Modes of Reasoning

NEW INFORMATION:  Please note that beginning in Fall 2016, students cannot earn credit for more than one MODR course.  If you have already completed a MODR course, you cannot take another for credit.

All Modes of Reasoning courses count toward the general education requirement. General education courses do not fulfill elective or major requirements.

A student may take only one Modes course for credit. Like all general education courses, Modes seeks to introduce students to university culture, interdisciplinary modes of inquiry, and critical skills.

Modes, however, emphasizes additional critical reasoning skills. The skills taught in each Modes course can be divided into three major areas:

  • critical thinking (analyzing and criticizing arguments toward the end of figuring out what makes the most sense to believe or to do within a given context)
  • critical reading (analyzing texts with the goal of understanding and summarizing them and determining their strengths and weaknesses) and
  • critical writing (constructing essays which clearly and concisely explain and support a position or point of view).

Practice and mentoring of skills is emphasized through the use of numerous examples analyzed both in class and in homework and assignments. These skills are applied to texts and issues on a variety of topics and in a variety of fields, depending upon the emphasis of the particular modes of reasoning course.

Course Descriptions

AP/MODR 1730 6.00   Modes of Reasoning: Reasoning About Social Issues

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. Note: This is an approved LA&PS General Education course: Social Science PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AK/MODR 1730 6.00.

AP/MODR 1760 6.00   Modes of Reasoning: Reasoning About Morality and Values

This is a skills-based course focusing on critical thinking, critical writing, and logical and linguistic analysis. The course uses examples drawn from areas in the humanities where value judgements are made. Different sections will stress different topics in ethics, aesthetics, religion or law. Course credit exclusiosn: AP/MODR 1730 6.00, AP/MODR 1770 6.00. Note: This is an approved LA&PS General Education course: Humanities. PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AK/MODR 1760 6.00.

AP/MODR 1770 6.00   Modes of Reasoning: Techniques of Persuasion

This is a skills-based course focusing on critical thinking, persuasive writing, and strategic argumentation. Examples are drawn from various forms of persuasion including advertising, propaganda and political argument. Course credit exclusions: AP/MODR 1730 6.00, AP/MODR 1760 6.00. Note: This is an approved LA&PS General Education course: Humanities OR Social Science. PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AK/MODR 1770 6.00.

AP/MODR 1790 6.00   Modes of Reasoning for ESL Students

This Modes of Reasoning course is intended for students for whom English is a second language. It addresses the content of Modes of Reasoning while supporting the language proficiency needs of ESL students. Students learn theory and skills that foster critical reading, writing, speaking, and thinking. Students apply theory and skills to the analysis of timely culturally relevant social, ethical, and/or pop culture issues. This course is delivered to enhance the continued learning of the English language for students from an ESL background. Experiential education is built into the course so that skills are actively practiced. Students continually hone their abilities to be both respectfully curious individuals and reasonable skeptics - practices that are helpful in future courses and life generally. It is open only to those students who have been admitted to York with an ESL requirement. However, it does not fulfil that requirement. Course credit exclusions: AP/MODR 1730 6.0; AP/MODR 1760 6.0; AP/MODR 1770 6.0; AP/PHIL 2200 3.0; GL/MODR 1711 6.0 (This does not include course codes prior to 2009 in AS and AK). Open to: Students who have an ESL restriction, or by permission of the course instructor. Note: This course has been approved in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies for general education credit: Humanities/Social Science.