HON 140    Writing & Research I

Fall 2005

TR 1:00-2:30


Dr. Tim Craine Dr. Brian O'Connell
MW 108 MS 205
832-2854 832-2718
crainet@ccsu.edu oconnellb@ccsu.edu

Office Hours:


M:     12:00 – 2:00

         5:00  - 6:00

T:     10:00 - 12:00

W:     9:00 - 11:00

R:     10:00 - 12:00

         4:00 -  5:00

F:     12:00 - 2:00

MW: 5:00 - 6:30

T:    3:30 - 4:30





The sifting of human creations! ---- Nothing less than this is what we ought to mean

by the humanities. William James, 1907


I don't just write to tell what I think. I write to find out what I think. George F. Will, 2003


Course Description & Goals

This course will examine the nature of truth, evidence, argumentation and persuasion in a wide context of subjects

including law and science. Activities have included formal debates and mock trials. Major course goal:  to enable you

to become a more logical thinker, to analyze arguments, and to write clear, defensible, persuasive arguments.



Required Texts

  Professor Craine's Sections:
Westin Anthony Weston, A Rulebook for Arguments, 3rd Edition
  Professor O'Connell's Sections:
Sax Playing Darts with a Rembrandt : Public and Private Rights in Cultural Treasures



--- 10% Class Participation
Unit One 15% On The Uses Of A Liberal Education
Unit Two 15% Analyzing & Constructing Arguments
Unit Three 20%   Legal Arguments
Unit Four 20% Argumentation in Debates
Unit Five 20% Writing an Argumentative Essay



Written assignments will be evaluated on the following factors. Weighting will be determined by








Prior to course commencement, students will agree in writing to the following course standards:


1. Class attendance is presumed.

Students choosing to enroll in this class must clearly understand that complete attendance

is expected & agree to honor this commitment.

Three or more unexcused absences will result in loss of participation score.
     Cell phones must be turned off at all times while in class.
2. All work must be submitted on due date.

Unexcused late work will receive a full letter grade reduction if handed in up to one week after

the deadline and a zero if submitted thereafter.

  Regardless of lateness, all assignments must be completed in order to receive a course grade.

All assignments must be printed and stapled. No emails will be accepted. Make & retain backups.

3. Students must regularly check the online course schedule (listed below) at this site.

4. Students must attend course activities scheduled beyond class time.
This includes group meetings and any extra research activities. Your additional course credit is
based on the presumption that individual outside work and group meetings will be necessary.




Subject to Change -- Check here often

Last Modified -- 10.18.05






On the Uses of a Liberal Education




Prof. O'Connell

8/30 - 9/13



CCSU Academic Integrity Policy Site

Giamatti: The Earthly Use of a Liberal Education

James: The Social Value of the College-Bred

Bono: Commencement Speech

Assignment: Due on 9/20








Analyzing & Constructing Arguments




Prof. Craine

9/15 - 10/6



You are responsible for reading Rulebook for Arguments. Specific sections of this text will be assigned during this unit.

Assignment Due: Exercise Sets (to be assigned by and submitted to Prof. Craine—dates to be announced.)


 Westin, Rulebook for Arguments






Legal Arguments




Profs. Craine & O'Connell

10/11 - 10/20



Background on the United States Constitution and the Role of the Supreme Court will be presented.  Possible field trip

Assignment: Analysis of a selected Supreme Court Case. Due Date: 11/01

Brown v. Board of Education can be found HERE.

Cases for analysis:

Kelo V. New London

McCreary County v. ACLU

Lawrence v. Kansas

Gratz v. Bollinger


CSPAN Web Site






Argumentation in Debates




Prof. O'Connell

10/25 – 10/27

 11/15 – 12/13



Assignment: Sax, On Playing darts with a Rembrandt

Debates will take immediately following the Thanksgiving Break



English Speaking Union: British Debate

The Oxford Union






Writing an Argumentative Essay




Prof. Craine

11/1 - 11/10



Topics appear in written syllabus Due date: TBA


Westin, Rulebook for Arguments