ENG 4U: Day 1!

About this Course

A few years ago, a brave student stuck a note next to my room number. She turned room 221 into room 221B, as in:

Sherlock Holmes
221B Baker St,

Bit cheeky, huh? But here’s the thing. This student’s joke is a brilliant metaphor for what a classroom can be: a place where we solve complex problems by using the tools at our disposal.

Let’s see if we can make this happen.

The purpose of this course is to make you a better communicator. We will closely examine the methods through which great communicators like Shakespeare convey emotion, thought, and action; we will often use their work as inspiration for our own.  We will also consider the sort of communication that you will use when you leave high school, be it for university, college, or the workplace.

Whenever possible, I will provide you with choices. This includes what you read, how you analyse what you read, and the format you use to respond to it.

Want to know more? Here is your  Day 1 Sheet.  You can also find it in the VLE.

How Will You Talk to Each Other?

Let’s try  a few Kagan structures. We will use them throughout the semester as needed.

A Little Metacognition…

Next, let’s learn a little bit about you, shall we?

Deductive and Inductive Reasoning

Reasoning usually takes one of two forms: induction or deduction.  The process for these two forms of logic looks something like this:


(Usually reduces from the general theory to the specific.)


General Theory Specific Case Conclusion
Education is an important component of success. You want to succeed. You should get an education.


(Induction starts with observation and results in a general principle)

Observation Pattern Hypothesis Theory.
All Grade 9 students in my   homeroom were in uniform on the first day of school. All Grade 9 students   observed throughout the school were in uniform, while senior students were   not. Grade nine students were in   uniform because they were proud of their new clothes; because the senior   students’ uniforms were old, seniors felt uncomfortable wearing them. After further  investigation, we have come to the following: Compliance to the school  uniform is based on students’ perception of rules and the consequences for   breaking them.


Christianity holds that three equals one Three does not equal one. Christianity is false.
There is an equal chance of the ball landing on red or black at the roulette table The last five spins have all landed on black. I’m betting on red because that odds of that streak continuing are really low.


My daughters have pink   clothes and pink toys. Most young girls have pink   clothes and pink toys; boys, however, don’t. Most girls like pink. After numerous observations,   we have come to the following theory: interest in colour is   determined at the chromosomal level.

Complete the following with a partner. Both partners must write the responses:

  1. Write one example for each of the following: deduction, induction, faulty deduction, and faulty induction.
  2. Choose one subject you have studied repeatedly. Given the nature of the assignments you’ve completed in that subject, which form of reasoning does that subject rely on the most?

Tonight, please read The Closing of The American Mind on page 325 of your text or an article of your choice from the Atlantic, the Economist, the Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, the Walrus, or the New York Times. By Thursday,  you need to write a 1 page response in which you:

  • Identify and explain one example of the author’s reasoning (consider mapping out the reasoning using the structure outlined above).
  • Agree or disagree with the writer’s reasoning (if you disagree, try pointing the error in the reasoning itself)
  • Provide detailed examples that support your view of the writer’s work.

This will also help me identify the strengths of your writing. You will submit your work to the folder in the VLE called Identifying a Writer’s Logic.  I will respond to your work by Monday.

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