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Interesting Lectures and Seminars

Critical Reading and Writing (Fundamentals)

Refining practical/logical thinking ability and academic writing skills

Yuka Murofushi
3rd-Year Student at School of Political Science and Economics

Spurred by the desire to acquire more practical and higher-quality English language proficiency, I browsed the syllabus of Open Courses and first encountered this course. The course features small group classes which are on demand and face to face with an instructor who is a native English speaker. In addition to critical reading ability and writing skills, students improve their speaking ability through a focus on group discussions.

I learned two things from this course. First, the most practical aspect of the course was logical thinking ability. In classes, students read English editorials and short stories while focusing on the persuasiveness of writing, the connection between paragraphs, and the overall logical integrity. Classes provide students with hints and techniques for considering such elements of English writing. Through repeated practice of this critical reading, I naturally began to recognize the consistency and persuasiveness of writing. This skill is also required when reading Japanese texts. Indeed, I believe that the greatest merit of this course is obtaining logical thinking skills which provide an entirely new insight into writings which were previously read nonchalantly.

Students are expected to logically express their own opinions

Another skill which I acquired is the ability to write in academic English. During classes, students write two reports and have them corrected by the instructor. The first report that I submitted was like an essay that included my subjective opinions and experiences. Unfortunately, my essay lacked persuasiveness and could not be called academic writing. Thanks to corrections and advice from the instructor, I revised my basic method of writing and became able to write with more persuasiveness and academic style. Another important factor in writing is the logical thinking ability which I discussed above. Upon submitting my final report, I felt a sense of accomplishment at how my writing had improved significantly.

Finally, since students in this course are expected to take the initiative in their language studies, I developed a proactive attitude towards English. The course also instilled me with the ability to output practical English.