AP/MODR1730 6.0 J: Reasoning About Social Issues

Offered by: MODR


Fall 2019






Calendar Description / Prerequisite / Co-Requisite

This is a skills-based course focusing on critical thinking, research-based writing, and qualitative and quantitative analysis. The particular focus will be on different positions taken within the social sciences on issues such as abortion, euthanasia, pornography, immigration etc. Typical examples are to be analyzed. Course credit exclusions: AP/MODR 1760 6.00, AP/MODR 1770 6.00.

Course Website

Many courses utilize Moodle, York University's course website system. If your course is using Moodle, refer to the image below to access it.

    Additional Course Instructor/Contact Details

Carmela Circelli


Office Location:  S441 Ross Building

(416) 465-0743

Office Hours:  TBA

    Expanded Course Description

The general purpose of all the Modes of Reasoning courses is to teach students critical thinking skills, skills which will be valuable not only for academic life, but also for personal and professional life.


Reasoning about Social Issues, in particular, is a skill based, critical thinking course, which also introduces students to research based writing and qualitative and quantitative analysis. The course will teach students the basic reasoning skills, principles and concepts needed to develop a critical sensibility, as well as introduce them to the different types of research used in the social sciences. While the course is wide ranging in its approach, using different kinds of texts and topics and also different media, particular focus will be placed on the various positions taken in the social sciences, on topics such as abortion, euthanasia, pornography, immigration, for example. Students will learn to read, write and listen critically, to develop argumentative, reflective positions of their own, to verbalize those ideas clearly and concisely, orally and in writing, and to apply those skills, principles and concepts to a variety of contemporary social issues.

    Required Course Text / Readings

With Good Reason – S. Morris Engel, 6th edition
course kit.

    Weighting of Course

mid-term test on fallacies – 20%

test on conceptual analysis – 10%

Essay 1 – 20%

Essay 2 – 20%

Final Essay – 20%

class participation - 10%

    Organization of the Course

The first part of the course will be concerned with learning the skills and techniques of a critical perspective. And the second half will be spent

applying these skills and techniques to issues of social issues.

    Course Learning Objectives

See general course description

    Relevant Links / Resources