IS1111 -- First Year Seminar



  • Instructor: Cathie LeBlanc
  • Office: Hyde 415
  • Phone: 535-2629
  • Office Hours: MTWR 11am-12noon, and by appointment
  • Electronic Mail:
  • Text Book: How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age, Fifth Edition, by Schick and Vaughn (ISBN: 978-0-07-338662-1) and PSU's 2008-09 Academic Catalog
  • Meeting Time: TR 9:30-10:45am
  • Meeting Place: Hyde 115

General Course Description -- Critical Thinking and the Nature of Inquiry: Section Description -- Why Do People Believe Weird Things?: Course Objectives:
  1. Understand what it means to be a college-educated person.
  2. Understand why general education is an important part of a college education.
  3. Understand what the academic community is and why it is important on a college campus.
  4. Understand academic integrity.
  5. Understand what critical thinking is.
  6. Understand why critical thinking skills are important for a college-educated person.
  7. Understand why arguments and ideas must be evaluated.
  8. Be able to use critical thinking skills to evaluate arguments and ideas.
    1. Be able to find the main issue in an argument.
    2. Be able to find the conclusion in an argument.
    3. Be able to find the reasons in an argument.
    4. Be able to find fallacies in an argument.
    5. Be able to evaluate the evidence used to bolster an argument.
    6. Be able to determine whether there are rival causes for the conclusion in an argument.
    7. Be able to determine whether any significant information is omitted in an argument.
  9. Understand when the use of critical thinking skills is appropriate and when such use is inappropriate.
  10. Be able to find information in a library.
  11. Be able to use the web to find information.
  12. Understand the variety of possible sources of evidence (such as personal experience, books, scientific journals, interviews, etc.).
  13. Be able to draw conclusions from gathered evidence.
  14. Be able to collaborate with others.
  15. Practice reading and writing skills.
  16. Practice speaking and listening skills.
  17. Practice presentation skills.
  18. Practice using information technology.
Tentative Schedule: Evaluation: Grade Scale: Class Philosophy: Academic Honesty:

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Updated August 10, 2008 by Cathie LeBlanc