Online Courses

ENG 7 - Critical Thinking/Writing

Instructor: Toby Bielawski
Email Instructor

Course Description

Develops critical thinking, reading, and writing skills as they apply to the textual analysis of primary and secondary book-length works from a range of academic and cultural contexts. Emphasis on the techniques and principles of effective written argument in research-based writing across disciplines. Prerequisite: English 1A with a grade of "C" or higher.

To take this class, you must have daily access to a computer with an Internet connection and experience using a web browser. You will also need to utilize your college Zonemail account. Learn more about Zonemail.

Check the college catalog for CSU/UC transferability and to see if this course meets AA/AS degree requirements.

The instructor may drop students who miss the first meeting of a course. The first meeting of online or hybrid Distance Education courses is the first day of the class as specified in the class schedule listing. For these courses, instructors may drop students who do not log into their Blackboard course and/or complete indicated activities by the third day of classes. DE instructors may drop students if they have not submitted work and/or accessed the class for two consecutive weeks.

There might be an instructional materials fee associated with this course. Learn more about instructional materials fees.

This class begins Jan 19 and ends May 27.

On-Campus Meetings

There are no required on-campus meetings for this class. You can attend an OPTIONAL, on-campus orientation to Online Learning on Jan 13 from 1 - 2:30 pm or Jan 14 from 5:30 - 7 pm in Room 2410. A virtual session will be offered on the Internet on Jan 19 from 5:30-7 pm. Learn more about these orientations, which are NOT course-specific.

How This Class Operates

This is not a self-paced class; there are due dates throughout the semester that you are expected to meet, just like in a traditional, face-to-face class.

Twenty assignments from the textbook Making Sense, A Guide to Sound Reasoning and Critical Thinking, 5th edition only, which must be bought new, are required. Six Supplementary assignments are required. Two of these are questions applying critical thinking to two films students rent from their local video stores or obtain from the library. Two are Discussion Board postings based on questions calling for analysis of events and characters in the only other required text, 1984 by George Orwell.

Each week, students will upload answers to assignments. All students must become familiar with uploading assignments and essays SAVED AS RTF or HTM. During the FIRST WEEK of the semester, ALL students will submit a Practice Assignment to ensure that they are familiar with the course website and can indeed save, attach and upload a document.

Chat Room
Students should become familiar with using the chatroom during the first week of class. It is used for virtual office hours and on an as-needed, by-appointment basis in order to tutor or guide a student needing help with specific lessons. Students also use chat with the instructor and each other for quiz preparation. It is sort of a group oral exam with each student taking turns explaining a concept and giving examples.

The instructor must have a connection to each student. Emails are sometimes sent to announce changes or suggest research procedures on current events material. Each student must therefore enter the email address he/she wishes to use for this class.

Class Activities

Discussion Board posts
The Discussion Board is used for four reasons: students can post responses to questions concerning current assignments; students can have discussions about current issues; students can communicate about reading material they are studying; students can help one another locate research material useful for essay supports. Only assignment responses are graded but all receive teacher feedback via the Discussion Board, chat or email. There are six required posts during the semester.

How Students are Graded

Students are graded according to their abilities to apply the learning/tools from the main text to the texts and films they will study as supplementary material. Making connections between texts and then between texts and films, analyzing and thinking critically is expected after the students complete the first of three chapters in the main text, Making Sense: A Guide to Sound Reasoning and Critical Thinking. Each unit or chapter has a correlative assignment. Students are graded on assignment answers to questions in the workbook, Making Sense.

Four essays are completed over the semester, graded for their evident ability to apply critical thinking tools learned up to a given point. These grades, likewise, are based on knowledge of texts, or films, and the ability to apply critical thinking tools to analyze and evaluate logic and reasoning.

One quiz will be given during the semester. A practice quiz will be required one week before the test date to ensure students understand what is required for successfully completing a quiz online.

The final, online exam will be given.

Succeeding in an Online Course

Students who succeed in online courses tend to be independent, self-motivated learners with good computer skills. If you are a procrastinator who relies heavily on the instructor for motivation, can't use a computer too well, have taken less than 21 units of college credit in your lifetime, and/or have a grade-point-average under 2.0, you should probably consider enrolling in a face-to-face course instead.

Also, don't enroll in this class if you believe the myth that learning online requires less effort than learning face-to-face. This course covers the same content and has similar activities as the face-to-face version of the course; only the method of delivery changes.

LPC offers a tutorial called "Succeeding in an online course" that will not only tell you if you are a good fit for online learning, but it also offers many strategies -- among other pertinent information -- that will help you succeed online. Please complete the tutorial.


This course will use the Blackboard course management system as its virtual classroom. To learn how to log in to Blackboard, go to the Blackboard Login Procedures page. Once you enroll, you will not be able to log in until the first day of class.

Register for this course

Page last modified: October 06, 2015