Reading/Writing Advanced Level

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
ENGU 0455
Reading/Writing Advanced Level
English Upgrading
Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
8 hours per week
Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities

A combination of instructional methods will be used in order to balance instructional efficiency with individual student needs.

These methods will include lecture presentation, large and small group discussion, learning activities, individual assistance (in scheduled appointments), computer-assisted learning, and student-directed learning.

Course Description
This is an intensive reading and writing course. It is designed for students who are preparing to do university transfer courses or who need support for the university transfer courses they are presently taking. Students will read academic material such as college-level textbook chapters and scholarly journal articles as well as journalistic sources. Emphasis will be on reading critically, developing a vocabulary to articulate ideas, and handling a college-level volume of reading. Skills covered will include summarizing lengthy academic text, researching databases on academic topics and diverse points of view, and participating in and leading academic discussion. Students will learn how to gather and organize information, avoid plagiarism, and follow conventions of documentation styles. They will produce research papers, and practice writing essay exams under time restraints. As well, their written expression and editing skills will be an important focus.
Course Content


Throughout the process of producing a range of typical college assignments, students will receive instruction in how to improve their ability at the following core skills:

1. Pre-writing

  • understanding assignments and academic expectations
  • using strategies for getting started
  • dealing with procrastination and writer's block
  • choosing and narrowing topics
  • composing thesis and topic sentences
  • devising research strategies for collecting information
  • gathering evidence and making notes
  • adjusting content and style of writing to suit purpose, audience, and situation


2. Drafting

  • handling time and other constraints
  • constructing beginnings and endings
  • adjusting content and style of writing to suit purpose, audience, and situation;
  • making connections and transitions between ideas in a text;
  • inserting quotations;
  • documenting sources and avoiding plagiarism;
  • composing essay-type answers in exam conditions;


3. Revising

  • using feedback to revise drafts;
  • revising and editing work to improve content, organization, word choice, phrasing, grammar, sentence  and paragraph structure, spelling, and punctuation;
  • recognizing and editing for clichés, jargon, slang, and wordiness;
  • using complex and compound sentence structures;
  • using parallel constructions and correct misplaced or dangling modifiers;
  • developing advanced spelling strategies;
  • preparing final documents; gathering, evaluating, and organizing information into a research assignment using appropriate documentation (MLA or APA);


4. Writing paragraphs and essays in a variety of rhetorical modes including exposition and persuasion;

5. Writing a summary;

6. Writing a review of a book, movie, play, television program, documentary, piece of music, or other non-print material;

7. Identifing, discussing, and evaluating literary elements (plot, theme, character, setting, conflict);

8. Analyzing and responding to editorial comment, magazine articles, technical or investigative writing, or advertising.



Using materials selected from a variety of academic disciplines and reflecting a range of sources, organizational patterns, topics and points of view, students will receive instruction in the following skills areas:

  1. identifying main ideas and central themes;
  2. acquiring content-area vocabulary and terminology;
  3. using context clues and word structure analysis (prefix, suffix, root) to determine meaning;
  4. using a dictionary and a thesaurus to expand vocabulary and to learn homonyms, antonyms and synonyms;
  5. using in-book reference tools (index, table of contents, glossary);
  6. using skimming and scanning techniques and developing flexibility in reading speed;
  7. reading to locate specific information;
  8. recognizing author's tone, intent, and point of view;
  9. recognizing illogical argument, fallacies, stereotypes, bias and propaganda;using a variety of reference materials;
  10. developing  note-taking skills;
  11. developing research skills and compiling information from a variety of sources  (internet and library catalogue searches);
  12. critically evaluating, making inferences, and drawing conclusions;
  13. differentiating main ideas and themes from supporting details;
  14. distinguishing fact from opinion;
  15. recognizing author's tone, intent, and point of view;
  16. making generalizations;
  17. making comparisons and synthesizing ideas from different sources;
  18. analyzing organization of text structure as an aid to comprehension;
  19. taking an historical perspective.




Learning Outcomes


The aims of the course are for students:

  1. to gain initial experience with handling a variety of typical college writing assignments from scratch;
  2. to gain experience with using peer feedback, instructor comment, and computer technology to assist the revision of drafts and the improvement of editing skills;
  3. to develop skill in analyzing assignments and understanding the tasks involved;
  4. to develop confidence in meeting successfully the requirements and conventions of college assignments and exams;
  5. to demonstrate competence in producing academic texts of an acceptable standard inside deadlines and under pressure.


The aims of this course are for students:

  1. to develop and practice effective strategies, skills and approaches to reading that are directed at the improvement of comprehension of college-level academic text;
  2. to broaden and deepen general as well as content-specific knowledge as a means of improving comprehension;
  3. to demonstrate comprehension of text both orally and in written form;
  4. to participate in class discussion and to work cooperatively in an academic setting.

Critical and Creative Thinking

The aims of this course are for students:

  1. to recall and interpret information (identify subject/topic, main ideas, supporting ideas, and sequence);
  2. to summarize information;
  3. to make inferences using prior knowledge, identifying purpose and audience; evaluating information for accuracy, relevance, and importance and recognizing underlying assumptions (bias and tone); to synthesize information;
  4. to compare and contrast;
  5. to classify;
  6. to define;
  7. to draw conclusions;
  8. to respond to information (create solutions, identify impact of solutions, modify solutions);
  9. to identify and discuss examples of fact and opinion.

Speaking and Listening

The aims of this course are for students:

  1. to ask questions to clarify meaning;
  2. to demonstrate effective listening skills and respond appropriately to listener feedback;
  3. to effectively use voice and body language;
  4. to provide useful input and feedback in a variety of situations (peer editing, group discussion, classroom participation);
  5. to respond appropriately to thoughts, opinions, and work of others;
  6. to paraphrase ideas;
  7. to deliver an effective oral presentation to inform or persuade.

 Computer Literacy

The aims of this course are for students:

  1. to use computer programs to create, and edit;
  2. to format assignments appropriately;
  3. to use electronic communication.



Means of Assessment

Students will receive on-going feedback from the instructor throughout the course.

Students’ success will be graded, in accordance with the College policy and grading system.

Grading criteria will include:

  • research paper worth no more than 20%
  • in-class essay worth no more than 10%
  • oral presentation worth no more than 10%
  • minimum of 1 other academic essay using sources worth no more than 10%

80% of the final course grade is comprised of integrated reading and writing assignments or examinations.  Assignments will include essays, short answer tests, paragraphs, summaries, group work, discussion, etc.


Textbook Materials

Students may be required to purchase a textbook, course pack and USB

Suggested texts: 

Connelly, M., Shilton, W. & Doran, G. (2009). The trans-Canada writer: A rhetoric, reader, handbook. Toronto: Nelson Education Ltd.

The new Oxford book of Canadian short stories in English / selected by Margaret Atwood & Robert Weaver.
Toronto : Oxford University Press, 1995.


ENGU 0355, ENGU 0356, ENGU 0390 or ENGU Assessment and Interview





Which Prerequisite



All the first-year writing courses in CMNS. The writing courses are 1099, 1110, 1111, and 1115.