Critical Strategies & Great Questions

This first seminar develops the skills of critical thinking, critical reading and writing, and shared inquiry that are foundational to the Collegiate Seminar Program.

Students learn strategies for engaging with a diversity of texts, asking meaningful questions about them, and effectively participating in collaborative discussions. Reading and writing assignments are specifically designed to support students’ development of these strategies and skills.

Reading List

  • Plato,  "Allegory of the Cave"
  • LeGuin, "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas"
  • Woolf, "How One Should Read a Book"
  • Al Ghazali, "Manners to be Observed by Teachers and Students"
  • Seneca, "Moral Epistle #88"
  • Spiegelman, Maus
  • Epictetus, The Handbook
  • Alexie, "What You Pawn I Will Redeem"
  • Martin Luther King Jr, "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"
  • Jefferson, "The Declaration of Independence"
  • Sophocles, Antigone
  • Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War (selections)
  • U.S. Supreme Court, Korematsu v. the United States (1944)
  • Johnson, "Melvin in the 6th Grade"
  • Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book 9
  • Cervantes, "The Man Who Was Recklessly Curious"
  • Genesis 22
  • Brome Abraham and Isaac
  • Galileo, Starry Messenger
  • Matthew 5 – 7, Sermon on The Mount
  • Mo Tzu, "On Universal Love"
  • Rachel Carson, Silent Spring (chs, 2 & 12)
  • Homer, The Odyssey