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Developing a Critical Approach to Reading and Writing

Apply your knowledge of sources, assessing their validity and usefulness in your writing.

  • Duration

    1 week
  • Weekly study

    7 hours

Ensure you present a clear argument in any academic task

This online English course takes you though how to develop a critical approach to reading, writing, listening and speaking.

You will develop your skills in questioning academic texts, whether written or spoken. You will work with information from a range of a texts, combining sources to develop your argument.

You will also investigate how to demonstrate a critical approach when you are speaking, for example in lectures, seminars or webinars.

What topics will you cover?

  • Review of research skills
  • Evaluating sources
  • Synthesising, summarising and paraphrasing
  • Language for incorporating sources
  • When and how to use quotations
  • Developing an argument or line of reasoning
  • Developing your own voice - what’s your view?

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Apply appropriate reading strategies in order to chose appropriate sources and locate specific information in those sources
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how to use appropriate academic texts to complete academic tasks
  • Use and combine information from a range of academic reading texts and cite these appropriately
  • Identify a clear argument or line of reasoning in an academic task

Who is the course for?

This course is for students on the Coventry University pre-sessional English award. It is relevant for students who will be continuing their studies online and on-campus.

Please note that the staff described in the ‘Who will you learn with?’ section below may be subject to change.

What software or tools do you need?

To take part in this course you will need access to a computer or laptop with a webcam, a reliable internet connection, speakers, and a microphone.

Who will you learn with?

Helen has been working in Higher Education since 2012. She is eager to work with students from all backgrounds to develop a supportive, creative and well-informed community of learning.

Who developed the course?

Coventry University

Coventry secured 5 QS Stars for Teaching and Online Learning in the QS World University Ranking 2020 and has received No. 1 in the world for Massive Open Online Courses in MoocLab’s World University Ranking 2021.

  • Established

  • Location


Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control

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