Analytical Reading and Writing

English 0802 is a four-credit course that requires students to explore a single theme from the point of view of more than one discipline. Students spend the early part of the semester learning to define terms and articulate specific positions using evidence to support their claims. By semester’s end, English 0802 students should demonstrate both fluency and competence with Standard English in their finished papers, and they should be able to recognize the shortcomings of their earlier drafts. Most importantly, the papers should show the writer’s ability to take a position and order an argument to support that position. Having students critique each other’s writing enlarges the audience for the writer, fosters students learning from each other, and provides opportunities for critical reading in a venue other than assigned readings. This course also emphasizes research, and the evaluation of source materials from the very first assignment.

You can see a sample syllabus for English 0802 here (docx.) (You will need Microsoft Word, or a Microsoft Word Viewer to access this file.)

All classes will visit the library for research workshops with librarians twice in the course of the semester.

This course addresses the following competencies:

Critical Reading and Thinking

Students can read for the purposes of careful analysis and critique, evaluate both the evidence and reasoning in an academic text, and see relationships (explicit and implicit) between and among multiple texts; they can raise meaningful questions, compare ideas, and extract underlying assumptions.


Students are able to reflect, seriously and critically, on their own writing processes as well as their written work.

Rhetorical Strategies

In academic writing, students can:

  • Define key terms for specific purposes.
  • Summarize the ideas and arguments of others.
  • Make meaningful comparisons between ideas.
  • Analyze and respond to the needs of a specific task/audience.


  • Students can take a position, marshal and organize relevant evidence, and respond to opposing views.


  • Students can substantively revise earlier written work.


  • In their finished papers, students demonstrate a reasonable degree of both fluency and competence with Standard English, and ESL students should demonstrate marked improvement in these areas. All students should be able to effectively edit their own work.