Skip to main content
School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Courses for the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Module in Critical Thinking and Writing for B.A in Comparative Literature.

10 week course in Semester 2.

Level: 4

It is mandatory for all 1st year students.

It is non-credit bearing.

Assessment:

No formal assessment.

However the course will include plenty of opportunity for peer feedback and correction, and feedback/advice from the teacher.

Skills developed on this course:

This course aims to help you develop your academic writing and thinking skills.  This is for you to gain a solid grounding on which to build your assignment ambition for the entire degree, and also to help you with immediate questions you may have on your feedback and work so far.

This course will enable you to:

  • Look critically at your own writing and gain a better understanding of your weaknesses and strengths in relation to University academic criteria.
  • Practise purposeful writing and understand how writing links to thinking.
  • Write with greater clarity and accuracy, looking at things such as good sentence structure, academic register, use of vocabulary and how these link to thinking.
  • Develop your ability to voice argument in assignments.
  • Develop your ability to structure thought and argument into coherent essays.
  • Increase your skills in citation and referencing.
  • Better understand aspects of critical thinking such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
  • Feel more confident in absorbing and using the discourse of your discipline, including aspects of ‘hedging’ language.
  • Ultimately, improve your grades!

How the course is taught:

The course will be a 2 hour taught class, in which approximately 40% will be input, and 60% writing and planning practice. The writing work will draw on your essay experience and feedback so far, as well as give you practice and preparation for your coming assignments.

You will be expected to work in groups as well as on your own. You don’t need to bring anything except pen and paper (and a laptop if you wish).

Module teachers:

Mira Shapur and Alan Hart

Room: Bancroft Building 1.29

Telephone: 0207 882 2759

email: m.shapur@qmul.ac.uk

Module convenor:

Dr. Saima Sherazi

Room: Bancroft Building 1.26

Telephone: 0207 882 2832

email: s.n.sherazi@qmul.ac.uk

Module in Critical Thinking and Writing for Modern Languages and Cultures.

10 week course in Semester 1.

Level: 4

It is mandatory for all 1st year students.

It is non-credit bearing.

Assessment:

No formal assessment.  However the course will include plenty of opportunity for peer feedback and correction, and feedback/advice from the teacher.

Skills developed on this course:

These workshops help students to deliver what is expected from them in their essays.  After consultation with their subject tutors and agreement on the academic skills needed to succeed in their degrees, the content is itemised and will be presented in strands of ‘study skills’, ‘reading and demonstrating knowledge’, and ‘critical thinking and writing’. Students will be given the tools to manage their time efficiently and plan their work accordingly. They will be guided through the process of understanding and successfully delivering assignments, in view of the implications their immediate context bestows upon them. Students will be encouraged and expected to reflect upon their own practice, and will be provided with formative feedback to ensure the learning outcomes are achieved.   

The module is needs driven and therefore the syllabus is necessarily flexible and the content delivered in workshop format.
This module will begin in Week 2 of Semester 1, and run for 10 weeks (excluding Week 7 - Reading week). All first year MFL students will be required to attend this module which has been designed with input with their subject tutors and will run in tandem with their first year foundations modules. In addition, it is likely that, students would work on their assignments during this module, and will therefore be able to apply the skills learned on the module immediately. The module will specifically address:

  • How to follow an assignment brief (Essay title analysis and planning)
  • Knowledge and understanding (critical reading and note-taking)
  • Argument/analysis (argument construction and the incorporation of evidence from sources)
  • Referencing (the mechanics of citation and referencing as well as the why)
  • Structure and organisation (within paragraphs and the whole essay)
  • Written English (grammar and vocabulary)
  • Presentation (and editing + proof-reading)

Aims:

  • To provide students with an understanding of what is expected from them in their essay assignments.
  • To help students manage their time efficiently and plan their work effectively.
  • To offer students the possibility to unpack assignments and recognise the knowledge required to answer them successfully.
  • To help students distinguish between different ways of knowing.
  • To make students aware of the notion of appropriateness and its implications in their writing.
  • To provide students with the skills to select and judge information from a variety of sources.
  • To help students deepen their understanding of different types of academic writing.

Module Convenor: Alan Hart

EAL4822 Critical Thinking and Writing for Film Studies

Semester 2

Rating - Level 4

Prerequisites

Students joining this module are already at IELTS level 7 (minimum 7 in writing), which equates to B2/C1 on the CEFR framework.

Lectures - None

Seminars / classes

20 hours (2 hours per week over 10 weeks)

Tutorials - None

Assessment - Formative only; written assignment of 1500 words.

Module aims

This module is offered to students at level 4 and responds to their linguistic and discipline specific needs in terms of listening, reading, analysis and synthesis, argument structure and critical essay writing skills. Students will be guided through the process of reading, understanding and successfully delivering assignments, will be encouraged and expected to reflect upon their own work, and will be provided with formative feedback to ensure the learning outcomes are achieved. The module aims to improve students’ writing and study skills through exercises that are discipline-specific and closely linked to the content of the level 4 Film Studies curriculum.

Module outline

The module is needs driven and therefore the syllabus is necessarily flexible and the content delivered in workshop format. However, the basic syllabus is likely to include:

  • Listening and note-taking skills
  • Reading skills (navigating the genre of Film Studies articles)
  • The process of writing
  • Revision, proof reading and editing skills
  • Development of the argument, including synthesis of sources, argument validity, and development of conclusions
  • Macro structure of a paper, planning and development of a position; micro structure of sections and paragraphs
  • Coherence and cohesion at macro and micro levels
  • Readability and recognition of the audience and development of the writer's voice
  • Referencing
  • Accuracy (grammar, vocabulary and punctuation)

Learning outcomes

  • At the end of this module students should be able to:
  • demonstrate understanding of what is asked of them in their Film Studies assignments;
  • produce different types of critical and creative writing about film;
  • select, evaluate and synthesise information from a range of sources;
  • produce textual analysis using accurate Film Studies terminology;
  • develop arguments and draw conclusions in response to Film Studies assignment briefs
  • explain and argue clearly and concisely;
  • acquire and apply knowledge in a rigorous way

Preliminary reading

Timothy Corrigan, A Short Guide to Writing About Film (Boston: Pearson, 2012)

Module convenor:

Dr. Saima Sherazi

Room: Bancroft Building 1.26

Telephone: 0207 882 2832

email: s.n.sherazi@qmul.ac.uk

Back to top