Political Science 201

POSC 201
Critical Inquiry in Political Science

1. Catalog Entry

POSC 201
Critical Inquiry in Political Science

Credit hours (3)
Prerequisites: Either CORE 101 and 102, or HNRS 103

Introduction to critical thinking and oral and written communication concerning a topic in political science or public administration.  Emphasizes key concepts in public speaking and common forms of reasoning. This course can be used to substitute for CORE 201 - Topics in Critical Inquiry.

2. Detailed Description of Course

Instructors will choose course themes (topics in domestic policy, international relations, political theory, comparative government, or public administration) that promote critical inquiry and develop skills in oral communication, written communication, information literacy, and technology literacy.   

Required projects are an argument analysis essay, an annotated bibliography, and a persuasive speech.  Other quizzes, essays, and projects may be added at the instructor’s discretion.

Classes will attend a librarian-facilitated session to further information literacy.

This course will use the revised Core Handbook (2014) as a supplemental text in order to address the Core requirements for the course.

3. Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Students will be able to:
    1) Analyze a real-world public policy issue;
    2) Apply critical reasoning to a real-world policy issue;
    3) Develop an argument analysis essay that:
        a. Analyzes the use of  ethos, logos and pathos by sources;
        b. Identifies fallacies;
        c. Discerns the logical structure of arguments; and
        d. Evaluates an argument’s premises and how they are intended to support a conclusion.
    4) Develop an annotated bibliography that:
        a. Conducts background research related to their topic;
        b. Uses subject-specific databases appropriately matched to their topics;
        c. Uses a variety of popular and scholarly sources appropriate to their topic; and
        d. Evaluates the comparative credibility of these sources.
    5) Present a persuasive speech that:
        a. Constructs a discussion that positions a variety of sources according to the sources’ viewpoints on a
            particular topic;
        b. Correctly cites images used in the supporting visual aids;
        c. Uses language that enhances the message of the presentation;
        d. Uses nonverbal communication in a way that enhances the message of a speech;
        e. Creates presentational aids to enhance the message of a speech; and
        f. Presents the reasons and evidence supporting the argument.

4. Assessment Measures

Students will produce formal and informal texts, spoken and written, which will be graded according to a set of rubrics designed with the outcomes in mind. For program assessment, a designated set of assignments and student work will be collected.  Required projects are an argument analysis essay, an annotated bibliography, and a persuasive speech.  Other quizzes, essays, and projects may be added at the instructor’s discretion.

5. Other Course Information

None

Review and Approval

January 2000
June 20, 2015