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Reading/Writing Advanced Level

Course Code: ENGU 0455
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: English Upgrading
Credits: 6.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Seminar
Typically Offered: Fall, Summer, Winter
course overview

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.

Methods of Instruction

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.

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.

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.

course prerequisites

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



curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.