Critical Reading and Writing for Multidisciplinary Communications

Critical Reading and Writing for Multidisciplinary Communications


This course will focus on three specific areas: critical reading, academic research writing, and writing for a multidisciplinary audience. This course will train students to analyze, create, and support arguments in their academic writing, while they communicate their research (in both writing and speaking) to a multidisciplinary audience.

Many students and researchers struggle to write and communicate their research to people outside of their field; however, cross-disciplinary communication and collaboration are becoming ever more popular and productive in research and academia. To prepare students for cross-disciplinary and multidisciplinary communication, emphasis will be placed on communicating research, through both writing and speaking, in a way to facilitate understanding and communication. This will involve conducting audience/reader analysis, using more active sentence constructions, incorporating syntactic and semantic clarity, utilizing progression and transition strategies, as well as evaluating overall language usages and jargons.

In addition, students will learn to develop their critical reading skills in order to present and support research arguments in their writing. Critical reading will involve multiple ways of evaluating academic arguments for clarity and logic, while also identifying any shortcomings an argument might have.

This course will focus on academic writing, specifically article writing. The moves and steps most common in published articles will be examined, and students will incorporate these move and steps into their own academic writing for this class. In addition to this, writing style and mechanics, such as clarity, style, and flow, will also be incorporated into research writing. This course will be conducted in English.

Course Objectives

The primary aim of this course is to develop students’ ability to use critical reading and common rhetorical functions in organizing and writing for academic and cross-disciplinary research. Cross-disciplinary, or multidisciplinary, refers to communicating to people, through both speaking and writing, outside of the writer’s/speaker’s field and discipline. The course focuses on specific rhetorical writing skills such as: definition, description, and argumentation. Major written assignments in this course will focus on incorporating these rhetorical strategies, as well as logical progression and clear and descriptive style, to communicate students’ research to a cross-disciplinary audience. The instructional means adopted in this course include lectures, discussion, and hands-on practice.

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

1. Critically evaluate and analyze a variety of texts for academic purposes.
2. Identify features of academic writing and apply the knowledge of academic writing to organize ideas into a logical and coherent text.
3. Utilize writing and rhetorical strategies for coherence and concision
4. Compose an article Introduction which presents their research in a clear and cohesive manner to a multidisciplinary/cross-disciplinary audience
5. Evaluate writing for clarity
6. Formulate academic arguments that are well supported through writing
7. Develop proof-reading and self-editing skills
8. Present their research in both writing and speaking to a cross-disciplinary/multidisciplinary audience and to increase the intelligibility of their research by utilizing content design and rhetorical strategies.


Week 1 –   Course Introduction

–   What is Critical Reading?

–   Introduction to Critical Reading: Conclusion and Premise

Week 2 –   Critical Reading: Identifying Conclusion and Premise(s)

–   Writing: Writing Basics

–   Article Introduction: Moves and Steps

–   Opacity in cross-disciplinary/multidisciplinary communication

Week 3 –   Article Introduction: Moves and Steps – Continued

–   Critical Reading: Types of arguments

–   Debate Practice

–   Writing: Cohesion and Progression Patterns

–   Audience analysis

Week 4 –   Article Introduction: Continued

–   Critical Reading: Argument Mapping

–   Debate Practice

Introduction: First Draft
Week 5 –   Writing in a multidisciplinary setting

–   Speaking in a multidisciplinary setting

Week 6 –   Debate: Debrief and Analysis

–   Critical Reading: Mapping an Article

–   Article Introduction: Introduction Analysis, peer review

Group Debate 1
Week 7 –   Writing: Mechanics, Grammar + Style

–   Transitions: Sentence, Paragraph, Discourse Level

–   Methods: Analysis and steps

Introduction: Second Draft
Week 8 –   Critical Reading: Ambiguity, Fallacies, Article Analysis

–   Cross-Disciplinary competence

–   Methods: Continued

Week 9 –   Persuasive Arguments into Persuasive Writing

–   Critical Thinking: Continued

–   Article Analysis

Week 10 –   Debate Debrief

–   Data Commentary (Results/Discussion)

Persuasive Writing First Draft

Group Debate 2

Week 11 –   Critical Thinking: Developing and Supporting Arguments

–   Cross-Disciplinary Competence

–   Data Commentary: Continued

Week 12 –   Persuasive Writing: Peer Review

–   Critical Thinking: Developing and Supporting Arguments Continued

Week 13 –   6 Minute Thesis: Presenting your Research

–   Abstracts: Structure and analysis

Persuasive Writing Second Draft
Week 14 –   Presentation Debrief Group Persuasive Presentation
Week 15 –  6-Minute Thesis workshop and Peer Review  
Week 16 6-Minute Thesis Presentation Day 1  
Week 17 6-Minute Thesis Presentation Day 2 Persuasive Writing Final Draft

Introduction: Final Draft

Textbook and Reference Materials

  • Morrow, D.R., Weston, A. (2015) A Workbook for Arguments, Second Edition: A Complete Course in Critical Thinking Second Edition. Indianapolis, IN. Hackett publishing Company.
  • Swales, J. M., & Feak, C. B. (2017). Academic writing for graduate students: essential tasks and skills. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.


  • HW Assignments = 10%
  • Research Article Introduction = 20%
  • Persuasive Writing Piece = 20%
  • Debates = 20%
  • Persuasive Presentation = 10%
  • Research Presentation = 10%
  • Participation = 10%