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Critical Reading and Writing

Course Code: SOED 1514 (Semester One or Two)


Overall Course Aims

Offered at 200 and 300 levels, this course is compulsory and introduces students to the practical use of the English language. As a follow-up to Introduction to Academic Writing, it is designed to consolidate communication skills acquired at the freshman level. Following careful assessments, students admitted to Regent University at level 200 and 300 may be permitted to take this course without first taking Introduction to Academic Writing. At the end of the course, students are expected to develop logical and critical thinking skills by evaluating expert sources in the course of writing persuasive essays and research papers.


Teaching Methods

Lectures and assigned exercises will focus on extensive reading and comprehension, principles of effective writing and word use.  Students will be provided models of acceptable college level essays as foundation for academic writing. They will also be expected to be creative and participate in a continued process of drafting and revising their writings, as well as sharing the latter with their peers in and out of the class.

Overall, this involves 2 hours x 14 weeks of teaching and tutorials


Course Description

This course, as a follow up to Introduction to Academic Writing, seeks to reinforce students’ reading and writing skills, and entails extensive reading along with multiple drafting and revision of essays. The ultimate goal is to help students demonstrate college-level literacy skills and prepare them for participation in professional communities where proficiency in negotiation and debate are determinants of success. Essentially, students will be introduced to rhetorical situations that demand written responses within and beyond college.

Since research is a key aspect of this course, students receive comprehensive guidance on supporting their views with evidence from different scholarly sources. Such sources are acknowledged in any of a variety of applicable styles that the student will be exposed to. Also related to research, students will be introduced to persuasive strategies to be adopted in writing argumentative and related essays. In this regard, they will be familiarized with:

  1. Types of claims
  2. Methods of arguments
    1. Ethos
    2. Pathos
    3. Logos
    4. Different kinds of evidence (testimonies, facts and statistics)
    5. Logical fallacies/flaws in argumentative and other writing.

The ultimate goal of the course work is to help students develop the ability to think, read and write critically.


Learning Outcomes

Subject-Specific Knowledge

  • Discover effective reading skills
  • Discover critical thinking skills and the ability to evaluate written material to detect flaws in reasoning
  • Discover reading,  writing and summary as tools for effective academic writing

Understand the importance of extensive reading for development as a good thinker and writer


Key Skills

  • Develop logical and critical reading and writing skills
  • Develop appropriate skills for different reading situations
  • Develop skills for organizing source materials through summary, paraphrase and quotation to fit various rhetorical situations
  • Develop the ability to document sources
  • Develop intellectual collaboration skills
  • Overcoming stage fright
  • Appreciate how to respond productively to each other’s drafts and how to revise and edit one’s own essays


Reading List

Title: Everything is an Argument

  • Author: Andrea A. Lumsford, John J. Ruszkiewicz & Keith Walters
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martins
  • Priority: Optional

Title: Handbook for Writing Skills for Academic Purposes

  • Author: Jane Opoku-Agyeman
  • Publisher: Ghana Universities’ Press.
  • Priority: Required

The Little Brown Handbook

  • Authors: H. Ramsey Fowler & Jane E. Aaron
  • Publisher: Longman
  • Priority: Optional

Title: Critical Thinking

  • Authors: Brooke Noel Moore & Richard Parker
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill
  • Priority: Optional

Title: Read, Reason, Write

  • Author: Dorothy U. Seyler
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill
  • Priority: Required

Title: Real Writing

  • Author: Susan Anker
  • Publisher: Bedford/St Martins
  • Priority: Optional

Title: Reasoning and Writing Well

  • Author: Betty Mattix Dietsch
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill
  • Priority: Required