ENGL 106 Critical Reading in the Humanities • 5 Cr.


Course focuses on developing higher level cognitive skills: critical reading and questioning of a wide selection of materials-philosophy, education, religion, literature, culture-to examine ways of knowing and thinking, engaging in thoughtful dialogue with peers (via seminars or class/group discussions) on college level material, developing the art of asking insightful questions to generate and advance relevant discussion. Required parallel lab (ENGL 180, 1 or 2 credits) emphasizes vocabulary and comprehension skills. Prerequisite: Placement by assessment.


After completing this class, students should be able to:

  • Identify patterns of organization which provide order to written text.
  • Identify and explain the rhetorical balance which must exist among the writer, the audience [reader], and the writing [text] in an example of expository writing
  • List strategies for distinguishing major ideas [thesis, theme, etc.] from the supporting details
  • Prepare an outline - using traditional outline criteria, a mapping technique, or a visual diagram - of a whole piece of text, so that the sequence of key ideas and their relationship to one another is traced through the entire work.
  • Identify characteristics of and strategies for reading text in a variety of subject areas in the arts, the sciences, and the social sciences.
  • Identify ways to read actively, rather than passively.
  • Identify literal information in a given piece of text. Distinguish this information from information which can be inferred from the same text.
  • Locate examples of fact in a given piece of text. Distinguish this information from information which can be classified as opinion.
  • Identify reading tasks at a variety of cognitive levels and distinguish them from reading tasks at other cognitive levels.
  • Identify reading tasks associated with the learning paradigms of philosophers and/or learning theorists such as Plato, Bloom, etc.
  • Identify criteria, which characterize a critical reader.
  • Summarize a writer's underlying, but unstated, assumptions in a given selection of text.
  • Select a piece of writing which contains symbolism and/or imagery, and explain how the writer's use of figurative language enhances MEANING
  • Identify ways to evaluate the effectiveness of a selected piece of text based on the information it contains and the writer's strategies for communicating that information.