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

  • Al Ghazali, "Manners to be Observed by Teachers and Students"

  • Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book 9

  • Art Spiegelman, Maus

  • Brome Abraham and Isaac

  • Dana Johnson, "Melvin in the 6th Grade"

  • Epictetus, The Handbook

  • Galileo, Starry Messenger

  • Genesis 22

  • Homer, The Odyssey

  • Miguel de Cervantes, "The Man Who Was Recklessly Curious"

  • Martin Luther King Jr, "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"

  • Matthew 5 – 7, Sermon on The Mount

  • Mo Tzu, "On Universal Love"

  • Plato,  "Allegory of the Cave"

  • Rachel Carson, Silent Spring (chs, 2 & 12)

  • Seneca, "Moral Epistle #88"

  • Sherman Alexie, "What You Pawn I Will Redeem"

  • Sophocles, Antigone

  • Thomas Jefferson, "The Declaration of Independence"

  • Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War (selections)

  • U.S. Supreme Court, Korematsu v. the United States (1944)

  • Ursula LeGuin, "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas"

  • Virginia Woolf, "How One Should Read a Book"