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Philosophy 106 - Critical Reasoning - Marco Llaguno

Course:Critical Reasoning
Professor:Marco Llaguno
  • Online
Course Length:
  • 5 Week


Greetings everyone and welcome!  I'm Marco Llaguno and it is my honor to be your instructor this semester for Philosophy 106, Critical Reasoning.  The fall of 2017 was my first semester teaching philosophy at College of the Canyons. I previously taught philosophy at Santa Monica College, El Camino College, LA Southwest College, and Mount St. Mary;s University over the past 8 years.  I very much look forward to continuing to blaze new trails with all my students here at CoC!

Course Description

This course introduces reasoning skills for evaluating and understanding arguments, including deductive and inductive logic, identifying common fallacies and evaluating beliefs, claims, and forms of evidence. 

This course aims to develop our critical thinking skills and help us understand what it means to be a rational being in an increasingly complex and confusing world. We will look at the different--and sometimes confusing ways--we use language to think, reason, and communicate. We will learn various techniques to read and analyze English language texts, e.g. newspapers, letters to the editor, court decisions, etc. In particular, we will become more adept at identifying and critically evaluating different types of arguments (both deductive and inductive) which are often used to influence our numerous beliefs about the world. In addition, we will spend a good deal of time studying examples of bad reasoning (formal and informal fallacies) so that we might not only become more efficient at spotting other people's bad reasoning, but also so that we can begin to recognize (and overcome) our own. We will also gain a general understanding of the different ways in which reasoning is used in different fields of study, such as law, politics, and the various sciences.

What to Expect in this Course

Course Structure

100% Online: This course is 100% online through Canvas and there are NO face-to-face meetings. In order to take this class, you must have access to a computer, internet services, and COC e-mail. All communications are done through announcements, email, and discussion boards. This course requires a great deal of discipline, organization, reading and participation several days a week (and by several, I mean at least 4-5 days a week). The Canvas course site cannot be accessed until the first day of class

IMPORTANT ON FIRST DAY OF CLASS - To avoid being dropped from the course as a no show, you must login to the course website on Canvas and complete a discussion board activity by 11:59pm on the second day of the semester. If you do not complete this assignment by the deadline, you will be dropped from the course.  It is not enough to log in to our Canvas course; you must complete the discussion board activity to be counted as present.


Online classes are as rigorous as regular classes and the time commitment is the same, you are expected to put in 12 hours of work each week. The content of this course is similar to what is included in a traditional format course. Canvas allows for class discussions that everyone will be expected to participate in and you will still take quizzes and exams. These quizzes and exams will have the same format as the ones you would normally take in a traditional format class. However, they are rigidly timed and you will not have the time to look up more than a couple of items. I highly recommend that you study the material well before taking a quiz or exam. This class also requires students to complete a lot of projects, reading, discussion, and sharing self-reflection through discussion posts. You will need to pay close attention to due dates and details. You must complete all assignments in each individual module by the due dates for each assignment.

Basic Required Online Skills

Basic computer literacy, including skills in Internet navigation and basic document creation and handling. At the very least, you should know how to cut and paste, how to copy from one document to another, and how to attach documents to emails. 

Reliable, consistent Internet access with an up-to-date browser. AOLs browser often does not work well with Canvas, so if you are an AOL user, you will need to download another browser to use to access this course (Firefox, Chrome, etc.). In case of technical problems with your computer or Internet connection, you might choose to make use of the computer labs on COCs campus. 

If you are not entirely confident in your computer skills or if anything listed here sounds unfamiliar to you, I highly recommend that you also enroll in Counseling 070 (Distance Learning and Strategies for Success), a one-unit short-term course designed to improve your success in online courses.

Types of Assessments

Over the course of the class, you should expect to complete anywhere from 2-4 assignments (discussion board responses, practice exercises, group projects, and quizzes) per week. In addition to two 2-3 page essays, a midterm exam and a final exam.

Textbook Information

Required Textbook:

Vaughn, Lewis, The Power of Critical Thinking: Effective Reasoning About Ordinary and Extraordinary Claims, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2016). ISBN: 978-0-19-938542-3

Other Relevant Course Information

Note: This is not your syllabus. Your syllabus will be posted separately on the Canvas course shell.

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: 10/16/2023 Sub#: 6