Critique and Expression Modules


The module is designed to foster critical thinking and expression skills needed by students to be able to function effectively (i.e., competently, reflectively, and creatively) in the university and the wider contexts.

It is content-specific and rhetorically intensive and adopts the integrated critical thinking approach to writing and communication instruction (Hatcher 2010). It is also inter- and multi-disciplinary in terms of content and its pedagogy is informed by theories on rhetoric and composition, critical thinking, and argumentation. These features of the module guarantee that by the end of the semester, students will have been better prepared to intelligently and effectively engage their readers and audiences not just in the university, but also in professional and social contexts. They ensure that students will be able to develop “sensitivities and dispositions of character that allow [them] to think clearly and express themselves cogently with an end to increased socio-adaptability, and personal reflection and development” (NUS GE Committee, 2020).

Specifically, the content focus of the module enables students to contextualize their writing while at the same time allowing them to broaden their intellectual and cultural horizons. This content focus introduces the students to new “conceptual and socio-cultural vistas” that they can mobilize or interrogate in their own writing.

By integrating writing and communication instruction with a content focus, students necessarily engage in cognitive processes of critical thinking and expression. The core strategies expressed in the learning objectives of the module are manifestations of these cognitive processes: students will interrogate sources of information and opinion in terms of relevance and reliability; critically examine how ideas in the core readings can be applied to a case, artefact or phenomenon; engage with various methods to understand multimodal cases, phenomenon or artefacts; express and organize ideas to present a line of argument in a way that is sensitive to the audience and the context; document and synthesize sources to establish a critical claim or proposition; and reconsider their ideas and their writing based on feedback.

The module ultimately builds up the capacity of students to write and communicate in a disciplined and context-sensitive manner—informed but judicious, assertive but responsible, critical but capable of cooperative thinking. 

Hatcher, D. L. (2010). Stand-alone versus integrated critical thinking courses. The Journal of
General Education, 55 (3/4), 247-72.

NUS General Education Committee. (2020, November 30). GE reform—the NUS core curriculum.


Students must have passed/been exempted from the NUS Qualifying English Test (QET) or have passed CELC English for Academic Purposes modules.


IEM2001% or UTW2001%.

Module Offerings

RVX Module Offerings

Using an integrated approach to critical thinking (Hatcher 2010), all Critique and Expression modules will provide students with the opportunity to learn and apply cores strategies of successful scholarly expression that is sensitive to different contexts:

  • interrogating various sources of information and opinion in terms of relevance and reliability, 
  • critically examining how concepts are mobilized to explain a given case, phenomenon or artefact,
  • engaging with various methods to understand multimodal cases, phenomenon or artefacts,
  • expressing and organizing ideas to guide readers and audiences through a line of reasoning,  
  • documenting and synthesizing different sources to construct and support a proposition, a critical claim or a thesis, 
  • revising the content, wording and organization of a critique.  

Students write two papers and present an eight-minute pitch in every Critique and Expression module.

In groups of 3 to 4, students will select academic texts (e.g., journal articles, book chapters, etc.) that are relevant to the topical focus of the module. They will summarize the source texts and synthesize them in an overview essay by highlighting their similarities and differences in terms of perspectives, conceptual lenses or themes that shed light on a specific idea or ideas relevant in the module.

Each student will present an 8-minute presentation convincing the audience (fellow students and the lecturer) of the viability of his proposed final project component—the critique. The pitch shall highlight the following: rationale, specific objective/s the proposed critique, thesis, conceptual lens, framework for analysis, case to be analyzed, and preliminary or sample analysis.

The critique is a logical development from the pitch. Each student will write a critique of their selected rhetorical case or artefact that includes an introduction, conceptual lens, framework of analysis, analysis and discussion, and conclusion. The project enables students to demonstrate their understanding of the core strategies that underlie successful scholarly expression that is adapted to a specific context and to its target readers or audiences.

RVX1001: Science Fiction and Society

Dr. Jason Banta

Science Fiction serves as a launch pad that inspires innovative ideas and a space to critically evaluate contemporary issues such as race, gender, technology, and climate change. This course engages students' thinking on one of the most important and influential popular media to develop broader insights and perspectives on current social trends that will help them both within and after university. Students will construct a thoughtful critique of science fiction topics found in media like film, television, short stories, or video games. Working collaboratively, they will present questions and reflections to peers to increase their critical expression skills.
RVX1003: Print to Screen: Analysing Film Adaptation

Ms Susan Lee

In this module, students will examine how various literary texts are adapted into films. They will do so by interrogating how directorial techniques, institutional constraints and related socio-cultural contexts inform adaptations. Specifically, students will watch and analyse cinematic adaptations of plays, short stories, and comics to bring to the surface how aesthetic elements ranging from mise-en-scene to socio-cultural factors influence filmmakers and studios' motivations. In the process, students will develop a systematic approach in carrying out a critique of adapted films they enjoy.