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College of the Canyons, Prof.

Rebecca Chmiel
English 103-24397 Mon/Wed 8:00-9:20 am

Unit 3 Paper:
Critical Thinking and Key Concepts
Background: This unit were moving in concepts from Baudrillards Simulacra and Simulation while also building on
previously gained knowledge from the earlier units- inductive and deductive reasoning, logical fallacies, rhetoric,
research skills, and subjects understood by modern culture. This unit will require you to work on 2 project
simultaneously, each of which are informed by the other. You should think of the research paper work as an aid for
your unit 3 paper, and your unit 3 paper as an aid for your research project.
The Collective vs. the Individual: Throughout this unit you will be working with a group about your chosen
subject(s). For the observation assignments, which are word-count oriented, you should complete group
submissions. These group submissions are counted towards your grade for the research paper/presentation. It is the
goal that you are able to overcome the difficulties of such assignments by working together. Having said that, how
you work through the group submissions is entirely your groups responsibility. I am not going to get involved in
group politics, similar to how your boss will not get involved in your office politics when you go on to the real
world. Please find a way to negotiate your problems together. Finally, while the observation assignments are group-
based, the unit 3 essay is your own. You cannot write your unit 3 essays together. For further information about
group work vs. individual work, please refer to the research paper brief.
Submission Guidelines:
Write 2,000-2,500 words in the MLA format detailed below:
a. Double-spaced ONLY
i. To delete any extra spaces between the information in your heading or between your
paragraphs, go to Page Layout, then Spacing, then make sure the Before and After
settings are 0 pt.
b. Times New Roman 12-point font
c. 1 inch margins (unlike this paper)
d. Pagination with last name in top right-hand header
e. Identifying submission information in top left corner including your name, my name, our course
number with section number, and the date of submission
f. A relevant (and possible interesting) title
g. A Works Cited page following MLA format (does not count towards your word count)
Prompt: To complete this essay, you must engage critically with the central concepts we have been exploring this
semester: symbols/ semiotics, logic, system 1 thinking vs. system 2 thinking (critical thinking). There isnt a clear-
cut, focused, straight-forward prompt question like the other 2 essays, but you can think of it as a question like
What does critical thinking mean in the context of this class? The key aspects you must include
1. Evidence from at least 2 Academic Sources
a. These peer-reviewed sources are usually found in books or e-books, peer-reviewed journal articles,
or articles that you find on sites like academia.edu or googlescholar. You will likely need to login to
the College of the Canyons database to find strong evidence.
2. Concepts from Baudrillards Simulacra and Simulation
a. These concepts should be discussed at length in the essay in at least 1 body paragraph.
3. At least one other concept from this semester to support you in making sense of your discussion. It can be:
a. Any historical figure studied in the class
b. Vampires, werewolves, or other myths/legends
c. Any models or discussion topics from lectures
d. Any ideas from course readings or any videos from the class
Organization for the Essay: You are the only one who can decide how you want to organize and address this
paper, but possible ways to organize your ideas are:
I. Use a figure from class (such as vampires or a historical figure) as a framework for your exploration of
different kinds of knowledge and the impact each can have.
II. Use a relatively unknown ethical issue- such as modern day slavery- as a framework for your exploration
of different kinds of knowledge and the impact each can have.
III. Focus on a kind of media which you think might be particularly influential in spreading ideas and
analyze why this media is influential as well as its impact.
IV. Focus on the types of causes for our cultures wide-spread reliance on symbols or system 1 thinking.
V. Focus on the impact or consequences of our cultures wide-spread reliance on symbols or system 1
Paper Focus: This is the paper where you can show how critical you can really be. This paper is open to
interpretation greatly, and as such should represent your personal interests. Dont choose a subject you dont care
Building your Paper: Your paper should follow the structure of an academic paper. That is to say, you will need
an introductory paragraph, several body paragraphs which are each focused
Key: around 1 core idea, and a concluding paragraph. You should identify for yourself
L: Lecture how much space to dedicate to each idea so that they support your thesis as best
&: Reading due as possible
? WW: Writers workshop
M: Assignment due Unit 3 Paper: Schedule of Readings, Workshops, and Deadlines
Mon. L: Introduction to Unit 3 Wed. L: Understanding History Differently & Reading
4/17 M: UNIT 2 ESSAY DUE 3/19 Baudrillard Successfully
? WW: Writing group contracts &: Reading Credible Sources
M: Group contract due
Mon. L: Working through History: What led to their Wed. L: The Problem of Discomfort
4/24 success? their fetishization? 3/26 &: Holocaust with pgs 139-147 ARQ and
&: History: A Retro Scenario and pgs 148-157 Reading Application
ARQ M: Observation Assignment #7 Due
M: Observation Assignment #5 & 6 Due
Mon. L: #SpicerFacts, Alternative News, and Fake Wed. L: Theory World Connections & Thesis
5/1 News 5/3 Statements
&: Less Sugar, More Warships and The &: Fake News and Platos Allegory of the
Implosion of Meaning in the Media Cave
M: Observation Assignment #8 and 9 Due ? WW: Thesis Statements
Mon. L: Getting Deeper into Connections Wed. L: The Dangers of a Misinformed Society
5/8 &: The Precession of Simulacra 5/10 &: Toward a Principle of Evil and pgs 125-147
M: Observation Assignment #10 Due ARQ
? WW: Pre-Writing and Prospectus M: Body paragraph #1 due
? WW: Outlines and Drafting
Mon. L: Being Reasonable Logical Critical in your Wed. L: Clarity in All Things
5/15 Paper 5/17 &: pgs 43-57 ARQ
&: pgs 158-165 ARQ ? WW: Peer review 2 in class
? WW: Peer review 1 in class
M: Full body paragraphs draft due
Mon. L: Presentation Skill #1
5/22 M: Unit 2 Paper Due
COC Database Login:
Username: Fish Password: Chips
Unit 3 Essay: Critical Thinking and Key Concepts (250 points)
Essay Components (-10 points for each one missing):
Pre-Writing Prospectus Draft #2 with 2 peer-review
Outline (formal) Draft #1 with peer-review rubrics
Thesis Speed peer-review comments 1 self-review
Dating form comments rubric

MLA Format: Did the student submit the paper in Times New Roman, 12 point font, double-spaced with 1-inch
margins and a Works Cited page? (Pass/Fail)..Y/N

Score 40-30 Excellent 30-20 Good 20-10 Needs Improvement 10-0 Poor
The essay is a cogent, The essay is mostly cogent The essay is somewhat The essay lacks logic or
thesis-driven response to but occasionally strays from cogent but often strays persuasion on a large
the prompt. the thesis or lacks clear focus. from the thesis or lacks scale; it is unfocused as a
clear enough focus. response.
Score 30-22.5 Excellent 22.5-15 Good 15-7.5 Needs Improvement 7.5-0 Poor
The writer achieves a The writer almost supports The writer attempts analysis Very little explanation or
depth of analysis that their answer fully with but, ultimately, does not analysis is given for the
supports their answer analysis, but misses a few analyze enough. ideas in the text.
fully. opportunities.
The writer includes at- The writer includes some The writer references The writer doesnt
length discussion of discussion of concepts from concepts from Simulacra reference any concepts
concepts from Simulacra Simulacra and Simulation but and Simulation but doesnt from Simulacra and
and Simulation. missing some depth. engage with them enough. Simulation.
At least one concept from At least one concept from this At least one concept from The writer doesnt
this semester is used as a semester is referenced in this semester is included reference one concept
cornerstone of support for support, but is missing some but there is a severe lack of from this semester at all.
the answer. depth. depth.
Score 20-15 Excellent 15-10 Good 10-5 Needs Improvement 5-1 Poor
The thesis is clear, The thesis is debatable and The thesis somewhat The thesis is not
debatable, and engages engages with key issues from engaged with key issues but debatable, doesnt engage
with key issues from the the unit, but could be clearer. needs more work. with key issues, or
unit. unclear.
The essay is organized in a The essay has some issues The essay has many issues The organization in the
way that supports the with organization but they do with organization which essay is very confusing.
thesis. Ideas are given not necessarily detract from could have been avoided
enough space to develop. the essay as a whole. with careful revisions.
The writer deciphers the The writer works with the The writer attempts to work The writer does not make
evidence collected in an evidence collected but misses with their evidence but fails attempts to work with their
insightful way. a few critical insights. to achieve true insight into evidence.
what it means.
The writer uses strong The writer sometimes uses The writer often has issues The writer has many
logical reasoning to strong logical reasoning but with their logical reasoning. obvious issues with their
support their argument. has a few logical fallacies or logical reasoning.
The students The students understanding The students understanding The student does not
understanding of their of their answer to the prompt of their answer is somewhat engage with concepts
answer to the prompt is is almost there but needed there (or) some concepts related to this essay at all.
clear in this essay. more depth, more are clearly understood but
explanation, or more clarity. others are not.
Score 10-7.5 Excellent 7.5-5 Good 5-2.5 Needs Improvement 2.5-0 Poor
Each body paragraph has a The author attempts strong The author sometimes The author doesnt achieve
strong topic sentence that topic sentences, but they forgets to have topic topic sentences which
supports the thesis. sometimes dont fully support sentences or some are very support the thesis.
the thesis. weak.
The use of English is The use of English is good and The English usage has many The use of English is poor.
strong with only minimal mistakes do not detract from mistakes which occasionally There are many mistakes
mistakes. what the writer is saying. detract from what the writer and they are distracting.
is saying