The overall objective of this class is to enable students to critically think about their analysis and what they are tasked to analyze.  A secondary objective is to provide students with a set of analytic tools to be used in future analytic scenarios.  At the end of the course, students will be equipped with a “toolbox” of analytic methodologies and skills and have honed their critical thinking skills.

High quality thinking comes with routine practice in internalizing and applying theoretical structures.  This typically requires a three-pronged approach in which students need routine practice in: internalizing concepts, applying those concepts, and evaluating their work.   Thinking analytically is a skill like carpentry or driving a car.  It can be taught, it can be learned, and it can improve with practice.  But like many other skills, such as riding a bike, it is not learned by sitting in a classroom and being told how to do it.  Analysts learn by doing.  Regular running enhances endurance but does not improve technique without expert guidance.  Similarly, expert guidance may be required to modify long-established analytical habits to achieve an optimal level of analytic performance.  As such, the below modules should be not viewed as lectures, but more guided training sessions.


Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • access the command line interface (CLI) of a Windows based personal computer
  • utilize the CLI to access the file systems of a Windows based personal computer
  • manipulate the Windows registry to prompt programs to start at log in
  • create scripts to automate to accomplish tasks from within the CLI

Students with the goal of being effective analysts and operators are the target audience.


There are no prerequisites for the course.




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  • Introduction to Logic
  • Argument Analysis
  • Fallacies
  • Deductive Logic
  • Attacking Logical Reasoning Tests
  • Basic Critical Thinking Concepts
  • Cognitive Biases
  • Point of View
  • Inferences
  • Formulating Hypotheses
  • Analysis of Competing Hypotheses (ACH)
  • Devil’s Advocacy
  • Pros-Cons-Fixes