PHL 201

Think Smarter! Strengthening Reasoning and Writing Skills Online
General Education

Note: This course was previously called ENG 100 College Writing, Research Literacy and Critical Thinking.

Course Description

PHL 201 Think Smarter! Strengthening Reasoning and Writing Skills is an introductory course to help you build the writing, research, and critical thinking skills necessary for academic and professional success. This course is organized into three sections, and each section presents a specific group of skills that builds on the previous section.

The first section, Modules 1 through 5, focuses on writing skills. Through a series of engaging exercises you will fine-tune the basic writing skills needed to succeed in college and in professional communications. Topics include: the parts of a sentence, how to craft a sentence, grammar basics, punctuation, capitalization, and common writing mistakes.

The second section, Modules 6 through 10, focuses on research skills. The course reading, online lectures, and exercises introduce the steps for developing a strong research topic, how to locate content on the Web, and guidelines for assessing the quality of content on the Web. You will learn how to use a variety of research tools to delve into a topic of your choice in-depth, and will learn how to correctly document the research you locate.

The third and final section, Modules 11 through 15, focuses on critical thinking skills. In this section you will learn specific strategies to help you use the process of critical thinking to refine your reading, research, and writing habits and skills.

This course is ideal for students interested in:

  • Fine-tuning their writing skills to support academic studies
  • Professional goals that include written communications, such as marketing materials, advertisements, brochures, articles, lectures, websites, and social media
  • Increasing their knowledge of online research and research tools
  • Increasing their critical thinking skills to support their academic studies
  • A foundation for advanced training
  • A foundation for career training

Maximum Enrollment: 30 students

Required Materials (Course Pack)

The Required Materials (or Course Pack) cost—including standard shipping within the United States—is $139. This includes:

  • Online Materials and Library Resources (OMLR) - $115

The Required Publisher Textbook:*

Total Course Price: $975 (3 credits x $325 per credit) + $139 Course Pack + $124.94 Textbook = $1238.94

Does not include Registration Fee, which is $200 per program or $30 per credit if enrolling in single courses.

* You may always elect to buy or rent your textbooks/ebooks new or used. However, when choosing to purchase college textbooks and supplementary materials outside the College store, please use caution to ensure you purchase the correct version of required materials.

** This textbook is also available as a Kindle eBook from

*** This textbook is only available as an eBook ISBN: 9780134431994 $27.99, in Kindle format. Please contact the Apothecary Shoppe at to purchase an access code for this book.

Tuition Includes:

  • Expert faculty with real-world professional experience in each course
  • All instruction and evaluation, including weekly interaction with your instructor through the online classroom, live teleconferences and/or chats, email, and the Instructor’s Virtual Office
  • Dynamic online lectures updated regularly to include the latest evidence-based research and industry updates
  • Bonus: Access to the ACHS Wellness Guide Online.

Optional Recommended Reading & Study Kits

Click here to view the Recommended Reading for this course.

Last updated 2/5/18

Learning Outcomes

Recall and correctly use the parts of speech.
Recall the parts of a sentence and correctly use a variety of formal sentence structures.
Identify correct punctuation and use a variety of punctuation marks in formal writing.
Recall the basic rules of capitalization and correctly use capitalization in formal writing.
Identify common writing errors, explain why they are ineffective in academic writing, and provide examples of how to correct these errors.
Define preliminary research, list strategies and identify online resources to select a research topic, and select a research topic.
Identify primary and secondary sources for in-depth research.
Evaluate and identify research topic experts, best content, subtopics, and related topics.
Organize preliminary research notes for in-depth research, compose a search string for in-depth research, assess and organize free online content for in-depth research, and define and list strategies for deep Web research.
Define academic dishonesty and plagiarism, list the strategies to avoid academic dishonesty and plagiarism, and list the strategies to evaluate credible and/or biased online sources.
Describe the difference between critical thinking and ordinary thinking.
Demonstrate strategies to identify and develop critical questions.
Evaluate different sources of evidence to determine dependability.
Identify and evaluate common problems in research findings.
Summarize and apply strategies for finding common kinds of significant information.

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