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ENGL-103H - Critical Reading, Writing and Thinking, Honors - Jim Keller

Course:Critical Reading, Writing and Thinking, Honors
Professor:Jim Keller
  • Online
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


My name is Jim Keller and I'm looking forward to working with you.

Course Description

This course teaches critical thinking from the perspective of analyzing information and writing well-thought-out papers. We'll be looking at biases, fallacies, and argumentation errors across media, and will dive into the ways we can find ourselves manipulated into thinking we're thinking critically. The final project asks students to take a deep dive into the world of conspiracy theories to see how they stand up to critical thought and research.

What to Expect in this Course

This is a three-unit honors course. Remember that each unit carries with it the expectation of 3 hours per week of work over the course of a regular semester, so you should plan to dedicate 9 hours per week to this class, including time spent in class. Readings will be distributed in Canvas and most assignments will be turned in there, so reliable Canvas access is a must.  I expect that everyone in the class has successfully completed ENGL-101 or its equivalent and is already familiar with how to write a college-level paper in MLA format, or to know how to get the help necessary outside of class to be able to do so.  You will be required to do group assignments, so the ability to work with others is essential. Most students who are willing to put the work in find the class to be engaging and even exciting, so it can be a lot of fun if you let it be a lot of fun. 

Types of Assessments

The class is assessed primarily through your writing and group work, though quizzes and other assignments make up a statistically significant percentage of the grade.

Textbook Information

Our primary textbook is From Critical Thinking to Argument: A Portable Guide, sixth edition, by Sylvan Barnet, Hugo Bedau, and John O'Hara. There will be additional OER materials distributed via Canvas. 

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 11/26/2022 Sub#: 1510