Critical Reasoning

Critical reasoning promotes academic excellence, professional expertise, and informed citizenship.

3 credit hours | Critical Reasoning is the second course in a two-semester sequence required for students in every field of study.

students in class

The Value of Critical Reasoning

Upon skills gained from WRTR 1312, students analyze arguments based on the conventions of logic and coherence, recognize patterns of cause and effect, discern strong from weak conclusions, and become information literate.

Student Learning Outcome

Students will demonstrate university-level critical reasoning proficiencies through written expression.

Requirement Details

 Students will:

  1. Students will state clearly and describe comprehensively an issue or problem to be critically considered.
  2. Students will draw, cite, and apply evidence from multiple, highly credible sources.
  3. Students will articulate and defend a position with compelling arguments.
  4. Students will offer a thorough exploration and demonstrate a nuanced understanding of the conclusions drawn through critical consideration of a problem or issue.

Courses in this category:

  1. Courses in this category have a sustained focus on the development of the skill of critical reasoning as expressed in written form.
  2. Courses in this category provide multiple opportunities for formal, out-of-class drafting and substantial revision, based on closely commented instructor feedback, totaling 4500 to 6000 words of writing. (The equivalent of approximately 1520 full pages of 12-point, double-spaced text, not including tables, figures, illustrations, bibliographies, and other extra-textual components.)
  3. Courses in this category cultivate skills of information literacy to locate, evaluate, and use source materials that are reliable and relevant. In addressing the importance of using sources critically and appropriately, courses in this category address issues relating to the attribution of sources and plagiarism.
  4. Courses in this category utilize pedagogical materials (textbooks, websites, published articles, etc.) specifically focused on the teaching of critical reasoning skills (e.g. cognitive biases, evidence, logical fallacies, argumentation, scientific method) as relevant to the discipline.
  5. Courses in this category include, as a final assessment, an individually assigned, written, thesis-driven, research-based paper with annotated bibliography that requires students to demonstrate each of the skills in the Critical Reasoning Assessment Rubric.