine Comedy
  Relating to Dante's Inferno
  Our Goals for Studying the Inferno
  Assignment Sheet: PAPER #1
  The Birthmark
  Leaf By Niggle
  Responses to Leaf By Niggle
  'On Fairy Stories' by J.R.R. Tolkien
  Notes on Ovid and 'Metamorphoses'
  Analyzing the Mythic Tales
  The Four Functions of Myth
  Myth and Metaphor
  Myth - Links
  Filtering the Introduction to 'Fantastic Worlds'
  'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' and 'The Zebra Storyteller
  Introducing the 'Imaginary Worlds' Theme
  Alice In Wonderland
  The Metamorphosis

Notebook for Effective Writing I (Spring 2004)
  Conference Schedule: 4/21 and 4/26
  Commentary: Following Up Your Response
  Critical Thinking and Commentary
  Casebook: Evaluating Sources
  What is Argument?
  Parts of an Argument
  Casebook Assignment Sheet
  Rubric for Evaluation of Writing
  Assignment Sheet: Essay#1
  Expressive Writing
  Short Stories About Identity
  Thoughts on Stories About Identity
  Poems About Identity
  Understanding the 'Rhetorical Situation'
  Mind-map: Identity

ENG Q20: Basic Writing (Fall 2004)
  ENG Q20 Syllabus
  Frederick Douglass Excerpt
  Propaganda Analysis
  How to Detect Propaganda
  George Orwell's Politics and the English Language
  Propaganda Analysis Exercise

Go Exploring
  Weblog for WRT 120
  Writing Assistance on the Web
  Blackboard at WCU
  WCU Homepage
  WCU's Francis Harvey Green Library

~~ Critical Thinking and Commentary ~~

The goal of critical thinking is independent thinking.

You want to make sure you graduate college as an independent thinker. If your college education gives you nothing else, it should give you that, or it's no more than a trade school.

You want to make sure you are not dependent on others to tell you what to think…

  • You're not a child; your parents don't make your decisions for you anymore. You decide many things for yourself. Your parents may help you-if you're lucky-but they don't make your important decisions for you anymore. Though you may respect one another, and I hope you do, their values may differ from yours.
  • You're not an adolescent; you don't have to have the same opinions as your peers, though you may sometimes. But you don't have to. You've grown beyond peer pressure.
  • AND now you're a young adult, not a kid or a piece of clay to be shaped and molded; you're more than an inert sponge soaking up the opinions of your textbooks and your professors-ideally, they are there to give you the tools to help you build your own opinions, not to indoctrinate you to any particular mode of thinking.
  • Most of all, you are not dependent on the government or the mass media to tell you what to think, though they are trying very hard to tell you what to think day and night, night and day. But you have learned, I hope, to form your own opinions, make your own sound judgments.

When you join the public conversation as a critical thinker, an independent thinker, you join it in your OWN voice, not the parroted voice of others. When you are confident about doing that, you'll know you got your money's worth from your college education.

In practice, this independent thinking looks like critical thinking, which we can define as a certain set of skills: RESPONDING, QUESTIONING, ANALYZING, INTERPRETING, SYNTHESIZING, AND EVALUATING. Each of these requires active engagement, active thinking—no time for being passive, no time for sitting back and sponging things up.






Questions? Contact me.

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