This course teaches formal logic in the traditional sense—logic very similar to that taught by Aristotle and others that deals with “form or structure of reasoning” according to the introduction to this course. This differs from symbolic or mathematical logic that is often taught as formal logic at upper levels. (Another branch of logic, material logic, deals with the content of argumentation.) Consequently, this course is heavy with definitions and vocabulary—it’s essentially for learning the “grammar” of logic and the way it functions.
Lessons consist of explanation and instruction followed by exercises. The text was written as a result of a course Martin Cothran taught to homeschoolers that met one day a week, then provided four days of exercises to be done between meetings. Thus, there are exercises for four days, plus review exercises for each of thirteen lessons. A fourteenth chapter reviews the entire course.
While students may work through the course independently, they might appreciate the DVD presentation of Cothran actually teaching the course. On-screen graphics help clarify some of the challenging topics. The course is recommended for high school students, but it has been used successfully with junior high students. Traditional Logic II is also available.