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iCAS Module 4 - Critical Writing: Getting Started

Critical Writing


Welcome back! This time we welcome you to our Critical Writing module... we hope you find it both exciting and challenging.

Best of luck,

Lynette Ireland and Trina Jackson

Vote Now!

I think I am able to write critically.

Vote Now!
Yes: 70 votes (25.18%)
No: 65 votes (23.38%)
Not sure: 143 votes (51.44%)
Total Votes: 278


This module deals specifically with written text, through the act of writing critically.  In this module you will be introduced to the thinking strategies and tools you need to become a critical writer.  Critical writing is essentially about being able to construct a written argument or state a position in relation to a specific focus

This involves the ability to research effectively, and to write and structure arguments using an informed, logical, evidence-laden approach and then to evaluate your decisions throughout every stage of this process.  Essentially, most of the writings you will do at University fall under the category of an essay.  As such, learning to write an essay successfully is important.  Becoming a successful critical writer enables you to become a successful student. 

Universities use academic writing as a way to assess the learning of students. The expectation from lecturers is that your essay will reflect Active Learning.  Essays are designed to ‘showcase’ your understanding of the subject material arising from lectures, tutorials, readings, interactions, and research beyond the class boundaries.  The intention is to demonstrate this understanding through an interweaving of this knowledge against set criteria. The assessor will only grade you on how you are able to present this in your essay format.

Given this constraint, there really is no way around the need to acquire this skill if you want to succeed in your studies.  Putting the time in now to develop a solid base in essay writing and in particular, critical writing, will save you time, energy and effort later on in your course (and possibly save you some disappointment as well!).  We strongly recommend that you take the extra time now, and commit to this module as you would your official education studies.

Make sure you have read the Critical Reading Module BEFORE you commence this one.  Read R.W. Connell "Working-class families and the new secondary education" if you have not already done so. 

Further Reference Text

If you are finding essay writing difficult, try not to get stressed out, just remember that it IS a difficult craft but one that can be learnt!

Read Chapters 5 (Basic academic writing skills), 7 (Essay and reflective writing) & 8 (Doing case studies and writing reports) for this module


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