CRITICAL REASONING AND
ANALYTICAL SKILLS (CRAAS) COURSES

Coordinator, Lecturer KAREN L. SHEPARD

To one degree or another, every class at Williams goes beyond its subject-be it mathematics, Machiavelli, or modernism-to teach intellectual skills that have wide application in other fields as well as outside of the academy: scientific reckoning, expository writing, rhetorical analysis, oral presentation, and so on.

Courses offered under the CRAAS initiative foreground such analytical skills. While each CRAAS class covers a different topic, all are aimed particularly at developing the processes necessary for excellence in a range of fields: techniques for analyzing ideas, data, texts or artworks; approaches to interpreting, synthesizing, and developing arguments; strategies for presenting ideas and results.

CRAAS classes typically emphasize the practices of meta-analysis-self-criticism, editing, and revision- with the goal of constant improvement. Many classes feature peer tutoring, small group work, and intensive one-on-one engagement with the professor. Students should leave a CRAAS course with a substantially heightened ability to approach problems, analyze texts, and craft arguments in whatever discipline they may go on to explore.

A few CRAAS courses are restricted to advanced students, but the majority are open to all, and some are specifically targeted for first year students. Most have strictly limited enrollment. Because these classes cultivate the general strategies of effective scholarship, students are encouraged to consider taking a CRAAS course early in their academic careers.

CRAAS courses offered in 2007-2008:

AFR 404(S) Imagining Africa: The Politics of Representation (Same as Comparative Literature 347 and English 348) (W)*

ARTS 107(F) Strategy, Interaction, and Design in Board and Video Games (Same as Computer Science 107)

ASST 327(F) Violence, Terrorism, and Collective Healing (Same as Sociology 327)*

COMP 134(S) Myth in Music (Same as Music 134) (W)

COMP 347(S) Imagining Africa: The Politics of Representation (Same as Africana Studies 404 and English 348) (W)*

CSCI 107(F) Strategy, Interaction, and Design in Board and Video Games (Same as ArtS 107)

ENGL 135(S) Vengeance (W)

ENGL 223(S) Sensational Poetry (Gateway) (W)

ENGL 348(S) Imagining Africa: The Politics of Representation (Same as Africana Studies 404 and Comparative Literature 347) (W)*

ENGL 384(S) Advanced Workshop in Fiction

HIST 103(F) The City in Africa: Accra, Nairobi, and Johannesburg (W)*

HIST 307(S) Islam and Modernity*

MUS 134(S) Myth in Music (Same as Comparative Literature 134) (W)

PSCI 102(F) Religion and Capitalism (W)*

PSCI 242(F) America and the Vietnam War

SOC 327(F) Violence, Terrorism, and Collective Healing (Same as Asian Studies 327)*